You’re overdue for date night, or have a fabulous event that you can’t wait to get dolled up and leave the kids behind for…only trouble is, there’s no-one to look after them! While family can be a great go-to, they aren’t always available when you need them – or they might simply live too far away. If you’re stuck for that next night out, here’s your go-to guide for where to find a babysitter on the North Shore.
Make-ups on, heels are dusted off, and the mum bun has been replaced by flowing locks… you’re ready to let loose for a night of fun and zero responsibility. All you need is a reliable babysitter on the North Shore to take over the parenting reigns for you (for those times dad is joining you for date night, or has his own plans)!
Where to find a babysitter or nanny?
Not sure where to start the search for your next babysitter? We have a number of options to help you find your next Mary Poppins.
Parenting in the 21st Century has definitely gone online, connecting mums from all walks of life. There are groups for everything these days, from feeding your baby to meeting local mums. It’s only natural that there are groups for babysitters and nannies too! Here are just some of the local groups for babysitters on the North Shore area:
- Sydney babysitter now: If you are a family looking for a last-minute babysitter on the North Shore, post your needs!
- Sydney Nannies, Au Pairs, Babysitters & Mother’s Helpers
- Babysitting/Nannying/AU Pair (Berowra And Surroundings)
- Babysitting/Nannies Hornsby And Surrounding Areas
Join the groups and post your job ad! Here are some details to include:
- When you need the babysitting services
- How many kids and their ages
- Where you live (just a suburb is enough on a public post)
- What you need from the babysitter: ie WWC. CPR, etc (more on this below)
- How you want them to contact you: you can ask people to comment on the post or PM you.
If you’re looking for a long-term, regular babysitter/nanny to look after the kids, an agency could be the right way to go. Here’s some of the benefits of going with an agency:
- They screen all the candidates, which means they will do all the necessary checks and already have held interviews before putting the babysitter on their books.
- You are normally covered for last-minute babysitting when you need it.
- Saves you the search!
Of course, the downside comes in the form of fees, but it can be well-worth it for the convenience.
Some of the most-popular agencies out there include:
- Day & Night Nannies
- Night Nannies
- Mayday Mummy
- Heavenly Households
- Little Lovelies Nanny and Babysitting Agency
- The Nanny Collective
Of course, living in the 21st Century, there’s also an app for that! Here are some great ones to help you find a sitter…
- Juggle Street: create an account in minutes and you can start connecting with trusted babysitters. It’s essentially an online community of babysitters that you can access for an annual fee (starting at $120 per year).
- Kiddo App: connects parents to local, verified babysitters and nannies in Sydney North Shore. It’s free to sign up and search, with no membership or fees! If you do book in a regular nanny, they simply charge $49 for the search.
- Sittr: this app aims to connect babysitters and nannies in your area. It’s also free to join, and get matched with the best sitters for you
There are a couple of websites you can use to find a nanny or babysitter, which sit somewhere between an agency and finding a local on Facebook. Here are some great websites for you to check out:
- We Need A Nanny: you can join this site for free and check if there are any caregivers in your area, before choosing whether or not you want to sign up. It’s $10 a month (plus a $65 joining fee).
- Find a Babysitter: simply search their database, post a job, choose your babysitter. This site costs $199+gst per year.
- Gumtree: you can also head to Gumtree and post your job ad for a babysitter on the North Shore!
You also can’t beat recommendations from fellow mums for babysitters on the North Shore. Next time you are at school pick-up, ask around and see if anyone has a babysitter they recommend. Here’s some other places to keep your eyes and ears peeled:
- Kids classes: if your kids attend kids classes, there’s no harm in asking any teachers if they also babysit.
- Gym: check out the noticeboard at the gym to see if any local babysitters are advertising.
- Childcare: you can also see if your daycare centre lets staff look after the kids in the evenings (some have policies against this, so be sure to check).
What should I be on the lookout for?
Finding a babysitter is just one step of the process. You also need to know what to look out for when working your way through any candidates. After all, you want to make sure your kids are in good hands while you’re enjoying a night off!
Working with children’s check
The Working with Children Check (WWCC) is a requirement for anyone who works or volunteers in child-related work in NSW. It involves a National Police Check (criminal history record check) and a review of reportable workplace misconduct.
Finding a babysitter who has their Working with Children Check means they have been cleared to work with children for the space of five years (before they need to renew it).
Having the right first aid knowledge can save lives. Knowing that your babysitter can jump into action in an emergency is great peace of mind while you’re out and about. From choking to head bangs, or even drowning, a CPR course is always worth checking for.
Some babysitters will also have qualifications up their sleeve, while others are doing it as a side hustle while pursuing a different career path. It’s up to you whether you’re specifically looking for someone with qualifications, just bear in mind they likely will charge more.
Difference between a babysitter and a nanny…
This is one of those questions that often stumps a lot of parents. Exactly what is the difference between a babysitter and a nanny.
- A nanny is a career babysitter. They usually have one or two families they look after on a regular basis each week. This is their career.
- A babysitter is a casual position. These are the people you call on for that odd night out!
Of course, nannies can also take on a babysitting role, but you can expect to pay more for their experience and expertise.
How much should I pay my babysitter?
It’s usually up to the babysitter to set their own rate, which can vary depending on a number of different things, including:
- If they have their own car (and can get to and from the job on their own).
- Any qualifications they hold
- Their age and experience
- How many kids you’re expecting them to look after
You can expect to pay a minimum of $25 per hour for a young babysitter, generally with no qualifications behind them.
If you’re looking for more experience, then that price will raise to $30-$35 an hour.
Questions to ask at an interview
Let’s face it, we’re all so used to being on the other side of the interview table, it can be daunting hiring someone to look after your kids for the first time.
Whether you’re chatting over the phone, online, or in-person, here are some questions you can ask to get to know them a little better:
- What experience do you have with this age group (referring specifically to the ages of your children)?
- Are you comfortable giving them dinner and following their nightly routine?
- Do you hold any qualifications? Working With Children’s Check? CPR training?
- Why are you choosing to work with kids?
- Are you free to meet the kids beforehand (if you’re not already meeting in person)?
Tips to ease the process
Ready to find the perfect babysitter on the North Shore for your family? Here are some tips to help you out:
- Work out if you’re after a babysitter or a nanny: is this a one-off gig, or do you need someone regularly (same time & days every week)?
- Have a few babysitters in your pool: finding a fabulous babysitter who lives nearby is great. Finding a couple you can also use as back-up options is even better. When it comes to planning a night out, you can’t always guarantee your regular babysitter is going to be free when you need them. Having a couple of options up your sleeve can help a lot.
- Ask your kids for their opinion: if you’re stuck choosing between a couple of babysitters, then ask the kids who they want over. Having someone who clicks with your kids is important.