“Hi I am Kelly and I am here to look after Eva and Monty”. A bright-eyed 19-year-old young woman named Kelly stands outside our front door.She looks exactly like her profile picture in the babysitting app when I selected her this morning. “Hello please come in”, I say, while I guide her to our playroom. Kelly walks in and greets my kids. Eva is five and Monty is three. They stop playing and appear excited to see this unfamiliar, but smiling face. Kelly kneels down and introduces herself again and the kids gravitate instantly to the fascinating stranger that just entered our house. Five minutes later I step in my car and drive away.
I will tell you why I, and many other parents, are choosing to have an online stranger babysit their children. And no, it is not dangerous, on the contrary.
These strangers are screened, reviewed and rated – It is easy to become a babysitter, but it is not easy to become a verified and top-rated Kin babysitter. The thorough screening process combined with the online ratings and reviews by other local parents make the selection process to find a suitable babysitter a breeze. The most popular online babysitters have 5 stars or a gold status. They often have a background or degree in childcare. I have had a Medicine student and even our part-time childcare assistant from our local day-care mind our children after hours. A good babysitting app is a meticulously screened and controlled online process within your local community.
When the backup plan fails the backup plan – We have a regular babysitter, fantastic neighbours, and a caring community, but we don’t have family living nearby and a lot of our friends are working and juggling a hectic household themselves. Sometimes you literally run out of options and calling around the neighbourhood to chip in can be a daunting task, especially if it happens regularly. Paying a trustworthy stranger to babysit surely seems convenient in some instances? It also stops you having to explain why and where you have to go sometimes.
Does familiar equal safe? – Do you rely a lot on your parents and friends? You are lucky if they are willing and capable to mind your children, especially if you have multiple children. Keep in mind when children and grandparents are getting older, the dynamics and different needs can become overwhelming. Pushing one baby in a stroller is a different ballgame to chasing a three and five year old around the house. Your best friend who was once happy to have your toddler over is now too busy with her own growing family. Sometimes “minding” someone else’s children can simply be too much. A much safer option is having a qualified and committed babysitter who is there for one reason only: to mind the safety of your most precious cargo.
You can’t split yourself in two – I am not just talking about working parents, even (or should I say especially) as a stay-at-home parent you only have two hands. You might be caring for multiple children but you also want to assist with the school carnival once a year, go to the dentist or do your Christmas shopping. Sometimes we need an extra pair of hands, because life is busy.
It is so easy and secure – No more last-minute cancellations (you just quickly find a new sitter online!), awkward negotiations about hourly rates or handing cash money. Every transaction is online, safe and simple. The babysitting app can even track via a satellite where the babysitter has been, what time she entered your house and when she clocked off. Hello 2019!
Being sensible – Make your own judgements and follow your gut instinct. When I scan through the online profiles of the babysitters I know what faces appeal to me, I read the profiles, I check the ratings and I often opt for the highest (5 star or gold) level. When the kids love one particular babysitter I always try to look for the same sitter again the next time. A good babysitter will arrive a little earlier and you will have plenty of chance to assess a person and ask any questions.
While I park my car I see my partner has already arrived in the restaurant. We are well overdue for a dinner date and I can’t wait to enjoy some quality time together. I walk inside and my phone beeps: a picture of Monty and Eva playing in the garden with Kelly. The sun is setting and I feel grateful for having this stranger in our lives.
Written by a Busy Parent & Happy Kin User
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