FAQs

Below are some of our most commonly asked questions. If your question is not covered, please contact us.

  • How do you recruit your babysitters?

    Babysitters first apply to register via our website and the initial stage tends to be emails and/or phone calls with our Director of Recruitment, Sara who reviews the applicants’ childcare experience and availability on a basic level.

    If they seem suitable, each applicant completes our registration forms and provides two references: one from someone they are currently or have recently been employed by and one from someone they have recently babysat for. We follow up on these references to verify the information provided so that we have confirmation in writing.

    After this, Sara arranges to interview each babysitter face-to-face (or over a video call for babysitters based in Norfolk) for about 30minutes to discuss their childcare experience in more depth and to make sure they would represent the service to a high standard. Sara presents them with a range of scenarios to find out how they would react in various situations.

    After this, they are able to complete an online profile, some of which can be viewed here.

    It’s worth noting that our babysitters are not required to be DBS checked in order to register with us since they are primarily looking after children in their own homes. However quite a few of our babysitters also work with children in another capacity and therefore do hold this certificate. If this is the case, the qualifications are highlighted on their profile.

  • Are all of your babysitter’s police checked?

    Our babysitters are not required to undertake a DBS check in order to register.

    However quite a few of our babysitters also work with children in another capacity and therefore do hold this certificate. If this is the case, relevant qualifications (including first aid or NVQ childcare certificates) are highlighted on their profile.

  • How can I find out more about your registered babysitters?

    Each babysitter has an individual profile and a selection of these can be viewed here.

    If you want to see the most active babysitters in your area, please create an account so that we can present you babysitter profiles based on your postcode.

    When you load a job request, you will receive email notifications from available babysitters and these will include a link to their profile. Each profile details the babysitters’ childcare experience, qualifications and reviews left by other parents. If you have any questions about a specific babysitter, please feel free to contact us.

  • Can I meet a babysitter before an appointment?

    All babysitters complete our strict registration procedure before they can babysit through Babysitters Of to ensure that they are reliable, experienced and professional.

    We get a lot of requests from parents asking to meet babysitters before an appointment. Unfortunately, this is not something that we can accommodate as our babysitters would then spend a lot of time meeting new families and not a lot of time babysitting! If you would like to meet a babysitter before an appointment, then we ask that you book them for this time.

    We suggest that you book your babysitter to arrive 30mins-1hour before you need to leave the house so that you can get to know your babysitter and make sure you and your children feel comfortable in their company.

    When you book your babysitter, you will also be given access to our internal messaging system so that you can discuss any questions ahead of time.

    We also occasionally host coffee mornings to which we invite all of our families (including children) and babysitters so that everyone can meet each other in an informal setting.

  • How can I find out which babysitters are available when I need one?

    Our babysitters are a mix of those who work full-time, part-time, are freelancing or studying. Their schedules generally aren’t fixed and change frequently.

    The best way to find out about babysitter availability is to load a job request. Your requests will only be sent to the babysitters that match your criteria (available to babysit in your area, generally available on the days/times you have specified and experienced with children of your child/children’s ages).

    You will hear from all available babysitters (via an email notification) so that you can make a decision as to who you’d like to book. There is never an obligation to book, this is completely in your control.

    Most babysitters will respond to requests within a few hours and we ask babysitters to respond to all of the job requests they get. However, because of the volume of requests some babysitters receive each day, sometimes this isn’t possible and they only respond to the ones they are available for. We generally advise that if you haven’t heard from a particular babysitter within 12 or so hours, to assume that they are not available.

  • How far in advance do I need to book a babysitter?

    Bookings can be made up to 5 weeks in advance or with as little as 2 hours notice. Our ability to fill appointments depends entirely on our babysitter’s schedules, which generally aren’t fixed.

    Weekends are a very busy time for us so we would recommend booking your babysitter as soon as you know you will need one.

    Weekday evenings are less pressured and can often be booked the day before or on the day.

    It is always worth loading a job request if you need a babysitter, even if it is last minute as will try our best to help and babysitter availability can change suddenly.

  • Can I book a babysitter for an appointment during the day?

    Absolutely! The reasons parents book a babysitter are varied. Sometimes they need to attend an appointment, sometimes they need an extra pair of hands when looking after babies or lots of children at the same time and sometimes it’s for a stay at home parent who needs some peace and quiet to get some work done.

    Many parents also book babysitters during the school holidays or in instances where their nanny or usual babysitter falls ill.

