On this page you’ll find some helpful guidelines for navigating and using the site.
1. Sign up
You can do this using the Sign up form on the Homepage, or via the Sign up tab at the top right hand side of the page. You’ll then receive an email with a verification code to complete your registration as a Fox Mums member.
2. Edit your profile
This will help other members get an idea of who you are and whether or not you might be a good fit. Include a picture, and fill in the About Me section at the very least. Adding the age and gender of your children is a good idea for mums who may be looking to arrange babysitting with a family who have kids of a similar age. Single mums will have the option of ticking the “I’m a single mum!” box. This is so single mums who are looking to connect with other single mums can do so, but it’s completely optional.
When you’re ready, fill in the ‘Babysitting my kids’ box. Here you’ll find a calendar where you can mark the times you regularly require babysitting – for example, every Wednesday evening when you go to Yoga. There’s a box where you can jot down information such as whether you prefer a babysitter to come to you, or you’re happy to drop off, and any other details/information you’d like to share.
Next, fill in the ‘Babysitting your kids’ box. There’s also a calendar here where you can put your availability to babysit. Don’t worry, this isn’t binding. We know mums’ schedules are bound to change. This is more of a guide which can be updated as you like, and we expect mums to message each other to coordinate their schedules and organise details.
Your profile is set up! You’re now ready to start searching for mums in your area. You must be signed in to search. Once you’re signed in, use the Search tab at the top right side of the page. You can do a general search by area, or a Refined Search, which includes searching for other members with children of a certain age, members who have a current Working With Children Check, or if you’re a single mum, other single mums. You can also search by school or childcare centre, which means you can connect with other mums who have kids in the same school or childcare centre as you.
Once you’ve found other members in your area who you think you might have things in common with, start messaging! Click on the profile of the member you’d like to contact, then click ‘Message’. This button is to the left of the page, underneath the member’s profile picture. Say hello and tell them something about yourself and your family. Once a dialogue gets going, you may like to share your contact details and arrange to meet in person. Remember to think ahead! You should meet any prospective babysitter ahead of the actual day that you will need babysitting.
When meeting a member who you are considering arranging babysitting with, use the same caution and common sense you would when engaging a babysitter any other way. A few definite musts:
– Discuss safety issues such as what activities are safe and appropriate for your child/children to participate in; which areas of the home the children will spend most time; and any activities or areas which are off limits
– Discuss any allergies your child/children may have, and any medication needs
– Find out who/if any other family members or friends will be around if your child will be in the care of another member at her home
– Agree on what/if any outings you are happy for your child to go on while in the care of another member, such as to a park or library
You’ve gotten to know another member and agreed to help each other with babysitting. You’re ready to send a babysitting Request. Click on the ‘Request’ button underneath the profile picture of the member you are contacting. A box will pop up where you can fill in the date and time you require babysitting, as well as for how many children, and any additional information you’d like to include with your request. Voila! Hit send and wait for a response. Your request will show in the member’s inbox, and they’ll also receive an email notification of your request.
You and other members who receive a babysitting request will have the option to Accept or Decline a request. You can do this by clicking ‘Manage request’. You’ll have the option to add a note with any additional comments when accepting or declining a request. If a member declines a request, try sending the request to another member. You should try to connect with a few mums in your area ahead of time so there’s always a chance that someone will be free to help.
You sent a request and it’s been accepted – great! Get in touch to say thanks and discuss any details about the babysitting, like dropping off/picking up. You can do this via the Fox Mums site, the phone, Facebook or email if you’ve exchanged those contact details – it’s up to you!
When the babysitting is over, you’ll need to log in to your Fox Mums account and under Tasks ‘Mark task complete’. You’ll get a pop up asking you to rate your babysitter (1-5 stars), and provide an optional review. Once you’ve done this, your account will automatically transfer the correct number of credits to your babysitter’s account.
That’s it! If you get stuck or have any further questions about how the Fox Mums community works, get in touch with Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0407798361.
…And let’s remember to be lovely to one another!