Bubble Babysitting App
As a mum of two, with a 2 & 1/2 year old and a 7 month old, you might think I’ve got it down with babysitters but I have actually never used one before.
We do go out, don’t worry, but we are incredibly lucky to have my sister living close by and parents (& parents in law) living not much further and so we have always relied on our little pool of family to step in when we need childcare (day or evening).
Recently though there’s been a few times when no one’s been available and me and Henry have both had evening commitments. We then widened our search to friends/friends of friends/recommendations but still it’s always been a familair face, someone we know and someone that has met our children previously.
Bubble Babysitting App got in touch and offered £40 in babysitting credit if we signed up and tried out their website. They didn’t ask me to do a review but I found the whole experience really interesting and so I’ve put together a quick review in the hope it helps other parents out there who find themselves in the same childcare-less situation as us!
The opportunity came at a good time because we were supposed to be going for dinner with friends and neither my sister nor either set of parents were available. I was really apprehensive about using the site. I felt really nervous and slightly uncomfortable about leaving Jet and Nova with a stranger but I decided I’d at least do each stage of the process and then we could always cancel at the last minute if I got cold feet.
I’ve got to say the app is laid out really well. It’s incredibly straight forward and you are given all the information you need at each stage.
Firstly you set up an account which is super quick and easy, you just need to put in your address and what children you have. Then you select the date and time that you want to book a babysitter for and you ‘invite sitters to apply’
Then over the next few hours you have a little list appear of local babysitters applying for the job. (I haven’t taken a photo of this page as it gives a lot of information about each person.)
You can click on to each person’s profile where you can see;
Their distance in miles from you
How many previous sits they’ve done with Bubble
Special points: if they have a car, experience with newborns, First Aid trained, languages spoken
A little paragraph all about them, what they studied and previous experience etc
Their price (That’s one thing that I hadn’t realised previously, I assumed Bubble set the price but each babysitter sets their own price)
All babysitters also have to have an up to date CRB check.
You then have 24 hours to choose and book someone before the job disappears.
I found a friendly looking girl who was 19 and studying in Brighton. She had worked for a year as an au pair abroad with two children very similar age to my two so I decided to go for her, She charged £9 an hour which from what I’ve seen seems to be the average.
From there on in it becomes even more straight forward! Once you have chosen a babysitter it is all automatically logged. We had booked her for 7.15pm on the Friday night. She turned up at about 7.13(!) and at 7.15 the app automatically started a timer to say the sit had begun.
We had booked her for 3 hours and I’m not totally sure what the etiquette is about sticking to the time frame. We ended up getting home after 3 1/2 hours. When we got home, I went on the app and pressed ‘END SIT’ and the timer stops and works out the price for you.
There is then the option to add money for a taxi or a tip if you'd like.
I’m also not sure what the ettiequte is in terms of what you provide for the babysitter. Because I have only ever used friends or family we don’t pay them but always leave dinner and either drive them home or book an Uber. But because you are already paying for their time I’m not really sure what the done thing is. Our sit came to £31.95 and there is also a booking fee of £3.50 taking the amount to £35.45 so I added a tip of £4.55 (because we had the £40 credit I thought we might as well just use it up)
All in all I’d say I was really impressed with Bubble. It’s incredibly quick and easy to use and there is a lot of support if you have any questions.
For me my only reservation is the cost. But I guess childcare costs, there’s not really anyway around that! I think I’ve been spoilt by having family and good friends close so I haven’t had to pay before. But if you need a babysitter and you don’t have people nearby that can help then I would totes recommend Bubble.
Moving forward I can already see ways in which I think Bubble will help make my life a lot easier.
As a freelancer it is really hard to know what type of childcare to go for. There are often days when it would be really helpful to have someone for just an hour or so. To take both children to the park while I meet a deadline. But becasue my needs are so ad hoc I’ve never bothered to go through the rigmorale of trying to find someone local. I mean where do you even look?! I remember putting signs up in my local junior schools offering my babysitting services when I was a teenager. I guess Bubble is the modern version of that. Except much better, obvs.
Bubble is also great because you can find babysitters in different locations. We are based in Brighton but I often have events in London. Sometimes I take the children with me, sometimes they stay in Brighton with my sister. But sometimes I’d love to be able to take them to London so we can do other fun things either side of my meeting/event but just for the few hours that I’m busy it would be amazing to be able to go on to an app and know that a professional, reliable babysitter can meet me wherever and look after my babies for those few hours.
Its a very simple, obvious choice for date night but I think actually as a freelancer this app is a game changer.