Your questions answered

Here are answers to some of the questions that parents often ask us before they join Sitters:

If your question is still unanswered call us on

08447 367 367

or you can email your question to enquiries@sitters.co.uk.


Q: Can I have the same babysitter each time I book?
A:
Wherever possible your bookings will be offered first to your preferred childcarers (you can let us know who your top 3 favourite babysitters are). One of the strengths of Sitters' service is that we will always endeavour to find you an experienced and reliable babysitter, local to you. Many of our childcarers have commitments to their own families and it may not always be possible to supply the same babysitter on every occasion. In practice families find that they get to know two or three local babysitters who cover most of their bookings. We'll send you an email as soon as we've filled any bookings you make - with details about your Sitters childcarer.

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Q: Can Sitters provide care for my children during the day (child daycare)?
A:
 Absolutely! Our sitters are available for daytime childcare in your own home. We all have times when we have to attend an appointment, meeting or function where it's easier if children are looked after at home. Perhaps you need to work from home and could do with an extra pair of hands to take care of your children? Many parents find this service particularly useful during school holidays and as emergency cover at home when other childcare arrangements fail (if your childminder falls ill, or if your child is unwell and cannot attend school/nursery). 

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Q: I have some uncertainty about leaving my children with someone I don't know, wouldn't you?
A:
Yes, many parents have these feelings when they leave their children with a babysitter they don't initially know - and then afterwards wonder what they were concerned about! You wouldn't be the first or last to have felt this when leaving your children at a playgroup, nursery or daycare centre. Our sitters have chosen to work with children because they enjoy it and you'll find that they are quick to put you and your family at ease. What Sitters' clients have found is that their family soon gets to know a small group of babysitters from their area.

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Q: Do you provide Sitters for school pick-ups?
A:
We regret that we cannot provide Sitters childcarers to collect your children from school or after-school clubs. The primary role of your Sitters childcarer is to look after your children and keep them safe within your home - rather than act as a chaperone.

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Q: How is the childcarer paid for her time?
A:
 It is your responsibility to pay your childcarer for her time at the end of the booking. Sitters.co.uk are not responsible for paying the childcarers, nor do we take any fees from the childcarers. Recommended hourly rates for childcarers in your area can be seen on our Cost page. Sitters carers are unable to accept Childcare vouchers or Child Tax Credits as payment.

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Q: Do I have to pay the babysitter for travelling time?
A:
No, although we do recommend that you pay them for a minimum of three hours per booking and that you round fractions of an hour up to the next quarter hour.  In most areas of the country, our Sitters have their own transport.  However, in London most Sitters rely on public transport - so if you arrive home later than agreed and no public transport is available, you would be expected to contribute towards the Sitter's taxi fare. Sitters carers are unable to accept Childcare vouchers or Child Tax Credits as payment.

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Q: How do you check childcarers' references?
A:
All Sitters babysitters are experienced and capable individuals recruited from childcare professions. Each applicant is vetted in a three stage process including an interview. While we hold written references for all our childcarers we also take up verbal references with previous childcare employers. This allows us to gain a fuller understanding of a childcarer's character and past employment.

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Q: What do you mean by professional childcare experience?
A:
All Sitters babysitters have experience in professional childcare employment. Most have worked as qualified nannies, nursery nurses in playgroups and daycare centres, teachers and teaching assistants or as registered childminders.

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Q: Why is there a minimum booking of three hours?
A:
In order to ensure that families know exactly how much a babysitter may charge, Sitters does not permit them to charge extra for their travelling time. On the other hand we have to ensure that childcarers are willing to give up their day/evening to look after your children. In our experience the combination of the hourly rate and the minimum booking of 3 hours provides the balance required to ensure our professional childcarers are prepared to attend your bookings. On certain busy Fridays and Saturdays, when our babysitters are in greater demand, to increase the chance of filling your booking we ask that you pay the childcarer for a minimum of 4 hours.

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Q: Why do you charge both membership and booking fees?
A:
The simple answer to this is because it's the fairest way of charging families for the service provided. Some families use Sitters' service every week, others may only call on us 4 or 5 times a year. Your membership covers the fixed cost of attracting, interviewing and reference checking sufficient childcarers to provide a reliable service in your locality. And booking fees cover the variable cost of scheduling a babysitter for you when required.

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Q: Are all Sitters babysitters police checked?
A:
More than half of Sitters babysitters have experience working as a Registered Childminder and would have been cleared through the CRB (now DBS) as part of their OFSTED registration. Nannies working for families have not yet been required to obtain CRB (DBS) checks and for this reason we are very thorough in following up references with previous employers.

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Q: Is there a maximum number of children per babysitting?
A:
There are limits as to what we consider safe. Under usual circumstances if there are more than 2 children under three years old or more than 5 children in total a second babysitter is required. Please remember that membership of Sitters is for the care of the children of one household per membership. A separate membership is required for each additional family whose children are present. However, a second babysitter is only necessary when the above guide numbers are exceeded.

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Q: Can I meet the babysitter beforehand?
A:
We suggest that on your first sitting you arrange for the babysitter to arrive 30 minutes before you leave. You can then introduce her to your family and be in a position to see how well she relates to your children. If the children are ready for bed she could read them a story or if they are older you could start a game together. Our experience is that when you introduce your babysitter in this way children soon feel comfortable.

Our sitters have been carefully selected and have experience working in the childcare professions. They have chosen to work with children because they enjoy it - you'll find they are quick to put you and your family at ease. It is usually not practical to meet a sitter before you need her to babysit as she may not be available when you do need a babysitter. If you are very nervous about leaving your child for the first time, why not make your first evening out very local and arrive home early.

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Q: Can you provide care for my child who has special needs?
A:
Unfortunately we can't. Although some of our childcarers have special needs experience we cannot be sure that we have sufficient carers with the right experience in your area.

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Q: How much notice do you need if I want to book a babysitter?
A:
We'll always try to meet those spontaneous last minute needs - even if we're given as little as four hours notice. However, thankfully, most bookings are made with three or more days notice and we're quite happy to take your bookings two or three months ahead. The more notice you give us the better your chance of booking your preferred babysitter before someone else does. As soon as we've filled your booking - we'll send you an email telling you about your babysitter and confirming the time and date of the booking.

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Q: Do you provide a Nanny service?
A:
We provide evening babysitting and ad hoc, short-term daycare. If you are looking for a permanent or temporary Nanny - we can recommend The Nanny Service (who are London based).

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Q: Do sitters stay after midnight?
A:
Most babysitters are prepared to sit until close to midnight or occasionally even later - we always suggest that when you make a booking, you state the latest time you are likely to be out until (so that your childcarer is prepared).


Q: Can I cancel my membership at any time?
A:
Of course - you can cancel your membership by emailing us at enquiries@sitters.co.uk. Membership cancellations are always acknowledged by email and are effective on receipt.

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