Frequently Asked Questions...

How do you reference each sitter?

We only deal in written references where an email or letter is sent to two referees. We will wait to obtain satisfactory replies back before we will allow a sitter to undertake any work through the agency. The referees must have known them a minimum of 3 years, not be an immediate family member and be able to comment on the babysitter’s skills and abilities with children.

Is each sitter DBS checked?

Many of the sitters are school teachers/childminders who have already been DBS checked within the last 2 years prior to joining the agency, in these circumstances an original is seen and a copy is taken for our records.
If they have not got a current DBS check, the agency insists they obtain one before joining the agency.
We also take a copy of photo id (driver’s licence/passport) again to support their application.

What is meant by qualified/experienced in childcare?

Our sitters come from a wide range of backgrounds, some are school teachers, some childminders, others are parents themselves, we do occasionally accept sitters who are studying at college or in a non childcare field but only if they can provide excellent references to support at least 2 years babysitting experience.

Can I meet the sitter beforehand?

Some of our new parents ask if this is possible before leaving their children, especially for the first time. In these circumstances we would recommend that you request the sitter to arrive at your property 30 minutes earlier to allow you to meet them (which will need to be paid for), run through any routine and meet the children. Please remember each sitter has been carefully selected and interviewed before joining the agency.

How much notice is needed to book a sitter?

We would appreciate as much notice as possible. However, we do understand families tend to live busy lives and at times require a babysitter at short notice. We will endeavor to accommodate where possible.

Can I have the same babysitter when I book?

We will always attempt to contact the same sitters for you, however due to sitters personal commitments they may not always be available, so families tend to get familiar with a few sitters. The more notice you can give us for bookings the easier it is to secure a requested sitter for you.

Do I need to drive the sitter home or pay extra for traveling?

No, each sitter has their own transport and can make their way to and from your property.

What is the earliest and latest I can have a sitter?

As a rule the earliest for a sitter to start is 7pm, this is due to either the sitter having day time jobs or having their own family commitments. However if you do need a sitter earlier sometimes with enough notice we are able to cater for this.
With regards to a finish time we do appreciate an approx finish time for 2 main reasons, one is for security reasons, so the sitter can tell their own family what time they are due home, also some sitters with young children themselves are only happy to sit up until midnight. However other sitters are quite happy to stay out as late as you wish.

How do I pay the agency and the babysitter?

To become a member of the agency please complete the online registration form. You can pay your membership using PayPal on the parents page. Booking fees are invoiced monthly and can be paid by either Direct Debit via GoCardless (our preferred option) bank transfer or PayPal using any major credit/debit card.
You would then pay the sitter cash at the end of the evening. Its a 3 hour minimum booking and after that rounded up per half hour. (ie 7pm till 11.15pm would be rounded up to 4.5 hours).

Is there a cancellation fee?

There is no cancellation fee if a sitter has to be cancelled within office hours (Mon to Fri 9 to 5pm). Any cancellations made out side these hours will incur a cancellation fee of £10.00 which will be paid to the sitter.
Please note that the booking fee is non refundable once a sitter has been allocated to you and you have been advised that this has been done.

When is the office open?

The office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (closed Bank Holidays) however if I am out of the office during these times there is an answer machine which is checked regularly.

How do I make a booking through the agency?

You can call, email or text us, whichever is best for you.
When you make a booking it is helpful for you to advise us to the date required, start time and approx finish time. I will then allocate a sitter and advise you who it will be. One or two days before the booking the sitter will call you direct to introduce themselves and confirm the start time etc.

Can I make a one off booking with you?

For people visiting the area and only needing a one off sitter then this can be arranged without needing to fully register with us, generally at a hotel. Please contact us for current rates.

What happens when I am on holiday?

When I am on holiday Sue Cannings who runs Bristol Babysitting Agency will cover.
Everything will be run in the same way.