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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.
The NFAA ( National First Aid Academy) is a SETA approved first aid course provider. Their services range from basic to Level 3 courses. As an au pair or child carer you are responsible for the children you care for and it is imperative that you are trained to handle any and every medical situation that may arise while you are caring for a child. Doing a simple safety course will not cut it. In order to care for a child you need at least a SETA approved level 1 course.
The NFAA’s level 1 course covers all of the following topics:
- Principals of first aid and safety
- Emergency Management
- Artificial Respiration
- One rescuer C.P.R
- Wounds and Bleeding
- Head and Spinal Column injuries
The duration of the course is generally 16 Hours or 2 days and it is one of the most reasonably priced courses in South Africa at only R400.00 per student, whereas most level 1 courses run for around R 600.00 per student. The certificate is also valid for 3 years.
Up and coming level 1 first aid course dates with the NFAA in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria are:
- Vereeniging/vanderbijlpark: 7-8 September 2010
- Bellville: 13-14 September 2010
- Protea Hotel, Victoria Junction: 21-22 September
- Elsiesriver: 31 august – 1 September 2010
For Further information or to book contact the NFAA on 086 163 2200
The National First Aid Academy ( NFAA) will be hosting their next First Aid Level One course this week on the 14th and 15th of July 2010 at 9 am in Belleville. The venue for the course is Belleville Town Lodge co Willie Van Schoor and Mispel Rd, Belleville.
This is a comprehensive SETA approved course. Course certificates are valid for 3 years. Courses cost R 450 per person. To find out more visit their website www.nfaa.co.za or Click hare to download the Registration form.
Other Course dates for Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria courses in July and August:
First Aid Level One Weekend Course : Bedfordview: 24 and 31 July 2010
First Aid Level One and Two Combined : Pretoria: 19 – 22 July 2010
First Aid Level One :Rustenburg: 26 – 27 July 2010
First Aid Level One:Pretoria:10 – 11 August 2010
First Aid Level One and Two Combined: Pretoria: 10 – 13 August 2010
First Aid Level One: Roodepoort: 16 – 17 August 2010
First Aid Level One and Two Combined: Roodepoort: 16 – 19 August 2010
Basic Fire Control: Roodepoort: 20 August 2010
Safety Representative :Roodepoort: 20 August 2010
First Aid Level One: Cape Town :10 – 11 August 2010
First Aid Level One and Two Combined: Cape Town:10 – 13 August 2010
Basic Fire Control : Cape Town: 20 August 2010
Safety Representative : Cape Town: 20 August 2010
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!
Its term 2 and time to join SynEdgy Conscious Educator’s Group for their 2nd Free Workshop this year ( check out the details of the first one here, if you missed out). Join Robin and Debbie on the 4th and 6th of May 2010 from 15h00 to 16h30 at Fish Hoek Library in Cape Town. I would like to encourage all school teachers, assistant teachers and au pairs to attend this particular workshop. This time around attendees will learn the skills required to assist children to resolve conflict with others. Knowing how to resolve a conflict peacefully and without assistance is a skill that we all require and for children in particular this skill will allow them to develop stronger relationships with friends, family, teachers, au pairs and others alike.
Teaching a child to resolve a conflict will assist you, while at the same time empowering him or her to understand that they do not need to always rely on adults to resolve their conflicts for them. Personally through my involvement as a child carer and as a parent myself, I have seen children feel absolutely helpless when they are unable to control their emotions in a conflict situation.
So be there, learn and share. Let Robin Booth, Founder and Principal of SynEdgy School, together with Debbie Ntshangase, qualified life coach and current pre-school teacher at Synergy School, lead you through this workshop to gain new insights and learn new skills to becoming the most effective educator you can be. As Synergy puts it, and I will have to agree,
Each and every person who interacts with a child has the opportunity to make a difference to that child, whether you intend to or not, whether you are skilled at it, or not.
We will be there, will you? To book your place or find out more click here for the details.
SynEdgy provides a number of other fantastic courses you can participate in:
- The nurturing of Self Esteem
- engaging cooperation
- alternatives to punishment
- encouraging autonomy
- how to ‘praise’ effectively
- how to acknowledge a child’s feelings
- Siblings without Rivalry
- Setting Boundaries
- Alternatives to saying “No!”
- Saying ‘sorry’ is not enough
- Being understood: the key to all relationships
To find out more and visit the SynEdgy website click here.
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!
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!
Today I received the below email from one of our candidates, Lucinda ( Laeeqah), listed with us for a few years now and also running infant training workshops for domestics, we are certainly honoured to have her working with our clientèle.
If you stay in Cape Town and have unused or old toys lying around one of these 3 ladies will come and collect them at your home if you like, to donate to The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Cape Town. They are also now asking for toiletries as well, just basic essentials we do not even think about, but which, these children do not even have regular access. Please donate to this cause. Contact details are at the bottom of this article. Your donation will not go unappreciated or unused and there will be a child whose world lights up due to your kindness.
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!
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!
Its always lovely to get positive feedback and I must say to have your day made two days in row! Wow!
Sms from Pam, placed with her family over 4 months ago, received yesterday:
Just to let you know everything is still going great! I couldn’t have asked for a nicer family, they treat me well. P.S. I gave a lady your number, she is looking for a new au pair position, I told her you are the best agency around at the moment. Many thanks, PAM
and then another email I received this morning from a candidate, which put a big smile on my face:
I’ve been meaning to say this for a while now. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but your agency is fantastic! In the 8 or so months that I’ve been registered with 4 agency’s you are the only one who has been consistent, pro-active (active) in placing and finding work. I have heard once or twice from the others and received no work from them. I have heard from other Au pairs that their experience has been the same.
So, much appreciation and gratitude for your hard work and great service.
Then from a client, we recently received the following email with regards to a query she had:
You are the best!
Thank you for responding and for being so prompt.
Have a lovely weekend
and from another client, earlier this month:
As discussed , please keep on looking and it would be great if I could see people before the end of the week. Its now super urgent , as Ihave now been home for almost a month and need to get back into work.
Thanks for the professional and efficient service
What a way to make my day! Sitters4U, placing you first! Thats our motto and we stick to it! Thank you for the compliments everyone.
Au pair, au pairs, baby sitters, babysitter, child, children, clients, consistent, discuss, economy, enjoy, find, flourish, frail care, give, Goals, good relationship, Maintain, motivation, night out, parenting, relax mom, rewarding, safety children, share, Sitters4U, South Africa, stay positive
I am ecstatic! Finally, months of work, sleepless nights and barely any social activity finally bears fruit…I am watching as I am typing this, our new website go live. Features include forms for every service, navigation that ensures you know where you are always, and some other wonderful features on our Content Management. Over 200 pages all neatly tucked into their individual spaces and all fully, easily navigable!
Like I said I am ecstatic. Check it out www.sitters4u.co.za
This weekend we will be hosting the Pediatric First Aid course in Midrand, we still have space available, so if you are keen to join sign up by clicking here now.