Guide on baby sitters for Expats:
When one is far away from family and “easy baby sitting”, life can be difficult. In addition to getting referrals from friends and neighbors, there are many agencies which can assist in finding someone to give you a bit of time off. The average rate for a babysitter ranges between £7 and £15/hour depending on experience, number of children and hours.
Here are reliable websites for trust-worthy baby-sitters:
Greycoat is an placement agency which specialises in high caliber domestic staff including nannies and baby-sitters: http://www.greycoatplacements.co.uk
Simply Childcare is a reliable agency when it comes to looking after children: http://www.simplychildcare.com/
Best Bear assists in placing nannies, nurseries, au pairs, and finding childcare agencies in the UK. Search for reputable babysitting agencies in London. http://www.bestbear.co.uk
Sitters is the biggest babysitting agency in London and has been around for a long time. Babysitters come with experience and excellent references only. There is a membership fee of £12.75 for three months in addition to the hourly babysitting rate that is about £6 per hour. Sitters recommends that babysitters are paid for at least 4 hours per booking. http://www.sitters.co.uk
Top Notch Nannies allows you to either join for a whole year or pay a one-off fee for occasional babysitting. Rates are between £8 and £10 per hour. Whole night discounts are available and some babysitters will complete light domestic work and even tutor your kids. http://www.topnotchnannies.com
A nanny is a person who is employed by one family to look after the children. A nanny can be shared between 2 families.
Mother’s helpers are unqualified nannies who work for a family, generally when one parent works from home.
Au pairs are usually in the UK to learn English as well as work. They will help with housework and the care of children. Au pairs live in, they do not pay board, and earn a small amount for their duties. They should be available for babysitting a couple of nights a week.
A maternity nurse, is a qualified nurse employed to help with newborn babies, very useful in the first 6 weeks.
A babysitter will need to have his/her credentials checked by you or an agency. Babysitters help with the occasional day/evening/few hours when you are not available. If a child is left with an adult for more than 2 hours, the adult should have his/her police record checked. The government is actually moving toward legislation on this issue.