Finding a babysitter is often difficult if there are no handy friends or relatives around to help out. In London, baby sitters can be very expensive commodities, with agencies, websites and apps all vying for parents’ business. For situations where longer term care is required, a nanny or babysitting agency may be the best option, although some agencies will have staff who are able to cover for sickness or one-off special events.
A quick search will turn up thousands of results for all types of babysitter, but parents should be sure to do their research before engaging a sitter. Some agencies have been around for years, others are newer, but the same parameters apply. There are some things a competent babysitter should have, and all parents should be aware of the basic requirements.
Babysitter or nanny services
A company such as Rockmybaby offers a variety of nanny, babysitter and maternity nurse services. The agency only employs people who are over the age of 21 years with a minimum of two years’ childcare experience. Their staff must be DBS checked, have relevant childcare related references, paediatric first aid training and a valid UK work visa if needed. The usual paperwork will be checked at interview, including photo ID, references, CV and qualifications.
Permanent or temporary nannies
Companies typically offer permanent and temporary positions of all lengths. So, whether their staff member is looking for occasional one-off work or longer term commitment, the business is likely to be there. Baby sitters are always in demand in today’s busy lifestyle, both for parents looking for regular help with caring for their children due to work commitments and those who need occasional cover for a night out. Some parents may be looking to take a nanny with them when they travel abroad; others may simply need an extra pair of hands around the house at specific times when work deadlines or transport issues intervene.
Babysitters and nannies hired through agencies will typically meet with any potential clients first for an interview. That allows both parties to discuss all the expected requirements of the role. Baby sitters in London may be tasked with caring for children of all ages and cultures and the expectations of care may vary from family to family, so it is vital that both sides are clear on the level of care that is expected.
Variations in babysitting working conditions and expectations
Depending on the length of the placement, the size of the property and expected working hours, a live in option, similar to an au-pair set up, may be preferable for families. The aim of nanny and childcare agencies is to take the stress out of finding a baby sitter, even though they will charge for the privilege. Some only charge a placement fee when a staff member is employed, others will charge a membership or application fee. These should be either clearly visible on the website or available on request from the agency. In addition, for relatives and friends wishing to help with the cost of child care, some agencies run a gift voucher scheme, which is yet another way to take the stress out of finding a babysitter in London.
There are many options available to help find baby sitters in London. Following the tips above may help simplify the process a little.