Sabi Sitters is a unique Jewish childcare agency, dreamt up by Sabi Lawrence, who uses her expertise as a former pre-kindergarten teacher to hand select the best babysitters, childminders and nannies to look after the community’s offspring.
I used to babysit since I was seventeen,” explains Sabi. “But when I got married a few years back, my spare time became very limited.”
Sabi, 27 and her husband then had the brainwave to create a babysitting agency, but increasing demand for other types of childcare meant “Sabi Sitters” soon branched out as a childcare agency.
“I get people asking me to send help for the summer holidays, emergency care, nannying, all sorts. I even sent my girls to help on conventions, such as the Chief Rabbi’s a few weeks ago.”
Sabi Sitters caters for the wider community, with girls available to travel everywhere in North West London, from Camden to Stanmore. Some of her sitters have even babysat for clients in Israel, during Pesach and over the summer.
What has made her business such a triumph is the fact that as a mother of two and former pre-kindergarten teacher, Sabi understands other mother’s needs and worries.
“People trust who they know and this is what my business is built around. My clients feel reassured that I know all my girls, either personally or through recommendations and therefore have the utmost trust in their abilities.”
Sabi interviews girls face to face to assess if they are a suitable Sabi Sitter.
“There is a particular type of personality that I look for in my girls. It is vital for them to be friendly, warm and able to interact well with parents.”
Indeed, the level of care Sabi Sitters provide parents with ensure they stand apart from the rest.
“As a mother, I know parents feel the need to tell the babysitter/nanny 101 things before they go out. You want that person to show they care about every detail, like how you want your baby’s bottle made, for example.”
Sabi also preps her girls to give mothers as much information as possible when they return.
“I encourage the girls to say more than “they were fine.” That’s not enough. I ask them to go into more detail-how many times did you check on them, did they go to bed nicely etc.”
Another facet of Sabi’s success is that each booking is taken as an individual one.
“For each job, I assess which of my girls would be best suited. For example, some are ok with new-born babies, some prefer not to. I want to ensure my customer is getting a tailored service.”
Sabi also provides new parents with peace of mind by arranging face to face meetings with their babysitter prior to entering hospital.
“This gives mothers the ultimate comfort that when they’re gone, there’s someone they can trust looking after their kids.”
As well as assessing suitable Sabi Sitters, Sabi also checks out prospective families.
“The safety of my girls is imperative. If I don’t recognise the name, I will ask how exactly they heard of me. Most times it will have been a recommendation from an existing customer.”
Sabi tells me an especially memorable story, which shows why personalised service and a high level of care is so important.
“I received a random WhatsApp message once, asking for a girl. Something about it didn’t sit right with me and after further checks I discovered this person was certainly not who they claimed to be.”
Sabi says her main difficulty is juggling her full-time work as manager and co-ordinator of the business along with being a busy mum of two.
“I had my second baby three months ago. I also have a one-and-a-half-year-old who needs my attention, so it can be difficult when I need to spend time co-ordinating on the phone!”
However, she also sees this as a blessing “because my work is flexible enough in that I can spend every day with my kids.”
Sabi’s advice to women who want to start their own business is to “see the big picture but don’t be afraid to start off small.”
You can contact Sabi on 07376 258 654