When Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea (or BOKAC as they are know) contacted me to trial their service a few weeks ago, Mr Jones and I did have a good long think to weigh up the pros and cons. BOKAC is a clever local babysitting service that enables parents to book experienced babysitters online.
After a few e-mails with Anna, the owner of BOKAC, we decided that the best way to go about this would to book the babysitter for just before the children's bed time. That way, they could get to know her and wouldn't be alarmed should they wake up when we were out for dinner.
The next step was to book a babysitter on the BOKAC website. Each babysitter has a detailed profile on line, listing their qualifications, experience, interests and even languages spoken. Anna advised me to pick a few Babysitters and they then accept or decline your booking depending on their availability. The whole process is paid for online and the standard fee is a very reasonable £10/ hour, all babysitters live locally so no travel expenses are incurred.
Our babysitter was Tiffany, she was very punctual and had a very friendly but no nonsense approach to the children, they both took an instant liking to her. Although Tiffany was quite happy to put the children to bed, Mr Jones and I didn't want to unsettle them too much so we tucked them in ourselves. I had planned plenty of activities to tire them out that day and thankfully they were both asleep in record time.
Mr Jones and I snuck out of the house like naughty teenagers, not quite believing our luck that the children were both asleep before 8 and that we were actually getting a night off!!! I had always imagined that the first time we used a babysitter, I would be so nervous that I wouldn't enjoy myself but that wasn't the case at all. I felt completely at ease leaving the children at home in Tiffany's reliable care.
We booked dinner at Bumpkin, it is one of our favourite restaurants but it is also quite close to home in case of emergencies. I did text Tiffany whilst we were having dinner and she reassured me that everything was fine. Typically we were served in record time and before we knew it, it was time to go back home.
I have come to realise that whilst I adore my children, it is really important for my hubby and I to have some time to ourselves on a regular basis and I will most certainly be using BOKAC again. I found the whole process really efficient and stress free. The online booking system is really easy to use and I like the fact that it's all paid for via the website so you don't have to worry about cash. Importantly, the babysitter herself was absolutely fantastic and I would be more than happy to have her look after the children again. I only wish that I had come across Bokac sooner!