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As of right now, the only people that have ever looked after my children apart from me and Steve have been our parents or a select few friends. The odd parent from school picked up and looked after Jack in the first few days of Olivia’s life when I was stuck in hospital waiting rooms waiting to see if I had a clot but other than that, it has always been someone close to us looking after our children. But what happens when the people you usually rely are on are away or are actually coming with you?
This year I have got a few parties, hen nights and weddings to attend; the majority of which where children are not invited. Usually we would ask our parents to keep an eye on the kids for a couple of hours – for instance, Steve’s parents had Jack overnight when we went to the Murder Mystery event and then my Mum has looked after him when we took Steve’s parents out for a meal. This past week however could have been disastrous – luckily Steve and I had nothing planned but my Mum had gone away with my aunt, Steve’s dad was away on a golfing holiday and Steve’s brother was away in Spain. Steve’s mum had no car as both the men had taken the cars – if we had needed anyone to have the kids, our parents certainly wouldn’t have been the answer that week!
With so many events on the horizon, I’ve been looking into alternatives. I’ve not yet let people outside my family or circle of friends look after my children but I have plenty of friends who work in nurseries or as private nannies who babysit for local children so I have an idea of how it works. I’ve been taking a look at the Sitters.co.uk site (http://www.sitters.co.uk/find-a-babysitter) to find local childcare providers in my area with good reviews. I want to know that there is somewhere I can turn should the need arise.
Searching for a local sitter couldn’t be any easier. You start by entering your postcode which sets up your free account. You can then read reviews of those who are local to you. You can then book your childcare online – just select the details and away you go. You can also choose the local providers that you’d prefer your bookings to be offered to first and then the provider will call you before the booking to work out details. Payment is made at the end and rates start from just £7.50. Until you have used the site, you won’t be charged anything. Only after you’ve made a booking and it has taken place will you pay a booking fee (ranges from £4-£6) and a quarterly membership fee of £14.95. A small amount of money to ensure your child is being looked after properly, right?
I’ve searched my postcode and found the recommended babysitters in my area. I’ve found a few I’d heard of on the parenting grapevine in my village and a few that are new to me with fantastic reviews. I can also see that various families in my village have used the site with great success which gives me confidence in what they have to offer. You can see how many times they have sat for families in the area and check out the feedback they have received. They’ve also got a blog with some great birthday cake ideas for girls.
Whilst I am happy to continue using my family for help when it is possible to do so, I am definitely going to be keeping Sitters in mind for the future for those occasions when they aren’t able to help or are attending the same thing as us – it is always good to have a back up plan.
Who do you get to babysit for your children?