Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Find a Good Babysitter

I've been working on this series for awhile in my head and I'm excited to finally start it! After spending time as the babysitter and the mom, I've collected lots of tidbits that I want to share with you! Every Tuesday for the next three weeks, I'll be posting an installment in the series.

First up is:

Some people are lucky enough to live near family and have built in babysitters. For everyone else, where do you begin to look for a reliable babysitter that you will actually trust with your kids?

  • Sites like Sittercity or Care. I've personally only used Sittercity as a babysitter, but the families that have found me through the site have had nothing but good things to say. I know there is a fee for joining but most sitters pay to have Sittercity run a background check on them and you can leave reviews on sitters so it's worth it in my opinion. You can either post a job opening or you can search through sitters in your area with the availability you need.
  • Ask your friends. I know several moms who don't like to share their babysitter because they think it will decrease their availability. However, more than likely, their sitter has a friend who they will recommend.
  • Check with your daycare. I know that most of Clay's daycare teachers babysit on the side. Usually the daycare has a policy that it's okay but sometimes you have to sign a waiver saying the daycare isn't liable, etc. The advantage to this is that you know they're CPR/First Aid certified.
  • Check with the local college. Some colleges keep list of students who are looking for babysitting jobs.

 

If you find a babysitter that you've either never met or don't know that well, I would recommend interviewing them and letting them get to know your kid(s). The sitter may seem perfect on paper, but what if they just don't mesh well with your family?

A few questions to ask and things to go over:

  • Experience/references?
  • Availability
  • CPR/First Aid certified?
  • Pay
  • Tell them about your child(ren). Allergies, quirks, illnesses, etc.
  • Expectations (cleaning, etc)
  • Show them around the house and go over "house rules" (TV, sweets, etc) and routines
  • Have the sitter spend time playing with the kids

 

And if all goes well, you're all set!

 

Next week I'll look at it from the babysitter's perspective with "How to Find a Babysitting Job."

 

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Linking up with Time for Mom and Baby Talk.

 

6 comments:

Kelli @She Crab Soup said...

I've never left Little K with a sitter that wasn't family or long time friend. Sending her to school is going to give me a panic attack.

Rachel said...

We found our babysitter through our friends asking around at their church! Then, when she can't do it on a day we ask for she will recommend one of her friends who babysits, so thats nice, too!

Trish said...

I seriously need help on the babysitter front. We're not near any family or friends and I'm so paranoid about leaving the baby with a stranger. But after a year of barely any adult outings, I think we gotta bite the bullet!

Desiree Macke said...

I've never thought to check with the local colleges, or even any websites! We live a zillion miles away from family, and finding a sitter has been one of the biggest challenges we've faced as parents.

Mrs. Miller said...

Really good advice. My husband and I are expecting our first baby any day... any recommendations of competitive baby-sitting rates? We're months away from hiring our first sitter, but I have no idea what people expect to be paid these days.

AmyLyn said...

Friends make the best sitters. Obvi. <-- I thought you needed a Jamie-style comment