I’d like to give Retha Koekemoer, a big warm welcome to our team. She’ll be assisting in checking references, assisting candidates through our application process, checking documentation, setting up interviews and working closely with all of you going forward! Welcome Retha! we look forward to having you on the team for years to come!
Another wonderful update for our staff and clients. We are adding candidate’s photo’s to profiles on our website. If you are listed with us, check out your profile in the next few days. We are uploading these manually so it may take some time before yours shows up. If you don’t like your current photo please send a new one to email@example.com . Please ensure that your photo is in an ID style but includes a lovely smile.
What we like:
What we don’t like:
Please do not send us photos including
- other people (or any part of another person either around you or next to you)
- Your friends
- Other people’s children
Sitters4U has just launched its updated website. The first thing you will notice is that Sitters4U no longer includes the frailcare section which is now available at www.frailcare 4u.co.za.
There are 3 places in which you can operate the sitters4u website, either using the quicklink section on the top right hand side of the page, or breadcrumb section under the main photo of each page or from the navigation bar at the top of the site.
In the first section ‘Au pairs’ you’ll find everything you need to know about using our service, including our new salary calculator. Using the calculator simply enter the number of hours you require per week, the minimum rate and maximum rate, you can use the guidelines provided to establish what hourly rate you should be offering, once you have entered this information this calculator establishes the salary you should be offering an au pair.
The au pair section also features a number of useful articles for parents to review, including interview guidelines, maintaining a good relationship with your au pair and everything you may need or want to know about the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
Next up on our service list is our babysitting club service. This service caters to long term babysitting clients looking for a reliable babysittiing service for occasional evening and weekend babysitting services. Most of our babysitters are teachers or au pairs by day and quality of staff and service, our number one priority. You can sign up for the club by clicking here.
Once signed up and registered, you can easily login at the top right hand corner of the site and make your bookings online. Select your chosen candidate , or leave it blank and complete the booking date and time. Its that simple. We then ensure that even if your regular sitter is not available, you have a number of babysitting options to choose from.
Our other services include frailcare services through the Frailcare4u website, housesitting, driver placements and the placement of tutors, facilitators, homeschool teachers, and trainers.
Moving on to our Apply section, you will notice the new news section displayed through out most pages of the website and throughout the entirety of the apply section. This feed makes it simple for candidates to see and receive new notifications about what new positions are available, i.e. Get an instant message via email everytime we have a new position available. You can subscribe to this feed by clicking the RSS button or filling in your email address for email notices on the website in the space provided below the feed. You can then respond immediately to positions as they become available. Please note only candidates that have been interviewed and approved for listing may respond to available positions.
We’d love to know how many of our candidates are using smart phones, or receive their email via their cellphones. Take the poll:
In our articles section you will find articles of interest such as , our positive discipline guide and information about the duties of au pairs and child carers. We also feature ‘How to’ guides for applying for listing with us, and a new section for updating your references and contact details for our already listed staff.
Au pairs, night nurses, babysitters, infant care specialists and drivers must all complete this form to apply. Tutors, home school teachers, facilitators and trainers can use this form, while house and pet sitters make use of this one.
Our application forms are all online making applications a simple 2 step process in order to be considered for positions. Complete the form and send your documentation as specified in the guide provided in order to be considered for interview.
We are looking for candidates for au pairing, babysitting, night nursing, infant care specialists, tutors, drivers, home school teachers and instructors. Listing and applying with Sitters4U is 100% free. Click here to recommend your friends to join our team. Please do remember that we require candidates to have professional experience with references, their own vehicle, a minimum of matric ( preferably higher) and a willingness to do a first aid course if not yet completed.
Over here you can find recommended childcare course providers.We highly recommend checking out the national first aid academy’s website if you are looking for a SETA approved coure provider at an excellent price.
For any other queries or questions, contact us by using the form on our contact page, or using one of the various methods provided on the contact page.
Sitters4U, putting you first, always.
I just want to tell you, you guys are the best au-pair agency in Cape Town!I am registered at 2 other agencies,and they never keep me updated on au-pair positions like you do,and not at all helpfull!!Sitters4u are really the best agency,and all my friends and family agree.Thank you!
Its receiving email like this from our staff and clients that keep us giving the best service we can give, not only to our clients but our candidates too!
