Booking & Service
1. Why is there a minimum booking time of three hours?expand_more
The minimum booking time supports our sitters to cover travel costs and be willing to give up their free evening to complete your booking.
On certain busy days, our sitters are in higher demand. To help us fulfill your booking we ask that you pay the sitter for a minimum of 4 hours.
2. Can I have the same SafeCircle Sitter each time I book?expand_more
Yes, you can add your favourite sitters to your "My Sitters" list from your account. We will send your bookings to your chosen sitter which you can change on each booking if you wish. However the more notice you can give us the better your chances of having your preferred sitter.
3. How much notice do you need if I want to book a babysitter?expand_more
We accept bookings up to four hours in advance and will always try to fulfill your last minute needs. For the best chance of us matching you with a SafeCircle sitter in time, you will need to select multiple sitters (we advise at least three) and to try and give us as much notice as possible.
4. Can SafeCircle Sitters provide care for my children during the day?expand_more
At present we are an evening babysitting service, however some of our sitters are available during the day at weekends. We are currently making preparations to acquire regular sitters who are available to provide care during the day and we will notify member families to changes through our website and update emails.
5. Can I have a SafeCircle Sitter if my children have friends or family over?expand_more
Yes, other children from the extended family or friends can be included as a one off or for special occasions. You will need consent from the person with parental responsibility for the other children to be in the care of a SafeCircle Sitter.
We request that at the end of the booking when you 'End and Pay' through your account you add an additional 1 hour to the booking to cover this additional responsibility.
For safety reasons we do not recommend that SafeCircle Sitters care for more than 3 children under 3 years old and no more than 5 children in total.
6. What time can I have a babysitter from and do sitters stay after midnight?expand_more
The majority of our babysitters have commitments to their own families or employment so they are usually available to babysit for you from 7pm. It is often possible to arrange babysitting to start earlier if we are able to give the babysitter a few days notice.
Most babysitters are prepared to sit after midnight on weekends and many are willing to work close to or after midnight during the working week.
7. Do I need to provide food and drink for the sitter?expand_more
No, member families are not expected to provide refreshments for sitters. We would ask that member families allow the sitters to use the facilities (microwave, kettle, cutlery) at your home to be able to prepare meals and drinks for themselves. You can expect that sitters will clear up after themselves as if they had not been there.
8. Do I have to pay the sitter for travelling time?expand_more
No, our sitters will not require payment for transport as they all have access to reliable transport to access the bookings. We do ask that member families pay sitters for a minimum of three hours per booking to warrant their travel time.
Checks & Experience
1. What do you mean by professional childcare experience?expand_more
All SafeCircle Sitters have experience and a qualification in a child-based subject. All of our sitters have worked in professional childcare employment in roles such as qualified nursery nurses, teachers, teaching assistants, midwives or as registered childminders.
We check each and every one of our sitters through our interview process and review this every three years to ensure they are still suitable to be working with children. You can find out more about our recruitment process here.
2. How do you check SafeCircle Sitters are suitable?expand_more
We recruit our SafeCircle Sitters from childcare professions where they have gained the necessary skills and experience to meet our standards. Each applicant is fully vetted in a 6 stage process including a face-to-face interview. We check references of current and previous employers and review this every 3 years to ensure they are still suitable to be a SafeCircle sitter.
3. Do all SafeCircle Sitters have police checks?expand_more
Yes, every SafeCircle sitter holds a clear DBS check. The safety of our member families is our top priority and unlike our competitors, applicants for SafeCircle Sitters will not be registered without a clear enhanced DBS check (previously known as CRB).
To ensure that this safety continues we also complete regular reviews of all our sitters to check they are still suitable to be a SafeCircle Sitter. Read more about our recruitment process.
1. I am really anxious about leaving my children with someone I don't know, wouldn't you be?expand_more
Of course, whether it's the first time you leave your children at playschool or for your first babysitting, it's natural that those same feelings of anxiety set in.
That's why we make it our commitment to review every one of our sitters in detail to ensure they meet the highest industry standards. Not only that, but we ensure they continue to meet those standards in the future. Rest assured that they would not be standing at your door unless we were willing to have them in our own home.
2. Can I meet the babysitter beforehand?expand_more
Whilst we are unable to arrange for sitters to come to your home prior to any booking, we hold events throughout the year at local family fun days where you can come along and meet some of our babysitters. To find out about our upcoming events follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
If you are anxious about your first booking we recommend that on your first booking you book the sitter to arrive early to allow you time to get to know them prior to leaving. You will then have time to introduce the children to the sitter, providing you with the chance to talk to them and feel secure in their capabilities. You'll also be able to observe how well they interact with your children and discuss routines and your children's requirements.
Why not ask the sitter to play with your children or read them a book before you leave so that this puts both you and your children at ease before you leave. Our sitters have been through a rigorous recruitment process and would not be standing at your door if we did not consider them capable of engaging your child and ensuring they settle comfortably in your absence.
Our sitters are always happy to send you a text to let you know how your children are getting on if this would ease your nerves.
Tip: Why not make your first evening out somewhere just down the road, and come home early.
3. Can I speak to the sitters before booking?expand_more
You can request a sitter to call you prior to booking through your 'My Sitters' area. On each of the sitters profiles there is a small button on the lower right hand side with two dots. Click here and this will open an option to 'Request Call'. The sitter will be sent an email with your name and number to call you.