Frequently Asked Questions
What areas do you cover?
We provide Night Owls sitters in the South Lakes and Lancashire areas (Kendal, Milnthorpe, Arnside, Lindale, Grange, Newby Bridge, Ulverston, Staveley, Windermere & Bowness, Ambleside, Grasmere, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth, Lancaster, the Wyre, Fylde Coast, Blackpool, Preston, Chorley, Leyland and surrounding areas). As we are providing a service over a large geographical area we ask parents to contribute 30p per mile for any travel over and above a 20 mile round trip from the babysitters home to your sit. Usually there is a sitter within a 10-20 mile area.
How much notice is needed to book a Night Owls sitter?
There is a minimum of 6 hrs notice required (although we can't guarentee a sitter at this notice). Generally at least 48hrs notice is preferable especially for Saturdays or busy times of year such as Christmas or New Years Eve.
Can I book a Night Owls sitter with less than 48hrs notice?
It is sometimes possible to find you a Night Owls sitter with short notice. It’s best to contact us before making a booking (either by email or phone) so we can let you know how likely it is that we’ll be able to find you a sitter.
What do the lifetime membership fee and booking fee's cover?
The lifetime membership fee covers the provision of the website and payment system, time spent registering your family details on our database, time spent vetting the Night Owls babysitters, uniforms as part of the security system, administration and getting the word out about the service. The booking fee enables us to match your booking requirements with a suitable babysitter and setting up your booking (phone calls, texts).
What is a DBS Check (Previously known as CRB)?
DBS stand for Disclosure and Barring Service, CRB stands for Criminal Records Bureau. This is basically a certificate to say that a police check has been completed. We require every sitter to have one prior to joining Night Owls Babysitting. Most of our team provide CRB's taken in their current employment in childcare.
How are Night Owls Babysitters vetted?
Applicants are required to complete an application form. If they meet our strict criteria they will be interviewed face to face, where they will be asked about their employment history, experience and given childcare scenarios to answer. Once an applicant passes the interview process, written references are required, At least 2 references are taken, one professional and one character reference. Copies of qualifications, CRB and ID are kept on file. If you like, you can ask your babysitter to bring her qualifications along to the booking for you to see.
Can we meet the babysitter beforehand so that my child feels comfortable?
Please feel re-assured that every sitter has been very carefully selected & interviewed before joining us. However, we understand that it can be difficult leaving your child with someone unfamiliar for the first time. We suggest either booking the sitter to arrive 30 minutes earlier so you can get to know her & run through any routine or alternatively and if the sitter has availability an arrangement can be made to meet with the children prior to the booking. In our experience, children settle very quickly with our caring babysitters and are often asking when they will be coming next.
How early can I have a Night Owls sitter?
Most of our sitters can sit from 6-7pm. Many cannot sit earlier than this as they have other work commitments during the day. It is possible to book sitters to start earlier than 7pm but we generally need plenty of notice to arrange this.
How late will the sitter stay?
All our sitters are generally happy to stay till midnight. Many are happy to stay later, especially at the weekend. If you require someone to stay later than 1am, please give plenty of notice.
Can I have the same Night Owls sitter each time?
We will do our best to book a preferred sitter but cannot guarantee she will always be available. You are more likely to have a familiar sitter if you give plenty of notice. Please bear in mind that all our sitters undergo the same rigorous checks and are experienced in childcare.
Do you provide daytime babysitters?
We primarily deal with evening babysitting. Regarding daytime babysitting, It’s sometimes possible, if given enough notice, to arrange daytime babysitting, especially during the school holidays. This is charged at the daytime rate detailed below but depends what is required of the sitter.
What if I need to cancel a booking?
There’s no cancellation fee if you cancel more than 24hrs before a sit. However, if you cancel within 24hrs, a goodwill cancellation fee eqivalent to 2 hours pay - £20 is expected, for which you will be invoiced for and are required to pay via Paypal. The booking fee, paid at the point of booking, is non-refundable.
What if my Night Owls babysitter cancels?
In the unlikely event that your Night Owls babysitter cancels due to sickness I will try to find you a replacement. Where available the Night Owls Babysitting Proprietor will step in in so you don't miss out on your evening. In the rare event we are unable to find a replacement your booking fee will be refunded and your next booking fee will be free. Where a babysitter cancels due to circumstances beyond their control e.g. severe weather conditions, we regret we cannot refund the booking fee.
Why is the hotel and holiday accomodation hourly rate higher?
This hourly rate set is the standard rate in the area for guest bookings. Rest assured Night Owls Babysitters do complete extra checks such as a hotel/accomodation risk assessment, locate fire escapes and prepare to take the best possible care of your children in the event of an emergency. We are also able to provide a babysitting bag of age appropriate toys and carefully selected childrens DVD's if requested.
What is the Night Owls babysitter hourly rate?
All of our Babysitters are experienced and qualified and often work unsociable hours, therefore deserve the hourly rate we set.
The rate for daytime and evening babysitters within the home is £10.00 per hour (covering 3 children) up until 1am, then £15 per hour thereafter. Extra children £3.00 per hour extra
For weddings, parties/functions/hotel and holiday accomodation bookings the rate is £15.00 per hour (covering 3 children). Other rates apply for larger bookings.
For bank holidays and special dates/days like Christmas/New Year's, Valentines Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day-the rate is negotiatble with the babysitter and dependant on number of children and babysitter experience.
*The babysitter is to be paid in cash by the family at the end of the booking.
** we ask you kindly to pay the babysitter rounded up to the nearest half hour
***Please note: If in the unlikely event we don't have a babysitter available, your booking fee will be refunded if a booking was made with more than 72 hours (3 days) notice
How do I pay?
The Registration Fee/Booking Fees are payable through Paypal or credit card via the book online page or using the button below.
PLEASE NOTE: Clients will no longer be able to pre-book a sitter without paying upfront.
The hourly rate is payable to your babysitter at the end of the evening. Babysitters can accept cash only. Please inform us prior to the booking if you will require a receipt from your babysitter. They work as self-employed so will need warning to bring one.