I know how difficult it can be trying to go out with friends, to events and with your partners. We have especially been met with this challenge recently as Mum is poorly she has not been able to have the kids. Our social lives has declined rapidly and to be honest there has been no point where I have even considered using any apps to try to regain it.
If you are unsure as to what I am rattling on about I will fill you in. At the moment, I have seen and heard about new ways in which parents can book babysitters and to be honest initially when I heard of these, I definitely did not think they would be successful. However, I know a few people who have used some of the new apps for their children to be looked after whilst they dine, work or attend social events and I may mention these have been positive experiences. I also, know some people who have signed up to the apps as babysitters and had quite positive experiences too yet, I am very apprehensive about trying this out myself.
As a parent, you download the app and then fill in your details, all of which are self explanatory. When parents want a babysitter they swipe through reviews, pictures and profiles of the sitters and then click a button to request and wait for a response. It is as easy as that. Yes, it is easy and convenient but how safe is this?
The Apps, state very clearly that they are not agencies. They are solely a go between for suppling babysitters by the click of a finger to parents who want childcare. They are basically an online version of a yellow pages with a few reviews which in my eyes could be completely bogus (created by fake accounts as some people may go to great lengths to be around children). Additionally, the apps could easily be compared to a Uber service, whereby you see what babysitters are available near your location when a babysitter is needed.
All babysitters need an identity check which is whereby their details (name and so on) are checked against their address. However, not all of the babysitters have DBS/CRB checks. For the babysitters that do, they are able to input their documents onto their profile but, this is not verified by the app service. As a parent you can ask to see babysitters DBS/CRB checks on arrival. However, before I began teaching I would not have a clue between a fake or real document.
I know this is a personal choice and for me I could not go out knowing that even if the children were in bed there was a potential stranger in my house with my children. Yes, they might be asleep but what if they woke up? How would Milo or Oscar feel if they were greeted by someone who was not recognisable to them? How do we know if the people are safe and unlikely to harm our children? Why do we ensure that all teachers and nursery staff are legit individuals yet it is ok to book a person from an app based on shoulder shrugging reviews to look after our children. Would we send our children to a nursery whereby we were responsible for vetting them ourseleves?
I would not be able to relax knowing that my children were at home with someone I hardly knew regardless of the reasoning behind it. My children are my all and they come first and before anything else in my life.
Are we being too trusting because the apps look ‘professional’?
Whats your thoughts?