FAQs

These are the Frequently Asked Questions. You'll probably find your answer here.

We are doing things a little differently, and raising the bar for Babysitting sites in the process, so there are bound to be questions.

If you can't find the answer here, please CONTACT US and we'll be very happy to help.

How It Works

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GENERAL FAQs

PARENTS:

  • Parents can start contacting Babysitters as soon as their registration is processed.
  • Parent's Job Ads must be completed and approved by us before they are published, which then allows Babysitters to contact them.

BABYSITTERS:

Babysitters can start contacting Parents as soon as they have activated and paid for their account, and completed their profile (which means they have completed the required fields as a minimum).

JUNIOR CARERS:

Junior Carers also need to get their parent or guardian to approve and pay for their registration. The Junior Carer also needs to activate their account and complete their profile as for other Babysitters.

Once your registration has been processed, we will send you a welcome email, containing your account password. Sometimes this email can be flagged as "spam" or "junk" mail by over-zealous email protection systems.

SO... check your "spam" or "junk" folders.

And while you're at it, add these addresses to your CONTACTS list:

  • admin@babysittersnow.com.au
  • messages@babysittersnow.com.au

Absolutely free. Free to join, free to use the site, for ever. The only costs that may be incurred are SMS credit purchases, and these are completely optional.

The legal system in Tasmania requires that all babysitting sites must register and operate as “agencies”. This increases operating costs significantly, which would make our service way too expensive - and unviable. Babysitting agencies do operate in all states, and are a very valid option for many parents, but they are much more expensive and less flexible than a service like ours.

 

Because you just can't have too many Koalas.

Actually, the Avatars are more than just a fun aspect of the site, they are a security feature. We chose not to create a site with thousands of pictures of young women and children, for obvious reasons.

And the Koalas are so cute.

Those fabulous Koalas that appear in the Avatars are manufactured by Nici and distributed in Australia by Jasnor. The bear we used is called "Joey", from the "Wild Friends" range. Joey the Koala is used with permission.

USING THE SITE

Default sorting order for search listings is based on proximity, then on how recently a member has visited the site.

So your listing will appear when you are close to the searchers's location. The way to keep your listing high in these search result screens is to login to your account on a regular basis.

Once a Parent has completed a Babysitting Job Ad, it is automatically submitted for approval by us.

If there are no issues, we generally approve Ads within 4 hours, depending on when the Ad was submitted (we generally aren't approving anything at 2AM).

All full members can make contact with other members. Note that Babysitters can only contact Parents, not other Babysitters - and vice versa.

From the search listing, click through to the Babysitter Profile or Job Ad. Under the avatar, you'll find a "CONTACT" button. Click this to send a message.

 

You will receive a notification email. Click on the link in this email and the website will launch, showing a page with the full message on it.

Upload files to your account in "my Attachments".

These will then be available to be attached to your messages.

Endorsements are designed to be positive reinforcement for great babysitters (and parents).

We believe that unmoderated endorsements (or reviews) can easily be abused, and can do far more damage than good. All it takes is for one unreasonable parent to make an unfair comment about a babysitter, to stop all enquiries flowing through to that babysitter.

This is also the reason we don't have a rating system. While both of these sound like GREAT ideas, and they CAN work for things like music or movie reviews, they are VERY problematic for sites like this.

We do believe, however that good endorsements from real people will enhance any members Profile/Job Ad, adding great credibility. We believe that great carers (and parents) will easily garner great endorsements, while poor performance will not be rewarded.

We also believe that it's not only the carers that should be able to receive endorsements, but that Parents can also benefit from positive comments from Carers.

Those that want to flag bad behaviour should contact us immediately and we'll take appropriate action.

A rating system is often suggested as a feature that would help members choose between candidates. Ratings are a feature of many sites, including auction and retail sites, review sites etc.

While ratings CAN be useful in some settings, they can also be very damaging in others.

We have considered introducing a ratings system, but we've decided against it because we feel that it would have an overall negative impact on the site, outweighing any potential benefits.

Some of the reasoning behind this decision:

  • Subjectivity: Choosing a Babysitter is an incredibly subjective task, involving a complex mix of characteristics, context and "chemistry". We don't believe that a ratings system adds any real value in terms of choosing between potential candidates. In fact, we feel that it actually creates a powerful barrier to effective decision making in such a sophisticated transaction.
  • Sorting tools: Ratings systems are designed to help people choose between options, but we have already provided a very high level of sorting functionality in the site, which allows both babysitters and parents to filter through potential candidates very quickly and efficiently.
  • Love: This site and the community of people that gather around it are characterised by generosity, thoughtfulness and responsibility. We value that and work very hard to affirm and maintain it. We feel that a ratings system has too many negatives, which would undermine the wonderful spirit of the site for no real benefit.
  • Unreasonable criticism: It will only take one negative comment to destroy a babysitter’s chances of getting ANY further work. While this could be considered fair in some cases, there are also many cases where the criticism is unwarranted.
  • Quality: It is genuinely hard to find a dud babysitter or parent. The overwhelming majority of the thousands of sits that happen every year are fantastic exchanges that are wonderfully satisfying for all parties. While a ratings system might offer a veneer of "reliability" that could help to allay first-time concerns, we feel that it is actually redundant.
  • Confidence: There are many things that help to build confidence in a babysitter, which we believe are far more credible than a rating. These include references, referees, endorsements and things like number of sits and personal history.
  • Incentive: An argument for ratings is that it provides incentive for a babysitter to perform well. We feel that good performance is already an outstanding feature of the members of this site, and that good character and common courtesy drive our members to "perform" well. Other, more practical incentives to perform well include getting good endorsements, repeat work, referrals and additional references and referees. There is also the incentive of not being reported to site administration for poor behaviour and potentially losing membership.
  • Disputes: Yes, poor ratings, or negative criticism always leads to disputes - and that’s just too much pain for no real benefit.
  • Weight: Ratings only start to add value when there are a significant number of ratings for each “item". On a site like this one, it is unlikely that many babysitters will receive enough ratings for them to actually have any sort of credible statistical weight.
  • Skewing: While ratings may help in choosing a camera, what happens on a site like this is that the babysitters with the best rating will get all the attention, creating a very narrow view of what is actually on offer. It also creates a context where those most able to "work the system" do well - regardless of how good they are as a babysitter. In addition, it means that parents can feel, if they have missed out on the top rated babysitters, that they then have to “settle” for “second rate” babysitters - which is quite simply not true in most cases.
  • Redundancy: An ironic failing of many ratings systems happens when MOST people have 4 or 5 stars - which immediately makes this useless as a sorting feature, because everyone is the same.
  • Endorsements: To help in the selection process, we have “Endorsements” (or "Reviews"). This is a feature that works very well in many sites, including Linked In™. It means that members can be rewarded with positive recommendations from other members, and it adds an important layer of credibility to a babysitter's profile.
  • Punishment: For those concerned with punishing bad behaviour (as ratings systems can do) we are always available to hear complaints about members and we do take appropriate action.

So yes, we've considered a ratings system - we are very serious about providing a peerless membership experience and are constantly looking for ways to improve.

And it is for this very reason that we've decided not to include a ratings system; we don't believe it would add value for our members, and that it would probably be very negative for the site.

Favourites are set by clicking on the heart icon, either on their search listing or the Profile/Job Ad of the member you are interested in.

You don't need to be a member to select Favourites, but you will need to login to save the list in your account.

Yes. Once you set up your Alert you will then receive babysitter job alert emails whenever there is a new listing that meets your requirements.

All sites of this nature have the potential to be misused. We have solid security protocols in place, but there are some things that you should do to stay safe.

  • Please DO NOT include your home address, surname or any contact details anywhere within your profile. This is a significant security measure. The messaging system is powerful, fast and easy to use - and it will help to keep you safe online.
  • Please DO NOT include your home address, surname or any contact details in your FIRST CONTACT message. If the Parent is interested in your profile, they will reply to your message.
  • If you find any profile that looks suspicious, or receive any messages that are not related directly to Babysitting, please contact us immediately.
  • If any member says they are out of the country, please contact us immediately.
  • Never accept a job without first meeting the Parents face to face.

You may also find this article useful: Online Safety Tips for Babysitting

BABYSITTING... ETC

Rates depend on many things, including job description, number of children, location, qualifications and timing. You will generally get an idea of going rates by looking at other local listings.

It is illegal to pay anyone less than the national minimum wage, currently $16.87 (current at Sept 2014). This rate is adjusted down for juniors and adjusted up for casual work and things like evening or holiday work.

Generally, rates sit between $14 per hour and $35 per hour, averaging between $18 and $25.

Au Pair's advertised rates are lower than the average, as they are not technically hourly rates, but the weekly total after the cost of room and board is taken out, expressed as an hourly income. Example: $18 per hour for 20 hours, less $200 per week for room and board, leaving $160 per week, or $8 per hour.

This is answered in the site, go to Babysitters and More.

Sure. If you think you meet the requirements of the Nanny Wanted ad then by all means apply for it.

There are various checks and certification processes that can help to build confidence in a Carer. These include Police Checks, Working With Children Checks and being listed as a Registered Carer with the Department of Human Services.

None of these are essential, but they all help enormously. It is usually a definite advantage for Carers to have as many checks as they can gather.

Au Pairs may have trouble getting some of these checks if they are travelling from overseas. They usually need to make up for this with good references.

Nannies, usually being more professional, generally have all relevant checks and certifications.

Some families can claim the Child Care Benefit for payments to a "Registered Carer", a carer who is registered with the Department of Human Services (formerly the Family Assistance Office). Contact the DHS for more information or visit the site.

The Department of Education also has a list of "Approved Carers". Some families can claim the Child Care Benefit and/or the Child Care Rebate for payments made in some circumstances.

Parents can search for a "Registered Carer" using the Search filters. This will bring up both Registered and Approved Carers.

Some Carers on this site are listed as either a Registered Carer or an Approved Carer (note that they can't be both).

REGISTERED CARER:

  • Registration through Department of Human Services
  • Receipts issued can be claimed against Child Care Benefit

APPROVED CARER:

  • Registration through Department of Education
  • Receipts issued can be claimed by some parents against Child Care Benefit AND the Childcare Rebate

You can find out more information from the Carer themselves.

Generally, yes. Fortunately, a good nanny can help you sort this out.

There is some more information on Babysitters and More.

Yes. We give every member 5 free SMS credits to get going.

SENDING SMS: You can purchase SMS credits and send an SMS to any member that accepts them.

RECEIVING SMS: This is easy and FREE. Switch it on within your account and your profile will be SMS ready.

If you want to purchase more, credits cost 10 cents each ($0.10 inc GST) and are available in packs of 50 ($5 inc GST)