    The beauty of not being locked into registration or subscription fees is that you can book a babysitter for a one-off appointment as needed (although we bet that you will be so delighted with the service that you will return to us again!).

  • How do I book a babysitter?

    Our booking process is as follows:

    1. Create an account
    2. Create a job request
    3. Hear back from available babysitters
    4. Book your preferred babysitter

    You can pay using credit or debit card or PayPal.

    Appointments are £12 an hour from 7am-1am and £15 an hour outside of this and on public/special holidays.

    We do not charge booking or subscription fees but we do charge for appointments cancelled less than 24 hours before (50% of the value of the booking) and 12 hours (100% of the value of the booking) before the appointment.

    Job requests expire after 48 hours (or two hours before the appointment start time) if a babysitter is not booked in order to guarantee up to date babysitter availability.

    Babysitters can put themselves forward for as many appointments on the same day/times as they like to give them the best chance of securing work and it’s first come, first served for parents to book

    Although we don't have a minimum on booking times, we tend to find that appointments which are 3 hours+ (or 4 hours+ on Friday/Saturday night's) are more likely to be accepted by babysitters.

  • What do you charge?

    We charge £12 per hour for appointments between 7am-1am and £15 per hour outside of these times and on public or special holiday’s.

    We also charge for appointments cancelled less than 24 hours before (50% of the value of the booking) and 12 hours (100% of the value of the booking) before the appointment.

    We believe that our tailored service giving you access to local, experienced and reliable babysitters is excellent value. Unlike other services, we do not charge registration, subscription or booking fees.

    Bank holidays are:

    • New Year’s Day (and substitute if day falls on a weekend)
    • Good Friday
    • Easter Monday
    • Early May Bank holiday (May)
    • Spring bank holiday (May)
    • Summer bank holiday (August)
    • Christmas day
    • Boxing day (and substitute if day falls on a weekend)

    Special holidays are:

    • Valentine’s Day
    • Mother’s Day
    • Father’s Day
    • Halloween
    • Guy Fawkes Day (or the Saturday this night falls around)
    • Christmas Eve
    • New Year’s Eve
  • How do I change the start or end time for my appointment?

    To adjust the start or end times for your appointment, click on ‘bookings’ and then ‘view details

    You will see a link that says ‘need to adjust times?’. Where you can choose to adjust your start and/or end times.

    Please note: You will need to have credit on your account in order to do this.

    Your babysitter will be sent a notification and is able to accept or reject the request. If they accept, the extra time will automatically be debited/credited. If they reject, you will be notified.

    Time changes are subject to our cancellation policy. If you change the start time to be later or the end time to be earlier less than 24 hours before the appointment is due to start, you will be charged 50% of the cancelled time and if it’s less than 12 hours before, you will be charged 100%.

  • How do I change the start or end time for my appointment?

    To adjust the start or end times for your appointment, click on ‘bookings’ and then ‘manage job’ (blue button).

    You will see a link that says ‘need to adjust times?’. Where you can choose to adjust your start and/or end times.

    Please note: You will need to have credit on your account in order to do this.

    Your babysitter will be sent a notification and is able to accept or reject the request. If they accept, the extra time will automatically be debited/credited. If they reject, you will be notified.

    Time changes are subject to our cancellation policy. If you change the start time to be later or the end time to be earlier less than 24 hours before the appointment is due to start, you will be charged 50% of the cancelled time and if it’s less than 12 hours before, you will be charged 100%.

  • What do I do if I need to cancel my booking?

    If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so via the website (log into your account, click ‘bookings’ and then ‘view details’).

    We do not charge for appointments cancelled 24 hours or more ahead of the start time.

    For appointments cancelled less than 24 hours before the start time we charge 50% of the booking fee and for cancellations less than 12 hours before, we charge 100% of the booking fee.

    In these instances, any remaining booking fees will be credited to your account to put towards a future appointment.

    This policy is to protect our babysitters who may miss out on other appointments once they are booked and to compensate them for this lost time.

  • What happens if a babysitter cancels my appointment?

    Babysitters understand that when they are booked, they are obligated to commit to the appointment and we enforce a strict £15 fine for cancellations made less than 24 hours before the appointment (this is offered to the other babysitters as an incentive to change their plans and take up the appointment at short notice) and a ’three-strike’ policy towards cancellations (if a babysitter cancels more than three appointments, we conduct a review to decide whether they can continue to babysit through us). However, there are occasions when cancellations cannot be avoided.

    If a babysitter must cancel an appointment, they will do so via the website and send you a message to explain their reason (you will receive a notification via email).

