BABYSITTERS NOW aims to make the whole process of organising child care easier, safer and faster. These articles offer some help.

Everyone from Parents to Babysitters, Mother's Help, Au Pairs and Nannies should find something here, and we'll be adding to this library of resources as we go.

Reply Ratings: Count the dots

You may be wondering about those five little dots that have suddenly appeared on all the babysitter profiles and job ads - that's our new Reply Rating.

This simply rates our members for their responsiveness to first contact messages, with five dots being a full score. A dot is removed for every first contact message that goes unreplied.

We've introduced this, of course, to maintain a high quality member experience. The truth is that most of our members are extraordinarily courteous, but people still occasionally drop the ball.



If a first contact message is not replied to within 2 days, a reminder is sent to the recipient that the message requires a reply. The same again after 4 days. After 5 days, the recipient's Reply Rating is reduced by a point (dot). If a Job Ad Reply Rating drops to zero, the Ad is de-activated and the parent is contacted.

Some points to note:

  • First contact messages can not be archived or deleted until they have been replied to.
  • The Reply Rating only applies to first contacts. Non-replies to existing contacts don't incur any penalties.
  • If a Carer is having trouble replying promptly, they can choose a "LIMITED CONTACT" status (see below).
  • If a Parent wants to stop receiving first contact messages they can simply de-activate their job Ad.
  • It's easy to restore a Reply Rating.



To "redeem" your lost point, just reply promptly to the next two first contact messages that come through... easy.

Of course, if you have any valid reason you weren't able to reply to a message, you can contact us, as we are able to restore your Reply Rating manually (at our own discretion).

We've chosen to make the Reply Rating fully "redeemable", rather than allowing a single mistake to permanently scar your profile. We feel that this is a much fairer and more realistic approach, with the emphasis on encouraging prompt replies, rather than just punishing non-replies.



Introducing this Reply Rating means that we've had to introduce another small feature - "LIMITED CONTACT" status.

When this option is chosen, it will show up on the profile and warn the viewers not to expect a prompt reply. Messages can still be sent to the member on "limited contact", but if they aren't replied to within the normal time frame, they won't incur a Reply Rating penalty.

If you choose LIMITED CONTACT:

  • You should still reply to any outstanding first contact messages.
  • Remember to turn off "LIMITED CONTACT" as soon as you want more enquiries.

For Parents to stop receiving first contact messages, all they have to do is de-activate their job Ad.


While the vast majority of messages are replied to promptly, some are not. Most of the time, non-replies are due to one of three things:

  • It's hard to say "No". If the message recipient is not interested in the sender's offer, many find it awkward to know how to express this in a way that doesn't sound rude. The truth is, a simple "No thanks" is far easier to deal with than a non-response.
  • Pooling: Some members like to collect a few candidates before narrowing the field down. While this practice is perfectly fine, each message should still receive a prompt reply, explaining the delay.
  • Limited online access: Some people prefer to keep their internet usage limited, and are not online every day. While this is probably quite healthy overall, it can lead to great frustration if messages go un-replied for days at a time.

Whatever the reason, this new Reply Rating will encourage everyone to reply promptly to first contacts - and that will improve the user experience for all of our members.

We hope that this new feature helps to improve your own experience of the site, making all your babysitting experiences even more rewarding.

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