I'm Gabriella and I am the director & matchmaker of St Albans Sitters.
Many people have asked me "When and why did I think of this idea?" so I thought I would start by introducing myself and this new local service...
St Albans Sitters was conceived in 2010 when I was 18 and doodling in my university notebook.
I created the logo for ‘St Albans Sitters’ and thought about creating a referral network of babysitters; as I was receiving many babysitting requests for St Albans families whilst I was also referring many of my friends and colleagues for babysitting.
I babysat between the ages of 14-24 and being a trustworthy and reliable babysitter were skills that I was proud of which led me to envision a service where I could recommend quality babysitters who would provide the same level of service that I, myself, would strive for.
Like with any creative thought, it was quickly brushed aside as I decided to focus on my degree and building my career in Early Years.
Fast forward 10 years and I have my own children whilst co-running Mount Carmel Kindergarten, a local leading nursery school in St Albans.
I am still frequently asked “Do you know any babysitters?” whilst also understanding the need for a trusting babysitter with my own children.
I am well trained in the importance for ‘safe recruitment’ when working with children and also understand how to lead a team of people to build positive relationships with families within the community.
2020 was a tough year for everyone, being stripped of our social connections and our plans that help us have a healthy work/life balance which has inevitably taken a toll on the majority of peoples mental health. St Albans Sitters was established in 2021 to help families bring the ‘life’ back to the party whilst helping them feel relaxed that their children were with a trusting individual.
We have so many amazing babysitters in our city and young adults that have the skills needed but lack the opportunities to find a job. I want to enable opportunities for young people to have this ideal first job whilst help them build experience and essential skills needed in future careers and life. I would be nervous as a young babysitter to go to houses of people I don't know and that is why the aim of the 'doorstep visit' before the first booking is to reassure the sitters that the new families using the service are just as trustworthy as they are. As a parent, I would only book a babysitter if I knew enough about their background to know they are confident, reliable and trustworthy individuals.
This is why all our verified 'St Albans Sitters' have had a thorough application process including an interview, DBS and references checked to allow you to go out feeling relaxed and catch up on those overdue plans you want to put in the diary.
‘St Albans Sitters’ is a local referral service with trust at the heart of it.