Frequently Asked Questions for The Sitter’s Circle

When it comes to your first sit, we know that parents sometimes feel a little nervous about what’s expected of them and how everything will go. We’ve put together some top tips for you to follow when booking your first sit, so that you can enjoy your time to yourself without any last-minute stress:

1. Check in with your sitter beforehand.

Communication is always key to making both you and the sitter feel comfortable. Sending them a quick message to say hi in the in-app chat is a great way to break the ice!

2. Share your expectations.

Sitters love to know in advance what you'll need them to do on a sit, so if you have any specific requirements be sure to share them beforehand. Let them know a bit about your kids too – it helps them come prepared.

3. Make them feel at home.

Show them around when they arrive, and highlight where the important things are (e.g. the favourite toys, the kids' rooms and the wifi code if they need the internet).

4. Keep them updated.

Running late is usually fine – and sometimes unavoidable. Sitters are generally flexible and are often willing to stay on a bit later, but they always appreciate you letting them know as early as possible.

5. Can I pay my babysitter in cash?

The Sitter’s Circle app tracks the job to the minute allowing parents to pay their babysitter in a tap at the end.And we find that both parents and sitters love the convenience and simplicity of cashless payment.Payment on The Sitter’s Circle is completed in a tap of the app, cash payments are not accepted.

6. How do I change the timings of the Booking?

Once a booking is confirmed, if you need to edit the start time you can do this quickly and easily in the app.Find the sit in your My Bookings section and you'll see an "amend" option at top right of the screen.Use that to go in and edit the start time.Of course, we strongly advise that you double check with the babysitter first that the new start time is OK for them.If it's not, simply cancel this booking before going on to book someone else.

7. What if I need to cancel the Booking?

To cancel a confirmed booking, simply go into the app and via the My Bookings section you'll be able to get onto the specific booking page.There's an option at the bottom to cancel the booking and message the babysitter.When cancelling your sit within 3 days of the start time, the app will offer you the option of making a goodwill payment to your babysitter. We do encourage everyone on the platform to be considerate when making cancellations - especially at short notice and during peak times (e.g. Saturday night.)When cancelling your sit within 24 hours, the applicable The Sitter’s Circle booking fee will still be charged.

8. Who stops the Booking at the end?

Once you've arrived home, it's time to end the sit in the app and pay your sitter.Both you and your sitter can end the sit from the Active Bookings screen via either of your apps.Once the sit has been stopped, you need to confirm the timings and price is correct before completing payment in the app.The app allows you to add tips and edit the start and end times if need be (e.g. if the sit actually started later than planned).This will ensure you only pay the correct amount - even in the event that the sit was not stopped until a few hours after your sitter's gone!

9. My sitter just cancelled. Please Help Me

The fastest way to find a replacement at short notice is to Post a new job out to more sitters in the area who can then apply.You will still always be in control of which sitter you want to book, and using this method ensures you can quickly see a list of willing sitters around you, who'd like to step-in and help.While we're not an agency and do not employ the babysitters ourselves, it's obviously incredibly important to us that the babysitters on the platform are providing parents with a trusted and reliable service.We therefore do take action when we discover that a babysitter has let a parent down by cancelling on them - especially when it's at short notice.

10. What happens if I forget to end the sit?

One of the nice things about The Sitter’s Circle is that as a parent, you can pay the exact price of your sit - to the minute - on the app. If for whatever reason you or your sitter did not stop the sit at the correct time - or if the sit started sooner in the app then when the babysitter actually arrived - you can easily correct this before paying. Simply tap on the start and end time fields in the payment page to edit either of these. As you do this, the price you're being asked to pay will update automatically and you'll only ever pay the correct price.

11. My sitter is late: what should I do?

First off, use the messaging tool in the app to get in touch with them to see where they are. Hopefully they'll beat you to it. And please note that you will only pay the sitter for the exact time they actually sit. So if they do show up late, you’ll be able to use your discretion to edit the start time of the sit in the app when paying at the end. And if you need to find someone else fast, Post a job to find willing replacements within minutes.

12. Rating and reviewing your babysitter

At the end of each sit, you’ll be prompted to leave a review of your experience with the sitter.You’ll be asked whether you’d recommend or use the sitter again on the App.The sitter will be reviewing and rating you in the same way. It’s a system that encourages the best behaviour on both sides and will ensure that both sitters and parents get the best experience possible.Your review is then visible to other parents on the app who may wish to book this sitter. Likewise, when you request sitters, they will be able to tap on your profile to view any reviews left by babysitters who have sat for you.

13. How do I go about interviewing my shortlisted sitters?

When you're viewing the profile of an applicant, you can "Shortlist" them. At this point, it’s up to you really how you go about interviewing them. You can use their mobile number in the app to contact them, schedule a face to face interview or even a Skype call if you prefer. Whenever you’re ready to confirm your choice, just go into the app, select the sitter on your request page and confirm the booking in a tap.

14. Do I need to pay the sitter for this interview?

That’s up to you, though we always do encourage parents to pay a sitter for their time. Much will depend on how long you want to meet them for, how far they need to travel and what they might be giving up work-wise to attend. Each scenario is different though, so we feel it’s best left to the parent and sitter to decide this between themselves.

15. How do I pay the sitter for the sits we agree to do?

You pay them via the app. Once your bookings are confirmed, each sit within your job will be created in the app, and you’ll be free to edit, amend or even cancel each individual sit as you see fit. Once the sits are confirmed they’ll work like a normal sit. The timer will track the length of the sit and you’ll be able to stop it and pay for it in a tap at the end.

16. Will my favourite/regular babysitters get my request?

Yes. Babysitters you’ve used before, or those you’re connected to will always be in the first batch of babysitters who can apply for your job. That is as long as they’re marked as “available’ in the app. So if they can do it, they’ll get the request, apply for the job and you’ll be able to pick them.

17. Can I still specify which babysitters to send my request to?

Yes. You can use our "Meet the locals" feature in the app to see some local sitters around them, whom you can favourite or send a direct requests to. You may also use the "Favourites" option to send a direct request to sitters you have used favourited before. They’ll then accept the job request if they’re available. The advantage of Posting a job instead is that it’ll notify you of babysitters who 100% want your job – and you still get to pick the one who is right for you.

18. How will I know when a sitter applies for my job?

You’ll get a Push Notification when babysitters are added to your shortlist. You can also check in on the shortlist at any time by going into your app and having a look.

19. How long do I have to confirm the booking?

Your job will expire automatically 72 hours after you received the first applicant, Furthermore, babysitters who apply for your job will automatically become unavailable if they’re booked up by someone else. They can also withdraw their offer if you take too long and something else comes up for them in the meantime. So make sure you lock them in quick.