When this NS woman couldn’t find a reliable babysitter, she took matters into her own hands

When the struggle to care for her two children began to hurt her relationship, Alexis Simon sought out babysitters to let her spend time alone with her husband, Matthew.

Not originally from Atlantic Canada, she « didn’t have that village everyone is talking about » to help care for her children, Simon told CBC Radio. Halifax Information Morning.

She had to hire babysitters through Facebook and on the advice of neighbors.

The results were unpredictable. A babysitter didn’t know how to change a diaper. Another was terrified of dogs after assuring Simon it wouldn’t be a problem.

Toronto experience

While on vacation in Toronto, Simon said she wanted to see a Blue Jays game with her husband. She Googled babysitters and found several agencies.

She booked a babysitter within 10 minutes and said she was happy with the results.

« I felt comfortable leaving her because I knew she had her background check, her references, she had recommendations from other parents who had used her in the past, and that was a great service, » Simon said.

Inspired by this experience, Simon started her own agency — the Atlantic Babysitters Club — out of her Halifax home.

She said she interviews babysitters and checks references.

Prospective applicants are required to undergo a background check and provide CPR certification.

The agency currently has nine babysitters on its roster.

living wage

According to Simon, the agency charges clients $24 per hour. Babysitters earn between $15 and $18 per hour depending on their previous experience.

Simon said the cost might be a bit more than parents normally pay, but she hopes they understand that she wants her babysitters to earn a living wage.

Plus, she said, the ease of booking and having her sitters vetted should make the service more attractive.

Lucy Sharpe has worked with Simon since before the agency was founded. (Lucy Sharpe)

Simon said she would trust any babysitters on her list with her own children.

The agency’s website offers a four-hour minimum booking for babysitters in the Halifax and Moncton, New Brunswick area.

Lucy Sharpe from Halifax said she had been babysitting for around 10 years. She is taking online courses at Lakeland College in Alberta to become a child and youth counsellor.

She said she heard about the idea for the agency through a Facebook advertisement even before Simon started the business.

After an interview and a background check, she said she started out babysitting Simon’s two children.

« The benefit of working for Alexis with her babysitting business is that I don’t have to go out and find the parents, » Sharpe said.

« Instead, they’ll come to Alexis, go to his website and choose me if they want, and I’ll just get the booking and can start working for them. »

Feeling of relief

For most parents, having the freedom to know their children are with someone they trust for a few hours gives them a great sense of relief, she said.

This is a belief echoed by Jocelyne Perry in Moncton. She is another babysitter working with the agency.

She said she babysat a family on Saturday. The family had moved to Moncton from another province and it had been difficult for them to find someone they could trust.

Perry said people are going out more now and the demand for babysitters is increasing. She already has reservations in December.



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