Frequently Asked Questions

Q Are background checks performed?
A Yes. A highly detailed background check using Evident ID – including nationwide criminal, state/county criminal, sex offender and motor vehicle checks – is performed and kept live for every First Steps member. Should someone break the law, First Steps will be notified immediately, and we will notify affected members.
Q So, how much is it?
A Membership is currently $249.99 for parents the first year, and $149.99 per year thereafter as long as membership does not lapse. Hourly rates are worked out directly between families and sitters. Sitters are paid directly. Membership for sitters is currently $39.99 the first year and $19.99 annually thereafter. This cost covers the background check portion of the application. Whatever is paid to a sitter for hours worked is theirs to keep. Membership for organizations is determined on a case-by-case basis; starting at $299.99 the first year.
Q What is the going rate for babysitting these days?
A $15 per hour is the average market rate in Atlanta. However, we recommend between $12-30 per hour depending on the number of children and responsibilities requested. Some First Steps sitters establish their own personal “rate” also contingent upon number of children and responsibilities or their personal experience and may choose not to reply to jobs that fall below it.
Q How do the sitters get paid?
A Sitters are paid directly following each sitting job. First Steps is purely a networking tool. First Steps does not involve itself in the payment of sitters. Feel free to use electronic payments, cash or check as long as both parties agree. Please reference individual profiles for accepted payment methods.
Q Can First Steps be used to find a pet sitter? A nanny? A house sitter? A party helper? A wedding sitter?
A Of course! We are happy to field requests outside of the norm. Once a member, you will be shown how to best request these types of jobs.
Q Can groups such as in-office daycares, hotels, event planners join First Steps?
A Yes! First Steps is happy to cater to groups, companies and organizations and can establish a group membership. Please fill out the form on the Contact Us page.
Q If I am visiting Atlanta is there an option to use First Steps one time?
A Yes. Each sitter matched is $39.99. You may use one sitter for multiple dates (i.e. within a weekend, weeklong visit, etc.). Please contact us for more information.
Q How far in advance should I request a sitter?
A We recommend submitting sitter requests three to five days in advance, but no more than four weeks. While First Steps fills 99.9% of jobs, requesting in advance allows more available matches to choose from.
Q By joining First Steps am I guaranteed a sitter every time?
A Though we cannot guarantee a sitter every time, being unable to find one is rare. Over the years, the inability to fill a request has occurred mostly during last minute requests on a popular weekend night or during busy times of year, such as the holiday season.
Q Are there both daytime and evening sitters available?
A First Steps has sitters for both daytime and evening needs. We also have overnight sitters for newborns or extended vacations, those who will travel and even take care of a pet.
Q What is the cancelation policy?
A Life happens, and as such so do cancellations. Fortunately, First Steps is known for filling jobs within minutes. Really! Hopefully plenty of notice will be provided, but regardless, simply login and submit a new request. Our technology will note all time frames – including quick turnarounds – and offer recommendations on either 15 or 60 minute increments to hopefully rematch you, and fast! If you need to change your plans or cancel with a booked sitter, we ask that you do so immediately and consider a tip-like electronic payment as a kind gesture. Hopefully, the sitter will be able to book another job, but depending on timing this is not always the case.
Q What if we want to stay out later? Come home earlier?
A Our sitters are generally happy to stay longer at your home. Please contact them directly to ensure the sitter is okay to stay later, as other plans may already be in place. If yes, please pay the sitter for the additional time. If you come home earlier than the time requested, without discussing this possibility in advance, we ask that families pay for the time originally requested. Please understand that your sitter has set this time aside for your family and should be compensated accordingly.
Q May I meet a sitter in advance?
A Yes, of course! We recognize it is essential for each family to be comfortable with their sitter. However, please respect the sitter’s time and consider compensation for this time.
Q Does First Steps insure sitters to drive my children/pets?
A No. While most of our sitters are willing to drive for our families, First Steps does not insure sitters. Sitters act as independent contractors and assume any responsibility for driving children or pets. Families requesting driving should clearly state this, and include applicable details in the request. Direct discussions about type of automobile insurance the sitter maintains are allowed.
Q Does First Steps provide sitters on holidays?
A Yes. We recommend submitting holiday requests a bit more in advance. Hourly rates are typically a bit higher than average on holidays. Feel free to contact us for guidance on holiday rates.
Q Does First Steps create our profile?
A No. However, during your home visit/site visit/interview a First Steps representative will grant member access and walk you through best practices and ensure it is setup properly.
Q Can I easily cancel my membership if need be?
A Yes. Simply contact First Steps to stop your renewal.

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