Parents, carers and disabled parents
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Special Needs Babysitter

NicoleENicoleE Member Posts: 4
Hi, I'm thinking about setting up a special needs babysitting service for families in and around South London. I'm looking for some feedback - is it a good idea, would you use it, what would you look for in the service, does anyone have any experience of setting up something like this? I would be extremely grateful of any responses, good or bad!

Many thanks,



  • bayleybayley Member Posts: 3
    I think it would be an excellent idea as I never was able to find anyone who could look after my son when he was younger.
    Advice? Well firstly get some experience of a wide range of disabilities so parents are reassured you've seen some of the conditions and know some of the challenges which can present themselves. Secondly, emphasise on all your literature and when talking to parents,that you realise every child is different and you want to know what makes their child tick, laugh, be comforted, stressed, anxious etc before you work with that child - so that parents know whatever the situation, you'll have an idea of what caused it and what to do. It could be you could do this via an introductory questionaire done at registration, updatedly annually to take into account changes and trends.

    Previous experiences? Well I tried to get a childminder for my son;many childminders ticked the box saying they welcomed special needs, but when I met them, they just talked about the ramp access and knowledge of dietary conditions as diabetes - when i talked about challenging behaviour and sensory needs for my autistic son they weren't too sure and neither side felt comfortable with him staying!
    I sincerely wish you luck with it - there is a definite needs for this service, however it is challenging, difficult work and takes a special kind of person to work with our special kids :) But you will be offering a unique service for parents who will be extremely grateful so go for it!!
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Hi. I'm based in NW Kent and the social services respite support centre recently created a baby sitting directory. They vetted and ensured all persons were CRB checked and had sufficient skills to match families. The list was then distributed to all families on their records. Not sure if the take up has been too good yet, but it has only been a few months. You could phone 01322 668501 and ask the staff for further details. Good luck, as we all know, finding quality helpers is like looking for a needle in a haystack!
  • NicoleENicoleE Member Posts: 4
    Thank you so much bayley and Heather, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. You have both given really helpful advice and also a lot to think about! I will, hopefully in the near future, be setting up my new service!! Thanks again, Nicole
  • JimJamsJimJams Member Posts: 175 Listener
    I dont think babysitting service is the way to go, I think I would be more inclined to take up the offer of a drop in service, I just dont feel comfortable with someone in the house with my child, I would however feel better taking them to a centre where there are a few people/carers and other kids. If babysitting was on offer I would need the person to get to know my child for a while as at home he is different to when he is out, At home he thinks he is the boss, in a centre he takes instruction and follows the rules better.
  • NicoleENicoleE Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for your feedback Marie, what you have said is very helpful. I can understand what you are saying and why you wouldn't want to use such a service. I am certainly not going to rush into anything and am still looking into whether it is something that would be utilised.
  • NicoleENicoleE Member Posts: 4
    I have set up a website, to offer my services as a babysitter for children with or without special needs. London based. Please have a look and do get in touch if you have any questions.

    Many thanks,

  • stiltwalkerstiltwalker Member Posts: 1
    I'm still in the thinking stage but I'd really like to sort out a babysitting circle. I remember my parents belonging to one when I was a kid where they earned tickets by babysitting for other peoples kids to use when they wanted a night out. We have a local under 5's group for families with kids with disabilities/additional needs (anyone/any needs welcome) and so I thought that once we manage to grow this group a little we could do it though that - we all have a knowledge base through dealing with our own little ones plus we have the advantage that due to a weekly meet up the kids also know all the adults so it would be a familiar face if/when they woke. Appreciating the fact that some members are single parents I thought people who didn't have a partner to leave at home with their own kids could earn their tickets by doing things like sitting with a child in the doctors waiting room/minding a child at theirs so you could take a sibling in or see the doctor on your own. Or maybe coming and being an extra pair of hands etc, as our kids have different needs this could work as my daughter has physical needs which mean I often need someone to hold the little one while I deal with her whereas someone else may need an extra pair of eyes.

    Any other ideas on this would be welcome.

    Thanks - Helen
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