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March 22, 2010


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What?! Oh my, as a babysitter from my early teens until I was married and moved away I made sure that I had first aid training just in case.

I would expect nothing less than a first aid trained, CRB checked, fingerprinted babysitter!


I am totally with you. I am hyper paranoid mind and my best friend has only once been allowed to babysit a sleeping baby despite constantly offering! I don't know how I could trust my precious little one to a stranger when I have such a problem with my best friend!


I totaly agree with you. I would want to check everything too, i had a 'professional' babysitter for my wedding and she had great references but she was terrible with the kids. She couldn't cope with my two (even they were no trouble) i had to dragged away from my wedding party to look after them because i couldn't bare to hear them upset. I was so annoyed with her and i'm sure she knew because she left before we got up in the morning. A waste of time and money she was. It just goes to show that you need something more than just referneces to look after children xx


The laws on this are still all over the place and it's really confusing for everyone, even people working in childcare.

What might be easier is if you approach a local nursery, or private day care. Childcare is notoriously poorly paid so many people offset by offering babysitting services, and they are ALL CRB checked and many are first aid trained as well. In our area they charge roughly £6 per hour. Perhaps friends with slightly older children could recommend a couple?

Good luck,Px

rachel pattisson

I recently received a PR-type email asking if I'd like to try a professional babysitting service for free (and then blog about it, obviously). I had just moved to a new area where I knew no-one at all, never mind any babysitters, so I was exactly the sort of person who might use such a service but I declined. I feel as you do, completely unable to trust a random person with my babies. It's hard enough to leave them with someone you actually know!


IJ is your child, so you make the rules when it comes to caring for her. I tend to err on the side of paranoia when it comes to looking after my girls, and as a fellow single parent I understand your concerns. I've had the same issues with babysitters, but my girls are older now so it's getting a little easier.

I had some details of a national babysitting service somewhere, they looked quite good - I'll dig it out and send it to you. x

Muddling Along Mummy

Our nanny is CRB checked, has the first aid (interestingly had to do a course to update despite being a paediatric nurse in a former life) and is potentially subject to OFSTED inspections- so yes we have to pay for all this but its a great reassurance, a basic quality control and it makes me feel happier so no, you are not asking for too much

Muddling Along Mummy

And sorry, re-reading your post, I don't know a nanny (except those who have under the table cash in hand type contracts) who don't have all of these things


Any professional who works with children and other vulnerable people should be CRB checked, and I totally wouldn't employ a stranger without one. At the end of the day, she is your child and you (and she) have to be comfortable with who you are leaving her with. The only non family member to babysit our daughter has been a nursery nurse from her nursery who we know and trust. It's just not worth the risk.

Emily O

We use a babysitter who has worked as a nanny and in a nursery. I'm fairly certain she's CRB checked but I can't be definite. I knew her as well before she started babysitting for us. I've just been CRB checked as I'm on the pre-school committee. If I lived nearby I could babysit for you! Good luck finding someone, it is a minefield. We used a nanny agency.


Yep, they are not very good at disclosing information, and get really shirty when you ask, it's important we know these things, Have you been CRB checked? What first aid training have you had? Are you eighteen? And how big are your tits? All questions that should be answered, not frowned at.


I too got a PR pitch recently about a free trial professional babysitter.

Err... no thanks.


Paula's idea is a good one. We used girls from my son's nursery at one point.


I've tagged you over at mine. http://www.itsmygoodlife.co.uk/2010/03/happy-101-meme.html

Reluctant Memsahib

hello - i just dropped by because i liked your comment on iota's post about cyber mummy: i liked that you said blogging is about writing. i liked that. that's why i blog.

A Modern Mother

Sometimes I wonder how we put so much faith into sitters. I guess it is desperation.


I think sitters.co.uk are all crb checked. I never use them or anyone. I'm just scared!
My neighbour has a daughter who I am thinking of getting over in the day time see how she goes and then I might venture out in the dark lol

Selina Kingston

Is that true that it is not a legal requirement for all professional nannies and babysitters to be CRB checked? I'm shocked.

Foodie Mummy

I used to be an au pair and I haven't had first aid training. I wasn't vetted, I don't think either, let alone register into anything. I wa 18 and was expected to mind a 1 year old and a 10 year old on my own all day and babysit at least one night a week. My daughter went to a creche when she was a baby. The creche decided to employ 1 man and asked the parents for their approval and vetted him etc, however nothing was known about how girls were being recruited. It was a high standing creche and never had any problems with them ever. However, has anybody heard about that creche in Italy a couple of months ago? It was only female staff and it didn't stop the kids being ill treated.


If you're paying for a professional service, that's what you should expect to get. It's definitely not too much to ask a professional service to provide their employees with CRB checks and first aid courses. I certainly wouldn't put much faith in a service that can't offer these things at a minimum. With friends and family you're not paying them to have these standards, however you know that your child will be safe and well cared for with them and that they know what to do if an emergency arises, CRB checks and first aid certificates are really the only assurance you have when using a stranger for care. It's not an ideal situation, but for some people that's all they've got.


I think you're very sensible. We use two babysitters, one who I've known for about 6 years, so completely trust even though she's not CRB checked. I'd known her for a few years before she looked after my children on her own. The other babysitter I use used to work at my children's nursery, so although I didn't know her well at first, I knew she'd been thoroughly vetted by someone I trusted. Schools and nurseries are a great source of babysitters, the teaching assistants are usually up for a bit of extra income and they're always thoroughly checked.


Victoria above beat me to it. Try your daughter's school. The unmarried teachers often happily babysit to supplement their income. At least they do over here in the South ;) In fact I know that over here they will come and stay at your home for the weekend as well if you need it. I'm not so sure about nurseries - I have a feeling they don't have to be so well qualified.


When I was pregnat with my first, I set up a babysitting circle with my ante-natal class. It's now grown to 15 people, all of whom I know personally and have children similar ages. My husband and I like to go to gigs and this has enabled us to continue to do so.

The thought of using a professional babysitter terrifies me! Not only the fact that they don't know my child and may have no experience with children, but also the cost is quite off-putting.

Forever Learning

If I had a child, which I don't, but if I did, I would not use a professional babysitter. I think that your last sentence is key 'when it comes to the safety and protection of your child, we can't afford to get it wrong'.

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