When it comes to babysitters we’ve always been lucky...having our parents 15 minutes up the road means that we’ve been able to negotiate a few nights out every year (sometimes a couple of overnight stays too – bonus) but that also means we don’t really all go out together - as sisters - with our other halves (we haven’t asked the ‘will you have all four children Mum’ question yet!! I think we can guess the answer).
When Mum’s not around (visions of Julia’s poor Mum, Marion in the Motherland TV Series) or we’ve just asked too much of her, who do we TRUST to look after our precious little ones.
To be honest mine are not so little now (age 8 and 6) but it still makes us nervous to think of leaving them with a stranger (I am the product of my 1970s childhood and the say No! to strangers ad has stayed with me). So, when we heard about the BUBBLE babysitting app (and its ethos around booking babysitters that your family, friends and community use and trust) we felt this could be an answer to our prayers (and probably my parents too if they are honest!).
Plus we currently use apps on our phone to order grocery shopping, organise banking, read/ignore parentmails, book cabs – why not use our phone to book the babysitter too?
Last Wednesday I took the plunge and burst my BUBBLE; Natalie and I had been invited to try the new Autumn/Winter menu at local restaurant L’Amore at One Warwick Park and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take our long-suffering husbands out, to thank them for putting up with our Mum’s the Word antics this year.
How do you use BUBBLE?
I must say, it's really easy to use – simply download the free app, sync it to your facebook, add in a few details and you’re ready to go. You browse and book, adding in the date and time you want to go out, how long for and then search local babysitters.
Now if you’re in London where the app has been live for a while you’ll have a plethora of babysitters to choose from, if like us you’re in Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Canterbury – the app is launching soon... There are babysitters on there but not the quantity that you will see in the coming months.
You can view the babysitters profile, see reviews left by other parents and in time you’ll be able to see which sitters your friends and community are using to ensure you get a babysitter that others have used and most importantly TRUST.
Bring on the Bubbles...
I picked a lovely babysitter who works in a private nursery, has experience of looking after children the ages of my kids, was first aid qualified and DBS checked.
Once booked and confirmed - we exchanged messages via the app about the sit (which completely reassured me that everything would be fine) and I also asked her to bring along her DBS.
That evening she arrived on time with her DBS, we talked about the children, ages, what to do if they woke up - made sure we were all happy... and then off we went to get the bubbles in! It was that SIMPLE!
After a delicious dinner at L’Amore and obligatory selfie to prove we did all go out together, followed by a quick nightcap in Chapel Place Gin bar we headed home – hoping that the kids hadn’t woken up! (all was fine).
How do you pay?
One of the best bits about BUBBLE is that it is cashless, so once back you press END SIT on the app and it transfers the money from your account to the babysitter, so no embarrassing conversations about ‘how much we owe you’ and raiding the kid’s piggy banks to find some extra coins! (The app takes a £3.50 booking fee per booking). You can also add a tip and give something back by donating a tip to Tommy’s the baby charity – all in a couple of taps.
PS Don’t forget the biscuits...
At the end of sit (if you’re still coherent!) you can leave a review for your babysitter (which then helps other parents when using the app) and the babysitter can also review too – so don’t forget those biscuits!!
We’ll definitely be using the app again as it was so simple to find a babysitter that met our expectations and needs (especially at short notice) and the whole process worked really well from start to finish.
So Mum if you’re reading this – it’s official you’re off the hook!!
Watch this space as we’ve got some joint events with BUBBLE coming up in the New Year!
Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know. And finally, if you want to find out more about BUBBLE click here and if you know anyone that wants to sign up as sitter in Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, or Canterbury – get them to check out joinbubble.com/for-sitters