The link is about integrity and trust, or at times lack of. The more I hear feedback the more I realise that not all babysitting agencies operate under the same principles I thought were ‘a given’. To trust any business can be difficult, let alone leaving your precious children in their hands.
From all the feedback, both positive and negative we have received from parents who have used various babysitting options we have developed a list of questions to ask yourself to help you decide which babysitting agency to choose. Because price should not be the main contributing factor with little lives ….
Lets start with the business itself…
Does the Agency appear professional and have integrity?
Even if referred from a friend, a google search will give an indication of the business values. Does the website present well, does it answer your questions, does it show real people and a personal touch, are there testimonials that look genuine? Does it give you a good ‘feel’?
Do they have a good reputation?
Google and Facebook provide a lot of information. Ask the questions, read the reviews from various sites. Keep it in perspective if you see a negative review, you will often get one difficult client who will post a negative review. I is important to see how their post sits amongst all the reviews you are reading. Who are their clients, anyone you recognise such as large corporations or government bodies? These large organisations have their own reputation to uphold so do not want substandard affiliations.
Are they readily contactable and do they listen to your needs and concerns?
Whether a phone call, email, or message? Are you able to get a response from the agency in a timely manner? Are they child and family focused? Do you get the feeling the person the Agency selects for you will be experienced with children?
Do they provide all the information clearly?
When you chat with the agency do you feel like you are being well informed, have they answered all your questions? Did you get the reassurance you were seeking? Do you go away more confused than you started, or do you feel more knowledgeable? Have they provided information that you may not have even considered?
And what about the babysitters?
What credentials and training do they expect of their babysitters?
Anybody can put their hand up to say they can babysit as they do on Gumtree and Facebook, and maybe they can. But, do you just take their word for it? An agency should be carrying out checks, getting certificates and clearances, and ascertaining if they will be a good fit for the agency.
Does the agency monitor their staff credentials?
Many babysitters will come in with everything they need to start, but clearances and certificates all expire at some point. Who checks that they have renewed them when they expire? I have heard of many agencies that do not make this part of their quality assurance. If this is important to you, ask the questions of the agency, ask for expiry dates of your babysitter’s docs.
What standard of care will the babysitters provide?
We can all sit and watch television whilst the kids run around and entertain themselves. Is that what you are looking for when paying for a babysitter? What policies are in place that determines the standards of care and interaction the babysitter provides? Who monitors them and how does the agency deal with complaints? Does the agency have a HR manager in place? These questions help you determine which agency is professional and truly does care about the families compared to those that run it as a money-making transaction.
How accommodating is the agency with changes? What if a babysitter suddenly phones in sick when she is due to babysit for you and cancels the booking? What if you book last minute? What if you need to change the booking times and is there a fee applicable? You have found your own babysitter, booked her only to find out the kids don’t like them and she is due back 3 more times? When interacting with people there will always be various issues and unforeseen circumstances that arise from time to time and what you need to know is that your booking is covered no matter what and that the Agency can provide replacement babysitters and be understanding when you need to make amendments.
Sometimes choosing a babysitter and babysitting agency is like choosing insurance, often easy to organise, but you do not know until there is a problem how good they really are.
Do your research, compare the various babysitting agency options, ask the question whilst keeping the above points in mind. If you decide that Cherished Cherubs has the caring philosophy and professionalism that is important to you go to www.cherishedcherubs.com.au, or pick up the phone and talk to one of their team on 0417 927 525.