Up until just recently Sitters4U was sending out a monthly newsletter, ‘The Mom’s Gig Guide’ . This newsletter featured events that would be of interest to both parents, children and staff. However after much debate, revision and review of our newsletter we tested a few different formats to determine what information the receivers of our newsletters prefer. After watching the statistics, we decided it was about time for a revamp! Sitters4U is about placing top quality au pairs, babysitters, drivers and more, while adding value to the service our clients receive from us.
Thus far we have achieved this through adding free services such as comprehensive guidelines on interviews processes for both clients and au pair staff, articles of interest, The Mom’s Gig Guide, the Mom’s Link Directory and a number of other services. The core function of Sitters4U though, is and always will be our placement services. We have found that while it is regrettably impossible to please all of our clients, all of the time we are in fact pleased about this. We prefer quality over quantity, it has always been the a golden rule I have held close to my heart through any endeavour I have undertook. If you are going to do something, do it properly or not at all. We cannot have a large number of perfect choices for any client, in any place, at any required time, if we did, we would need to accept 100% of the applying applicants and 90% of the candidates we would be promoting would not best possible au pairs or staff we could find. Considering the fact that only about 10% of applicants ever make it through the initial applications, interviews, reference and background checks, to join the Sitters4U team, and we are proud of each and every one of those that do make it all the way.
In our new newsletter we will still feature a calendar where you can link to the The Mom’s Gig Guide to keep up to date with what activities are happening in your city. However we will be focusing mainly on our newly listed au pairs, tutors, house sitters and drivers, who they are, what they have achieved thus far, details on their experience and what they are looking for in a family, their current times of availability, areas of availability, and salary requirements. We feel that this is a great way for clients to also become a little more informed as to new staff that may be of interest to them and be the first to request interviews with them.
We hope that our clients and candidates alike, will join us in welcoming our new staff to the Sitters4U team! We will be sending out the first newsletter on 28th of April 2010.
An au pair in South Africa is not your typical, often confused 18 year old who doesn’t really know what she wants to do with her life, moves into your home and starts caring for your children and doing light house work for a year before trundling home to make a real decision as to what do with her life. In South Africa, an au pair is much more than this traditional view of who and what an au pair is. An au pair in South Africa, is a professional, responsible, experienced and even trained person who cares for the child’s entire welfare whilst in his or her care and is not responsible for general household duties as their duty is purely to your child/ren. Here an au pair is a person who is passionate about childcare and for most of these special people this is more than just a gap year job, this is their career.
An au pair is expected to do a lot more than just supervise. An au pair helps with daily activities related to the child’s needs, from lifting to helping with homework, preparing healthy snacks and filling the children’s days with fun, age appropriate activities. This leaves time for mom and dad to relax with their children and enjoy a healthy relationship which ultimately will provide the basis to develop the communication and trust needed between children and parents as they get older.
Typically an au pair can be aged anything from 19 years to 55 years of age. The age of the candidate that works for a family depends firstly on the experience of the candidate and the requirements of the family. If your child is 3 years old you may find that a younger candidate works better and is really able to get down on their level, if the child is an infant, an older candidate will definitely feel more comfortable in most cases and for older kids, well that comes down purely to personality.
So what the most important thing to think about when you are interviewing candidates to take on this extremely important role? Personality, personality, personality. After years of working with both candidates and clients, watching some relationships flourish and others quickly dwindle, the most common denominator for both scenarios is definitely personality. You may find a family that wants a person with certain qualifications and certain experience and they pass up on the candidates that would work well for them in terms of beliefs and personality, for someone who has these so called required qualifications and not even a few months later they are back and looking for another candidate. It is really one of the saddest state of affairs, anyone can take a course, anyone can earn a certificate, why even you or I could. Yet this is certainly not an indication of a persons ability to work so intimately with you and your family which is part of what being an au pair entails. One cant expect to find a person living in your area at any point in time who has a list of qualifications as long as your arm and will actually work for your family, but you can expect to find someone who will work for your family in terms of experience and personality.
As long as the agency you are using insists that their candidates are experienced, have excellent references, ensures that candidates have first aid , a vehicle and preferably a tertiary education, you are likely to find that any candidate you see could do the job. You are also likely to see candidates who are very different from each other and thats what the interview process is all about, establishing which one of their personalities will work for you. Sitters4U believes in this theory and for the clients who have taken this advice from us the process has worked extremely well!
