Need a babysitter? There’s an app for that

June 27, 2019

Have you ever needed a babysitter at short notice? Or not been able to go out because you couldn’t find someone to help? Or had to shlep your child to the “no children allowed” wedding because you couldn’t find a babysitter?

Well, there’s now an app to help with that. WeSit is a booking app that connects parents with babysitters, and if your first question is “How can we trust the babysitter?”, well, that was my question too, and it gets answered below by Nqobile Msibi, one of the founders of WeSit.

I asked Nqobile a few other questions, and I was also keen to find out how she started WeSit, and what her babysitting background is.

“I used to work as a babysitter for some years as a way to supplement my allowance while also doing something I love,” says Nqobile. “Over time I came to realise that there’s no easy, on-demand way to book a babysitter. I lacked the necessary technical know-how to make WeSit a reality so I approached my partners Wisani Shilumani and Simphiwe Msibi who also saw the need to create a trustworthy and simple platform for babysitting. We got to working on WeSit in 2018 and were ready to launch by the beginning of this year.”

How are your babysitters screened?

We have a comprehensive vetting process that we conduct before a strict interview process that ensures we only pick the best babysitters. The vetting process includes a criminal record check (also known as a background check) that is run on every sitter as well as randomized reference phone calls.

How far in advance do people need to book?

There have been times when we’ve managed to get a babysitter matched up with a client and on their way in under an hour but we advise that parents book at least three hours in advance to give them time to read through each sitter profile, choose their preferred sitter and for their sitter to make their way to where they’re needed.

Can you rebook the same sitter?

Our booking process prioritizes the parents’ favourite sitter(s) to try and motivate consistency, however – if any request is made outside of their favourite babysitter’s schedule, we ensure that other sitters we match parents with would be just as great!

Is there a rating system – from either or both sides?

We do have a rating system from both sides. Families rate and give feedback on their sitters and sitters give feedback on their families. This ensures that they maintain a bond of mutual respect and communication within the WeSit family.

What is the pricing structure, and how much do the sitters take home? Is there an option to tip?

We charge between R100 and R130 per hour depending on the time of day as well as the number of children being looked after.

Babysitters also have an option to include the cost of transport into their sit or a convenience fee for times well outside of their desired working hours. Babysitters take home 80% of all sits and WeSit takes 20%. We are in the process of adding a tipping feature to our website but we’re more than happy with parents tipping our babysitters in cash when they’ve done a great job.

Can one book a sitter for day, night and weekends? Can one take a sitter with somewhere, like a wedding?

You can book a babysitter 24/7/365 and you can take a babysitter with you to events such as weddings, meetings, events etc – just as long as it’s communicated

Are the sitters trained in first aid?

Most of our babysitters are trained in first-aid and those who don’t are working on obtaining their certificates.

What are basic guidelines for leaving your child with a sitter?

Before a sitter arrives at your house I suggest writing down your child’s bedtime schedule and routine as well as general house rules and how they are enforced.

We also suggest telling your sitter what to do in case there’s a power outage, this includes showing them where your torch, candles and matches stay or how to turn on the generator. I suggest writing everything down so that you don’t forget anything when the sitter gets to your home.

Writing out a list of any allergies as well as the location of any emergency allergy medication such as an EpiPen could prove vital. Also leave a list of emergency contacts such as your child’s doctor, the number of your security company and the contact details of any nearby relatives.

Leave out or point out important things such as your children’s pyjamas for the night, favourite toys, toothbrush, toothpaste, favourite food, games and whatever helps them sleep.

WeSit is currently in Cape Town and Joburg. For more info you can head to the site, or if you have any questions, I’m happy to direct them to the WeSit team, and send you the answers.

Images via Shutterstock

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