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using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
San Francisco, CA
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using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

Hi there,

Both of the vacation houses we are renting in South Africa include a live-in housekeeper. The owners have suggested that they are available for babysitting our 9 month old. Is this a normal practice? Is it safe? I assume they are trustworthy as the homeowners have used them for babysitting and have them living in their house. I'm just trying to figure out if this is a safe practice while we are traveling.

Thanks!

Hazyview, South...
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3,794 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

If recommended by the home owners, I do not see a problem.

It is a common practice and most helpers have got kids themselves and know how to handle a baby.

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Cape Town
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10,113 posts
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2. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

Would you do it in San Francisco? If not it's probably not your style. If you would it's no different here - except the sitters might be a little more caring.

London, United...
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3. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

My friend let the housekeeper look after their 2 children on quite a few nights (paid obvioulsy) I suppose you have to see how you feel about them and how you child responds. I would if they didnt mind and I like them. It is a great way of getting out on your own so hopefully it will work out for you.

San Francisco, CA
8 posts
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4. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

Thanks for the advice! I definitely get sitters in San Francisco and even while traveling, but usually I can check references or they are through a service that does a background check. I suppose some of it is me being a "nervous nellie" and some of it is the (hyped up) reports of South Africa being unsafe. Good to know it is common practice. It's probably better for the baby than bringing her to the games though clearly not worth it if kidnapping is even a remote possibility.

Thanks,

Laurie

durban
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1,951 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

Very common practice in SA and if the guesthouse is comfortable I am sure they will be fine. For all our crime history, kidnapping children is not a common occurrence (lets hope it never becomes one). www.kimssouthafrica.blogspot.com

Edited: 07 June 2010, 05:55
Cape Town, South...
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902 posts
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6. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

Pleeeease insist on giving the remuneration, for the service, in the hands of the Babysitter or they MIGHT never see it. This is "overtime" duty........

Cape Town Central...
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2,853 posts
24 reviews
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7. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

hi Laurie_in_SF

If the housekeep is recommended by the owner then it shoul;d be OK.

I would ask the housekeeper the hourly rate. If it is fair then be happy to pay it. if it is lower than expected then pay it and include the difference in the tip at the end of the stay.

London, United...
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8. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

The babysitter I use in Cape Town charged me R60 by the way.

cape town
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for Cape Town
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9. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

Hi Laurie - The first thing you need to do is find out exactly how long the house keeper has been in the vacation home. If its only a matter of a few weeks I dont think I would chance it UNLESS you can see references. If the housekeeper has been there for several years and is a live in and is highly recommended by the owners yes then i would go for it. Also go with your gut feel once you see the baby's reaction to her.

They must however be paid separately and I would tell the houseowners that you will pay them direct. Find out how much also. Whatever it is it will be very cheap in dollar terms. I have had my domestic for over 20 years and I wouldnt hesitate allowing her to look after someone's baby (if she would even be happy to do it.). You need to just ask the homeowners before. I certainly WOULDNT take your baby to the games thats for sure.

San Francisco, CA
8 posts
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10. Re: using a live-in housekeeper as a babysitter

Thanks all! Cjmumto2, for what duration was the R60? Is there a difference when she is doing it in her normal business hours vs. when it is after hours in terms of payment. The homeowner said just to pay her if it was after hours, though a tip would be appreciated. We're definitely happy to pay and/or tip. Good childcare is invaluable!