What does an au pair cost these days? Well for starters the benefits include the fact that your child is receiving constant one on one attention, he or she is not lost in a sea of children where there is only one or two teachers available to assist. Your child can flourish under the guidance of an au pair if you and your children work with her. They will drive the children around, set up the playdates, sort out the homework, ensuring your child/ren lead a more active and fulfilling life. You will have more quality time with your angels and really the benefits are so far reaching the list goes on and on. The average rates can be worked out as follows; most candidates will not work less than 3 hours per day and the average salary of a candidate working part time (3 hours to 5 hours per day ) ranges from R 3500 to R 6000 per month. For full time long term au pairs you can expect to pay salaries ranging from R 6000 to R 12 000 per month depending on the hours and requirements. If the au pair will be assisting with your new born, your 2 year old and 5 year old children and working from 8am to 6pm, expect to pay a salary of around R 9000 to R 12 000 per month. It may seem a little steep but what is the alternative? Play school, driving around, a nursery ( full of other babies) , constantly picking up bugs from other kids, doctors fees, time off work, perhaps a domestic nanny ( would you really want your children to be simply supervised and put in front of a TV, while the domestic cleans up the house and your children don’t know what to do with themselves, doing everything except what they are supposed to be doing or not receiving the attention they crave and need to develop into socially adept adults)? I don’t know about you but I prefer the au pair option. Knowing that my children are developing and getting the attention they rightly deserve, that I wont have to take time off work when they get sick, that they are less likely to get sick, are more likely to be ahead of their peers in terms of their mental and emotional development and giving them an edge in life, makes me think well that’s how it should be. Maybe I am a little bias, but I have seen my daughter flourish over the years with her au pair and years ago, when I myself worked as an au pair I loved and watched all the children I cared for flourish. It is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world and mind you, not the easiest either. Not anyone can do this job and do it well. It takes passion, knowledge and an ability to work and match the families needs; socially , intellectually and emotionally. So think carefully about your needs and what you want for your kids and yourself and when doing those ever important interviews think to yourself as you are speaking is this person someone I can and my children can work well with. If the answer is yes, never mind the qualifications, you may have just found your au pair.
If you would like to enquire about an au pair in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Pretoria, simply click here and service with a smile is little more than a request form away!
Every now and again in the last few years we have had a number of au pair clients who arrive from overseas and request the rental of toys, until now no such service has been available.
Yesterday I received a notification.about a new company doing just this. Based in Cape Town, they are looking forward to soon expanding their services to Gauteng as well. Their rates are extremely reasonable. At the moment there are 2 contracts to choose from. Either a 3 Month contract @ R 100 per month or a 6 month contact for R 80 pm and a R 300 refundable deposit. There is an additional delivery charge for outlying suburbs and other towns / cities. Short term rentals are R 40 per day or R 200 per week plus delivery fee of R 75 (for a same day delivery).
The toys currently available cater for children from infants up to 4 years old, but they are also putting together boxes for older children as well which will be available shortly.
Every month customers will have the old toys collected and the new ones delivered. This can also be done on a 3 month basis, or they can swop out individual toys if your child is enjoying the current set. Newly recharged batteries will be included where required. Each set or box of, if bought new is valued at, at least R 700 and consists of a good mixture of age appropriate, educational toys. All good quality toys – from brands that we love and trust. Toys on Tap wants you as the parents and the childrent to look forward to every box delivered. They have even gone so far as to say that should your little cherub become attached to a certain toy, arrangements can be made to buy it from them at a discount.
To find out more or make use of this amazing service visit www.toysontap.co.za to see what they have to offer.
Let us know how you feel about your experience with this amazing new company and we will post your comments!
We had a great night and the boys as well ! They were really positive about Madeleine and even the littlest one asked in the morning where she was, he wanted her around ! We’ll definitely be in touch when we need a sitter again,
Its only a pleasure Chantal! As a new family just arrived in South Africa, we certainly understand how a good support system can be difficult to build and vital at the same time, and we will be there to assist you with your child care requirements for as long as required. Thank you for using our babysitting services and we look forward to assisting you in the future.
It’s strange, scary but also true how many children do not know how to read. I was watching a documentary recently on how children all over the world are being passed over from one grade to the next, without knowing the most basic of essential survival tools in our world today, how to read. This is especially true in South Africa.
So what is going on, why are children not reading, why is the learning process taking a turn for the worse? What can we do about it? For one thing, there are endless other forms of entertainment consistently available at their little finger tips. From TV, Videos, Games and the biggest technological culprit, the internet, games that talk to you so you do not have to read and in extremes it is simply a case of poverty or school classes so big that teachers cannot teach, and due to incentive based outcomes, teachers are passing the children as it is simply easier for them. Either way the least we can do for our children is give them a love for literature from a very young age. With it being proven time and time again, that children who read from a young age are likely to be more successful in life and are more likely to excel in whatever it is they do, reading should be a priority.
