Find a Babysitter Agency
Whether you leave your children with a caregiver for an hour or for the day, knowing you’ve selected a qualified caregiver gives you assurance that your child is in capable hands.
Babysitters are hired by parents to provide supervisory care for their children. Babysitters may be hired on a part-time or full-time basis, but typically are hired to provide short-term occasional care in the family’s private home.
Unlike nannies who are childcare specialists and are concerned with the physical, social, emotional and cognitive health and development of their charges and play an active role in their day-to-day lives, babysitters provide temporary custodial care, keeping the children safe and entertained while on duty. Parents usually provide their babysitters with detailed care giving instructions and the sitter follows those instructions while the parents are away.
While of course a babysitter who has a college degree in early childhood education may be a desirable sitter, a babysitter doesn’t need specialized training or education to provide occasional care. Capable babysitters are mature and responsible and enjoy being around children. They understand how to keep the children in their care safe and meet their basic needs. Qualified sitters also have CPR and first aid training and are confident in their abilities to care for children without supervision.
10 Ways to Find a Babysitter
Finding a qualified babysitter for your children can be a challenging, but there are several things that you can do to make it a better, easier, and less painful process.
- Reach out to your network. Seems simple, but if you start with your circle of friends you may be surprised to learn they would happily step up and babysit your kids on a regular or as needed basis – or know a qualified sitter that would. Having a good list of qualified sitters ready to go can make all the difference in the world- especially if last minute events spring up requiring a sitter on short notice.
- Use a babysitting agency. Face-to-face discussions prearranged by an agency can benefit you. First impressions are extremely imperative when you are in search of a babysitter! One of the advantages of using an agency is you can usually setup a time to interview several sitters at once either at their office or from the comfort of your own home in person or via Skype.
- Register with a babysitting site. There are also several excellent online babysitter recruiting sites like NannyPro.com, eNannySource.com, and NannyClassifieds.com. Access to thousands of sitters on well established sites paired with screening tools and tons of reviews from existing families can help you find a qualified sitter.
- Place a sitter wanted advertisement. There are some forums where you can list your babysitter wanted ads as well. It’s really important though to utilize their private messaging systems for any contact details. For instance, you only want to place your email and phone number in secure areas of sites to keep that information away from scammers and spammers.
- Consider a nanny placement agency. Local nanny agencies often have pre-screened and qualified candidates on hand ready to take on babysitting assignments.
- Check the paper. Another somewhat old school approach would be to look in the classifieds of your local newspaper. It’s really common for sitters and agencies to advertise in print classifieds, but be sure to conduct a thorough background screening before hiring a sitter.
- Look for flyers. Let’s not forget bulletin boards (yes, cork boards). They are still used at many grocery stores, libraries, and similar places. You generally will find a sitter advertising her services on a bulletin board and you can take the sitter’s number and arrange for a phone interview or face-to-face meeting.
- Ask daycare teachers. Another great source for finding sitters are local daycare centers. Daycare centers generally have well trained employees that are almost always looking for extra income and good families to babysit for.
- Talk to your nurse. You may find a sitter at your local doctor’s office (family or pediatric doctor) and/or other places where nurses and aids who mainly work with children might be available.
- Consider a coach. Finally, if your child is active in sports programs (basketball, football, volleyball, soccer for instance at the local YMCA), you may be able to find a part-time coach or assistant who would make a great sitter.
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