Mobile phone apps have revolutionised the way we order taxis, choose a restaurant and book a holiday, but now you can also book a babysitter directly from your mobile phone too.
I have to admit when I first saw this my initial reaction was you must be bat-shit crazy to even consider it.
If you don’t have a family member living close by it can be a pain trying to find a sitter, and let’s face it, many grandparents these days are still working themselves – retiring in your 50s is not so common anymore.
But would you feel comfortable leaving your child to a complete stranger on the back of a few reviews?
Is your Yoga class more important than the safety of your own child?
Word of mouth and notice boards in children’s play centres are quickly being replaced by online resources and the babysitting industry is booming because of it.
Similar to Uber, the service can be completely cash free, last minute and available 24/7.
How do book a babysitter type apps work?
Pretty much the same as ordering a taxi!
Parents log a request, the app will then notify you of babysitters in your local area and you can confirm the booking within minutes.
Some offer qualified nannies, others are just recommended local people.
For an average of £8 per hour, you can have access to childcare at the touch of a button.
As with most apps these days, you need to spend a few minutes setting up a profile, whether you are the parent or the potential babysitter.
Who wants to call around a load of babysitters, leaving messages and not sure if you can go to that party
? We think it should be as easy as a friend inviting you out, you hit a button and book your sitter. – Charlie Cowan, founder of Gloucestershire-based Bambino
Who can sign up to be a babysitter?
This is the scary bit, for me anyway.
Anyone, from teenagers to fully grown adults can use these apps.
There are limited background checks from what I can see, despite there being much made of the dedication to safety.
However, it could be a nice earner for someone good with kids – I’m just not sure I’d be too thrilled if it was my niece or nephew being looked after by with a complete stranger.
How are people using the babysitting app service?
It’s not just for nights out.
Some parents are using the app to get a lie in at the weekend, booking a sitter to look after their kids for a few hours in the morning whilst they catch up on some kip.
Others are using it to free up some time to hit the gym and go shopping etc.
But the apps are proving especially popular for for late-night and evening requests, some even opting for overnight sitters too.
So what do you think?
Would you use this sort of service to book a babysitter for your children?
In my humble opinion, it could be a great little side hustle for someone who wants to make a bit of extra cash with flexible working hours, but I’m not sure I’d trust my own kids in the hands of a stranger if I had any!
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