Whether you need a sitter for a night out with your spouse or to provide care more regularly while you work, you want to be sure that you are choosing a qualified childcare provider whom you trust.
Opting for a competent, experienced provider gives you peace of mind when leaving your child in her care. When looking for a babysitter, choose one that is trustworthy, honest, reliable and dependable. Parents can assess these traits during the interview process by contacting childcare references and by conducting a background screening. When it comes to choosing a babysitter, parents should also listen to their gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right about a sitter then the sitter should not be hired.
For parents, finding a babysitter can be a challenge. Unlike decades ago, when extended family lived around the corner and pitched in with the childcare, today’s families are fragmented and often live too far away to provide regular or ongoing care. In these cases, parents are forced to outsource the sitting duties to friends or hired care providers.
When looking for a sitter, parents should use all of their resources. The more connections parents make with potential sitters, the more likely they are to find a sitter who meets their needs. From neighborhood teens to professional nannies looking to pick up extra income, there are many individuals who possess various qualifications and experiences and are seeking work. The key is to find the babysitter who has the specific experience and qualifications that your family needs.
Before beginning their search for a babysitter, parents should take into consideration precisely what their care needs are. Parents should consider the hours they need coverage, the intensity of care required, the minimal amount of experience and education they require of a caregiver, and the duties and responsibilities they expect their caregiver to take on. When parents know exactly what they’re looking for in a sitter they’re better able to find one.
Top 10 Ways to Find a Babysitter
When it comes to finding a babysitter, you want to be sure you choose one who fits in with your family. When you use all of your resources to find a sitter, you’re more likely to find the right one for your family.
- Ask family. For parents who have family close by, they can be a solid resource for providing childcare, especially backup care or last minute care when other arrangements fall through.
- Sign up with an online site. Many nanny and babysitting job websites allow parents to browse caregiver profiles before signing up. Parents only upgrade to a paying membership if they find a caregiver they wish to contact.
- Look for flyers. Many babysitters post flyers advertising their services on the bulletin boards at coffee shops or the local library. If you do not happen to find any, you can always create your own flyer advertising for a sitter.
- Ask church members. Talk to your church elders. They might know of some people in the congregation who are excellent with children and can help you out.
- Talk to neighbors. Neighbors, especially those with children, are a great option for the occasional babysitter if you are on good terms.
- Use an agency. There are many babysitting agencies that specialize in matching sitters with parents. Reputable agencies typically prescreen candidates and do the preliminary interviews for you.
- Barter childcare. If your friends have children of their own or if your child has a good playmate, offer to trade childcare services. If they can watch your kids from time to time, agree to watch theirs in return when they need a sitter.
- Ask for referrals. If you have a regular babysitter, but he or she is currently unavailable, then ask if they know anyone who could fill in. They might be able to give you the name of another sitter you can trust.
- Check the classifieds. Both online and print classifieds are popular places where babysitters advertise their services. Check listings for possible babysitter leads.
- Call the local high school. Some high schools, especially vocational high schools, provide education in early childhood development. While they might not be able to give you the contact information for students in the program, they might be able to pass yours on.
Whether your sitter will be caring for the kids for an hour or for a few days, it’s essential to choose a qualified caregiver who can keep your children safe and engaged in your absence. After you’ve recruited several candidates, be sure to properly screen those you are interested in hiring. Interviews, background checks and reference checks can help you gather more information about candidates you’re considering.