If you don’t have family or friends close by who are able to help out with evening babysitting when you’re looking for some well deserved “me” time then really you only have two options
- You never go out…. ever! But surely at some point everyone needs a night off from parent duty even if it’s just a few hours, it’s totally ok to take a step away.
- You use a babysitter, but where do you find one?
So many parents are turning to Facebook to find a babysitter often posting in local community groups asking people if they know of any local babysitters. This type of post will always get a long stream of replies often with people volunteering their own services or tagging a young teenage friend or family member.
Asking your local community for recommendations for a babysitter may seem like a great place to start however professionals* have warned against this reminding parents that Facebook community groups are a prime location for sexual offenders to frequent. We are certainly not saying that everyone posting their services is a risk to children as majority of people would not harm a child however the point we and other professionals want to press to parents is that you just don’t know. Unlike a professional childcarer who has been through a stringent vetting process by a reputable agency or service, recommendations from a Facebook group do not come with these reassurance.
When considering the people who have offered their services on the Facebook group or the people making recommendations to parents, there are a few things parents should think about like; how well do you know the person recommending the sitter, how can you be sure that the person recommending a babysitter knows what a safe sitter is and do you share the same views about a babysitters; such as age, experience, reference or checks?
NSPCC** reminds parents that leaving a child in a situation which is likely to cause them harm could result in the parents being charged for child neglect, therefore careful consideration should be made to who parents choose to babysit a child.
If your looking for a babysitter we strongly recommend using a reputable agency or service like SafeCircle Sitters. Be sure that any service you do use has a clear vetting process for recruitment and this is clearly and open for you to see as well as information about how they review their babysitters to ensure that the vetting process is not ‘a one time check’ as this again leaves children vulnerable. All reputable services and agencies will check every sitter in person (not via Skype) and complete regular on going checks of their DBS, paediatric first aid and references.
To find a sitter in your area visit – https://safecircle.com
*https://www.mouthsofmums.com.au/warning-after-mum-turns-to-facebook-to-find-babysitter/#8wjarSuqcMWfckhZ.97 (although this article is from Australia, the same safety principles apply to the UK when looking for babysitters)