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Sitters.co.uk is the only site in this category that caters solely for babysitting services in the UK. This is a nationwide service for evening time childcare. It combines the professional approach of an established childcare agency with the convenience of a website. When looking for childcare, security is foremost in every parent's mind. If privacy and security are particularly important to you then Sitters.co.uk may be a good choice as it has a particularly strict approach when it comes to privacy and security. The babysitting agency has been in continuous business for around 40 years and originally operated as "childminders" in 1967. Many of the babysitters have worked with the company for many years, most are Ofsted registered childminders or professionally qualified Nannies or Nursery Nurses. As Sitters.co.uk specialises in babysitting and is, first and foremost, an agency its website provides much less information about childcare or other services, compared to other sites we have reviewed. The website allows you to search for babysitters in your area and view their profiles. However, the key information only becomes accessible after you have been in contact with the agency, discussed your childcare needs and completed a profile. Sitters.co.uk is therefore much less accessible than most of the other sites in this category; some people may feel that this kind of approach provides extra peace of mind, others may find it inconvenient.
Here's how it works in practice: you register for free online; then when you need a babysitter you can either call, send a text message or contact the agency online through your secure member's account; Sitters.co.uk then contacts a babysitter who is located near to your home, confirms the booking with you and provides you with the name, skills and experience of the babysitter who will be visiting you. The agency always tries to provide you with a babysitter who is known to you, with the appropriate skills and experience for the age of your children.
There is quarterly membership fee of £13.85, which will renew at 3 month intervals until cancelled. If you book by credit card there is a £4 fee and for away addresses and hotels you pay a booking fee of £6 per sit. There is also a charge for short notice placements which are requested less than 12 hours before the babysitter is needed. After that you just need to pay the sitter for their time, which you do by arrangement with them. You can have two main "home" addresses registered and can also access the service while "away" from home, e.g. from a hotel or staying with friends in the UK. "Away" sits are charged at a different rate. This is a convenient and cost effective way of finding childcare at short notice. Unlike private babysitters, there is also the added benefit of always having many other options available to you, if your regular sitter is not available.
The site has a professional look with no adverts cluttering the view. This means they get all their income from you, the client and not from advertising revenue. It is simple to use and holds a collection of recruitment trade memberships. It testifies that it abides by the childcare code of proactive held by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. It is probably one of the more secure websites here and well worth a look.
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