When is a good time to start reading to your child? Well from the moment they are born really. Even an infant finds the sound of mum or anyone talking, soothing. Not only does reading to your child increase their vocabulary at a rate you cannot even comprehend until they are much older, but teaches them that reading is important. Taking time out to read to your child can even be relaxing for you. It will instill a sense of curiosity and interest in your child and as they get older even help with your bed time routines.
The very best way to get kids to do anything is to teach them through example. Occasionally, turn off the TV and sit down with a good book. Doing so will help your children to see how important reading is. As your son or daughter grows, the two of you can read together. Take turns reading a story to one another, or read a page and then have your child read the next page and so on. Tell the story with enthusiasm and don’t be afraid to really get into it and make funny faces and voices. I have loved doing this over the years and have even taken it the point where I was doing a different accent and voice for every character in a story, which is a lot more fun than you think. If you enjoy reading time, so will your kids.
Personally I have been reading to my daughter since she was born and every night, as part of the bed time routine, we have read a story. From the time she was 2, she knew that bed time, meant story time and getting her to bed, even if I read the same book every day or the story was short, was never an issue. I am happy to report, that 8 years on, it has all been worth it. Just 2 days ago, she said to me ‘mum I think I am going to read to myself tonight’. I will admit, I love our story time together and was a little upset I wasn’t going to be included in this session. At the same time however, I was over the moon. So I put on her night light and just so that we had a little bedtime fun, handed her a torch and did a quick shadow puppet show for her. She proceeded reading ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ for 30 minutes independently for the first time. It was a moment I have been anticipating for years and I will never forget it. It made me the proudest mom in the world in that moment, for having successfully inspired a love of literature in my daughter.
Giving your child books for gifts instead of a steady stream of toys, they hardly play with, will signify how important books are to you. Even before he or she can read, you can encourage a love for books in your child. Purchasing classics and collections of books in all genres will definitely keep the interest high. Taking them with you to the book shop to choose their own will give your child a sense of control and allow him or her to explore his/her own likes and dislikes. Then by exhibiting curiosity in what your child is currently reading, and asking a few simple questions about each book can also encourage excitement and a natural inquisitiveness. When you do reach this stage though, remember not to push to hard. Understand that for your child, reading should be fun and something they want to do, not have to do.
Sometimes you will find your child may have trouble reading. By being closely involved, you will more likely be able to pick up where the issues are and stop them, in their tracks while any issue is still in infancy. To ascertain difficulties, asking your child to read out loud to you is the best bet, you will immediately see if they are struggling and with what aspects they are struggling. If you do pick up on an issue that goes beyond your capabilities, don’t be scared to obtain assistance, from teachers and other professionals. Once your child has a better grasp of reading, the desire to read will grow. Be encouraging and try not to show frustration at temporary setbacks that occur from time to time. Find books that are of great interest to your kids, and this will act as a source of motivation for further reading.
Even if your youngster does not require reading help, take him or her to the library to sign up for a library card. Visit the library regularly and encourage your son or daughter to try several different kinds of books. Make it an important, special occasion. You will both begin to look forward to these outings and the opportunity to relax and enjoy a good book in the calm, quiet atmosphere of the library.
If you praise your son or daughter whenever they read rather than watching television or playing video games, your praise will be rewarding to them and they will attempt to continue impressing you reaching new goals, slowly but surely, reading will quickly become a normal part of your children’s routine and one day you too will look back and say, ‘Wow, today I am the world’s proudest parent!’ as your child turns off the TV and heads to bed with their book, lost in a world of imagination and growing a strong and intelligent mind for the future.
You know, our website has always been a source of immense pride for me. Every word, page, article and piece of information has been created with love, thought and of course always keeping in mind that it should be easy for our clients to use.
I have just been using sitters4u. What a well-designed website! Usually these database-driven sites are slow, confusing and cumbersome. This site is a breeze.
All the best
Thank you Louise! You made my day.
It was Friday afternoon and all through the office not a phone was a ringing, when out of the blue, we got a call from Tilly. She needed help, she needed it fast, she was going away for the weekend and her 6 month old baby had no carer in hand, so we sorted her out, very quickly indeed. Tilly had her au pair at 8am the next day for the entire weekend.
