Enter Virtual Babysitting…
As COVID-19 continues to change our daily lives, parents working from home are still trying to figure out how to find a balance between caring for their children and their jobs. In-home Childcarers are still considered essential workers, however, some families and carers wish to stay put or keep their distance as much as possible so the alternative option is virtual care. Enter Virtual Babysitter…
What is Virtual Babysitter?
It’s our new reality. So, why not hire a professional carer to engage with your children digitally for a short period of time so you can get some time and space back in to your life.
Children are out of school and underfoot as parents log into zoom meetings or other video platforms and responding to work emails. In order to feel more comfortable with social distancing guidelines, parents are turning to virtual Babysitters to help them get a few uninterrupted minutes to concentrate on work. As a result of the stay-at-home directions, demand for virtual Babysitters has increased in the last month and is continuing to grow.
Instead of an in-home carer showing up at your house, a virtual Babysitter engages with a child through Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp. For example, if both parents have a busy work schedule or on-line meetings at the same time, or just need some time to themselves, then a virtual Babysitter is a wonderful option. The sessions can be used to assist kids with schoolwork, facilitate interactive games to keep them occupied and guide them through engaging activities based on your child’s interest.
Whilst your virtual Babysitter wouldn’t be able to keep your child entertained and stimulated all day long as would a carer that’s in your home, they can keep children occupied for about an hour or two at a time. Parents can even schedule several sessions per day or across a number of days, please see below pricing schedule for further information on our pricing and how to book. [link to enquiry-booking page]
So, what do children do with virtual Babysitters?
It depends on the child’s age. The Virtual option is best for kids who are old enough to engage and maintain a conversation on a device without getting too distracted. We recommend age 4+ years as younger ages would not understand the mechanics of talking to a person on a screen.
While older kids may need help with homework or school projects, other suggestions would be more interactive. Kids love introducing carers to their favourite toys, reading books, clothes & shoes, pets, sharing with them what games they love to play, showing them their artwork, photos etc. The carers can also encourage further age appropriate activities such as:
- Arts and crafts, drawing, colouring, playdough
- Reading books
- Board games the children have, they can move the carers piece for them, they already do anyway!
- I Spy, Simon Says, 20 Questions
- Imaginative & creative play like playing music and choreographing dances, charades, freeze dance
- Writing and Illustrating stories together and acting them out, dress ups, writing funny poems
- Going outside in the back garden to look at the plants & flowers, playing with the pets
- Yoga and stretching together
- Magic Tricks
Just to name a few.
Ultimately, our communication with parents will determine what activities they would like the carer to undertake so then the parents can plan the child’s physical environment accordingly.
Why Book a Virtual Babysitter over Friends or Family?
Those not lucky enough to have friends or relatives available to fill in as virtual Babysitters must find their own and those that do cant always expect them to be on call when needed. That’s where we come in. It’s important for parents to remember that even though the Babysitter isn’t physically in your house, they’re still spending time with your child and sometimes without supervision so we can offer peace of mind for you knowing that all of our carers have been fully screened and reference checked including Working with Children Check, Police Records and Reference Checks with Previous and Current Employers. We would also ensure that any potential virtual Babysitters have access to a strong internet connection to save the connection from dropping out.
What Do Private Families Pay for a Virtual Babysitter?
Our daily agency booking fee is $30 (+GST) for private family bookings received outside of 48 hrs from commencement, for emergency care, the daily agency booking fee is $40 (+GST). The hourly rate is $35 to $38 p/h with a minimum 4 hour booking which can be split up in to 2 x 2 hour sessions or 4 x 1 hr sessions across a 4 day period (Monday to Friday) with the same carer. Bookings are for one child only, additional bookings can be made if you have more than one child. Additional bookings can be made at the same time with different carers for each child or at different times for each child with the same carer if you prefer.
You will be fully covered by all insurances and PAYG, Super etc as we pay the carer on your behalf. We can then also provide you with an invoice marked as being paid for both the agency booking fee and hours worked. The hourly charge out rate is $35 to $38 p/h as we would be paying the carer on your behalf and the rate would cover the following:
- Hourly rate to Carer
- Payroll Tax
- Public Liability Insurance
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Processing Timesheets, payroll and invoicing
Upon engagement in our services, the booking fee and minimum 4 hours is charged to the credit card details provided on your registration as a holding deposit. The assigned carer would have a timesheet for completion, authorisation by you and return to us so we can pay them for their hours on your behalf. Any additional hours worked are charged accordingly upon receipt of the authorised timesheet and an invoice marked as being paid for all payments receipted would be sent to you for your records.
What Do Corporate Clients offering Employee Incentive Programs Pay for a Virtual Babysitter?
Our current general Corporate agreement is as follows:
1 booking for Physical In-home Care = 1 day carrying a minimum 4 hours per day booked.
With Virtual Care:
1 Booking = 4 sessions of Virtual Care with the same carer which can be split in to 2 x 2 hr sessions or 4 x 1 hr sessions across a 4 day period (Monday to Friday). 1 Booking carries a minimum 4 hours in total and a minimum 1 hr session, any additional hours worked will be charged accordingly upon receipt of the authorised weekly timesheet. Bookings are for one child only, additional bookings can be made if you have more than one child. Additional bookings can be made at the same time with different carers for each child or at different times for each child with the same carer if you prefer.
Upon engagement in our services, the booking fee and 4 hours will be invoiced with an invoice term agreement put in place. The assigned virtual babysitter will have a timesheet for completion, authorisation and return to us so we can pay them for their hours on your behalf. Any additional hours worked are charged accordingly upon receipt of the authorised timesheet.
Every company has individual requirements and offer varying employee incentives so please do Contact Us or Submit an Online Enquiry so we can obtain details on your specific requirements and provide you with a tailored quote.
What’s in the fine print?
- Bookings are for one child only, additional bookings can be made if you have more than one child. Additional bookings can be made at the same time with different carers for each child or at different times for each child with the same carer if you prefer
- You must book each of your 4 scheduled sessions upon engagement
- Sessions are non transferable or refundable if cancelled or rescheduled
- The same carer must be available for each scheduled session as the booking fee covers the search for one carer only, you can provide us with timeslots i.e. morning or afternoon to offer flexibility which increases the chances of securing the same carer by offering some flexibility
- Any additional hours worked will be charged accordingly upon receipt of authorised timesheet
- ACS takes no responsibility for any connection difficulties
- Parents must stay on the premises at all times during scheduled sessions
Book a Virtual Babysitter
To book or enquire about our new service Virtual Babysitting