Parents, SafeCircle

4 Tips For First Time Using a Babysitter

SafeCircle Sitter Antonia, talking to a client child aged 2yrs about the garden.

When the time comes and you’re ready to go out for the evening you’ll start thinking about sorting out childcare. For many this is a simple task of asking grandparents, who are usually thrilled to babysit… but what do you do if you don’t have grandparents available? What if they live across the country, or in another country, or are unable to help because of other reasons?

This is exactly the issue me and my partner faced! Living in Nottingham we were at least an hour’s drive from the nearest family member, and whilst we had plenty of friends locally, they all had their own children and commitments so we felt unable to ask them to look after our daughter so we could have a night out.

As busy parents, we wanted the chance to rekindle nights out again, especially as our daughter was now comfortable being away from us at nursery. We longed to be able to reminisce about our early dates or chat about future plans again over a nice meal and perhaps a glass of wine (or two…), without the risk of being covered in baked beans by the end.

When grandparents aren’t at your fingertips for babysitting however and you have to start contemplating using a babysitter it can be quite a daunting thought. Many parents initially turn to ask the staff at their child’s nursery but many nurseries nowadays (like ours) have a no babysitting policy making it hard for families to find someone they trust to care for their child in an evening.

SafeCircle Sitters was set up by myself a Nottingham mum of one (and one on the way eek!) because I wanted parents just like me to have access to the very best babysitters in their area so they could rekindle those pre-parenthood nights out again. I wanted our parents to feel safe, comfortable and in control. As a mum myself the last thing I needed was to be spending hours looking on directories for a babysitter trying to figure out who looked like I could trust them in terms of qualifications and skills only to have no responses to my messages or having a babysitter chosen for me and sent to my house (after all these are my children and I know what is best for them). It’s based on this that SafeCircle Sitters was born because gosh what a minefield it is finding childcare that you feel happy and comfortable with!

Perhaps some of these helpful ideas and suggestions from myself and some from our lovely member families will help you to start exploring the use of a babysitter near you a little more and become more comfortable with it;

1. Check for their policies on recruiting sitters: Depending on how you go about finding a babysitter chances are you will use a website or app at some point. It’s important to check the website or app whether this is a directory style or an agency for details of exactly how they check (if they check) their babysitters.

Make sure you know what work has been done for you and what you still need to do yourself in terms of checking the person out.

A good and reputable website will have all of their policy and guidance including their safer recruitment and safeguarding children’s policy clearly visible for parents to read, so you know how to use the service safely. For an idea of what you should be expecting from a service take a look at our ‘Why does Regulation Matter’ blog article.

2. Check out the reviews: There is a lot to be said for reviews from other parents who have used the service previously so be sure to check out their reviews both on their own website and via independent review sites such as Trustpilot.

3. Talk to your preferred sitter: It’s completely normal to have anxieties about the idea of using a babysitter for the first time. Make sure you talk to your babysitter beforehand and know who is coming to your door. Whether this is by telephone, video call or arranging a pre-booking short visit. Again a reputable service should allow for this to support you in making the right decision for your family. We offer all of our new families a video call with their babysitter before the booking.

4. Do the first sit at or close to home: Many of our parents have been booking a sitter and staying home to do some housework or take a relaxing bath. This is a get chance to get to see how the sitter and your little ones get along which will add reassurance for when you’re ready to head out. If things are looking like they are going well, then perhaps head out the door for a short walk or pop to the pub for a drink locally.

I can honestly say the best advice I can give you is to push yourself a little as it’s easy to sit back and not do anything. We have so many parents tell me that they have wanted to book a babysitter for so long but were too busy, or too anxious so just never went out. Once they had spoken to us and taken the time to use some of the methods suggested above they all told us the same thing… “why didn’t I do this sooner, I had nothing to worry about!”.

Ultimately though as a parent go with your gut! If after looking at options and exploring the suggestions above you still feel you are not ready, then there is nothing wrong with a pizza date on the sofa until you are comfortable.

If you would like to learn more about me or our 5-star babysitting service head over to the website at https://safecircle.co.uk or give me a call on 02038110445.

About SafeCircle Sitters:

SafeCircle Sitters is a babysitting service which helps busy parents enjoy worry-free nights out by matching them with qualified and regulated babysitters in their area and who meet their individual family needs. Founded in 2014, by Keeley Black a qualified social worker, SafeCircle Sitters provides parents with a service which goes beyond the basic initial checks by other services. Every babysitter passes through our 12-point Assurance Framework™ and is rechecked every three years. We keep parents in control of their babysitter choice which can be matched to their specific needs including newborn and Special Educational Needs (SEN) whilst maintaining high standards for families always.

SafeCircle Sitters have babysitters across: Birmingham, Nottingham and will be launching with their new team in London in May 2022. 

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