In return she made my day by sending me this little note, I just had to share;
Thank you so much for Sthembiso. She was great!!!!!!! Our baby also loves her to bits
It was only a pleasure to assist you, its what I live for each day. Thank you for using our services and look forward to assisting again!
As a follow up to one of our recent posts , ” Mom, make up, a freeway and no seatbelt.“, I thought it would be a good idea to load up this video I took yesterday at our First Aid course, which we host for both our candidates and the public on a regular basis. Michelle van der Merwe, popped in to give a 15 minute chat child safety around vehicles.
The facts are scary. 84% of children in South Africa do not wear a seat belt. If you are in an accident driving at 50 km’s per hour it is equivalent to throwing your child off a second storey building ( that’s when you are in an accident with a stationary object) or having 30 adults stand on top of him or her. It is our responsibility to ensure that we reduce 80% of the fatalities in children involved in vehicle accidents in South Africa. Child fatality in accidents is currently the 4th leading cause of death in the country. All it takes is a few seconds, and yet 84 % are currently not strapping their children up! Wake up South Africa, 80% of these deaths are preventable.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Thanks so much for arranging this on short notice. Please find attached pop.
I am going to fax you a copy of the contract today. The original I’ll have to post;
So nice to be sorted out with home support so that I can actually get some work done! I have already recommended your company to a friend of mine.
Hows that for a feel good way to start your day? Certainly put the shine back into mine even though it is overcast and raining.
Sometime ago Sitters4U produced an article for our clients “Maintaining a good relationship with your au pair” which is sent to each and every one of our clients. Many go through this guide and tend to have fewer issues with their au pairs. Others do not and we unfortunately cannot do much about that, except to simply assist as we can when issues arise. We have just loaded a new article to our website, it is a guide that will make your relationship with your employer and your job as an au pair a little easier, more pleasant and long lived.
Click here to read : Au pairs: How to Maintain a good relationship with your Employer
Last year Sitters4U assisted Vanessa to find an au pair for her grandchild in Johannesburg. They were so extremely happy with our service, we have done it again for her this year with another grandchild in Cape Town. Thank you for the lovely comment Vanessa!
Thanks Bianca yet again for finding us what I am sure will end up being a great au pair!
Very best regards,
Just an email we received recently that I thought too lovely to not share with you:
Hi Nicole, I just want to say thanks for the interview yesterday. I found your agency much more interested and helpful than previous agencies I have been to. You guys are really great. I look forward to joining your team. Have a great weekend. Siann
Thank you Siann, Welcome to the team and have a fantastic weekend!
Received this morning from one of our babysitting clients, a big thank you to Vanessa for trying our service and putting a smile on my dial!
We were very happy with Karen. Davrin took to her immediately and I had a lovely evening while they played, it was wonderful!
We will definitely ask for Karen again next time we need help with babysitting, she is great!
Thank you so much for the service you provide to all us exhausted mums!
Today I had the pleasure of watching Canal Walks Fred Abrahamse & Marcel Meyer’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with my daughter. I have to say, what an incredible performance! The sound and lighting were spectacular while the make up, stage and costumes left nothing to be desired, not to mention the fantastic performances of the actors and actresses involved .
It was an amazing performance! My daughter loved it and surprisingly so did I. I will admit, there have been a few performances in shopping centers we have attended where I was far from captivated, if not completely bored but Canal Walk certainly knows how to put a show together! They really weren’t kidding when they said”visual spectacular” and said “Its a tale sure to mesmerize even the most hyperactive of little bodies.”
Take the whole family along for an hour in the world of Snow White, Sneezy, Dopey, Sleepy, Doc, Happy, Bashful and Grumpy in their little cottage in the forest at Canal Walk.Its playing everyday from the the 27th of June to the 19th of July 2009 ( excluding mondays). For exact times visit Moms Gig Guide by clicking here.
To book your seat with computicket click here
This came in from a candidate we interviewed yesterday! Welcome to the team Mia! We are looking forward to finding you the position you are looking for!
Here’s the email:
Thank you for a very positive service. I wish I had discovered sitters4u before I went to other agencies.
The interview really made my day!
…thank you for the email, it certainly made my day! It doesnt matter if you are a client or a candidate, either way Great service is our middle name!
Moms Gig guide for June 2009 was sent out 1 June 2009. Click here to view the online version.
Its your guide to what is hot and happening in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town for the month of June!
So fight off those” mom I’m bored” blues compliments of Sitters4U.