    Your job request will automatically be sent out to the other babysitters to try and find a replacement as quickly as possible. A replacement babysitter can only be booked by you and you will of course be given the option to decline.

    If you decide not to go ahead with a replacement babysitter or if another babysitter is not available, the value of the booking will be credited to your account to be put towards your next appointment.

  • What happens if I am home early or late back?

    If you arrive home early, you will still be charged the full amount for the hours booked.

    After each appointment, your babysitter will record their hours and if you returned home late, the additional amount will be requested from you.

    Estimates for start and end times should be made as accurately as possible. Babysitters mark their availability for bookings based on the number of hours and will plan their schedules accordingly.

    If you arrive home late and your babysitter can no longer take their planned method of transport home, we kindly request that you provide them with a taxi so that they travel home safely.

  • Do I need to arrange transport home for my babysitter?

    Babysitters accept appointments based on the start and end times and will plan their journeys accordingly.

    If you arrive back at the time booked and this is before midnight, there are no transport costs to cover.

    However, if you are back after midnight or later than the time booked and your babysitter is unable to take their planned method of transport home, we do request that you kindly cover the cost of their taxi home.

  • Do I need to provide a meal for my babysitter?

    We do not expect parents to provide meals for babysitters. However, any snacks/drinks etc. are always much appreciated and if a babysitter is with you for a full day, we do expect them to be given time to buy/eat meals as appropriate.

  • What do the babysitters’ responsibilities entail?

    Our babysitters are there to provide an extra pair of hands or to keep an eye on your children when you need to leave the house.

    We do not expect our babysitters to cook meals from scratch but they are happy to prepare meals or help out with cooking as needed.

    Babysitters are happy to supervise homework and help with basic questions but are not expected to act as tutors.

    Although your babysitter will of course tidy up after themselves and the children, we would not expect them to do any ironing or household tasks which do not relate directly to the looking after of the child/children for the time they are with you.

  • Can I book the same babysitter each time?

    Our ability to fill appointments depends entirely on our babysitters and their schedules, which often aren’t fixed.

    We generally find that parents get to know 3-5 babysitters and that one of these babysitters will be available on their required days/times.

    When you create a job request, your request will be sent to all babysitters that meet your job criteria and if a babysitter you have met before is available, they will reply to let you know (you will receive a notification via email).

  • Can I book a babysitter for regular appointments?

    We primarily cater for ad hoc appointments as our babysitters tend to be in full-time/part-time or freelance employment with schedules that aren’t fixed.

    However, the request for a regular babysitter is one we get a lot! We are always more than happy to discuss your requirements with our babysitters.

    If you contact us and let us know what your requirements are, we would love to try and help!

  • Is there a maximum number of children a babysitter can look after at a time?

    We want to ensure that your children and our babysitters are safe. Therefore, a babysitter can only look after a maximum of 4 children at any one time but this will also depend on the individual children (personality, requirements and ages) and the babysitter.

    You can add a maximum of four children to your account but if you have more than four children or need to book a babysitter to look after more than four children at one time, please contact us.

  • What happens if I am unhappy with my babysitter or the service I receive from Babysitters Of?

    We constantly review our procedures and are pleased to say that the vast majority of feedback we get from parents and babysitters is extremely positive.

    All feedback is taken on board and helps to improve the quality of our service. If you have any comments, please contact us.

  • When did Babysitters Of start and what makes you different to other agencies?

    Babysitters Of was started in 2011 by Anna Cameron. A born and bred Londoner, Anna spent many happy hours babysitting for local families and soon found that she had more families to babysit for than she had time free.

    We have grown from strength to strength whilst maintaining strong relationships with both parents and babysitters.

    Providing a service that is efficient and reliable is of the utmost importance and the fact that nearly all of our new bookings are referred through existing parents is testament to this.

    We believe that our personal service and friendly, experienced babysitters are what makes us stand out from other agencies. We also don’t believe in hidden fees so charge a flat rate per hour with no registration, subscription or booking fees to pay.

  • What areas do you cover?

    Our babysitters work across London and Norfolk. If you would like to find out whether our babysitters are happy to travel to your area, please contact us.

  • How do you make money?

    We make money by taking a commission on each hour a babysitter is booked for.

    We charge parents £12 per hour and pay our babysitters £9 per hour. For appointments that either end after 1am or start before 7am, that fall on public or special holiday’s (such as New Year’s Eve), we charge parents £15 per hour and pay our babysitters £12 per hour.