Find a Babysitter Fast

Whether your babysitter is a no show or you’re stuck in traffic and need someone to care for the kids until you get home, finding a babysitter when you’re in a pinch can be challenge. With the right resources and tools, however, doing so is entirely possible.

Ideally, when you need a last minute sitter, your parents or family members would rush to the rescue. Unfortunately, since families live further apart than they did years ago, that isn’t always a viable option. When this is the case, turning to friends and neighbors is the next best option. Leaving your children with an adult that you trust and that they are comfortable with always tends to make transitioning them into the care of a sitter a little bit easier.

For those who don’t have family and friends who can provide childcare services, they’ll need to consider those outside their network. In this case, having a prescreened set of sitters typically works best. When you have five or so sitters that you trust and are comfortable with, it can make finding a sitter easier. Chances are at least one person in your sitter network will be available.

Parents who are looking for sitters can turn to several different resources. While babysitting agencies have prescreened candidates ready to accept last minute jobs, the fees can be quite expensive. Online babysitter job sites are much less expensive and provide parents access to thousands of babysitting candidates. Parents can also ask members of their church to babysit, or can post ads in the local paper or hang flyers in coffee shops and libraries. Parents can also find sitters advertising for jobs in the paper and on local community resource boards.

When it comes to finding last minute childcare, parents who have a list of potential sitters typically find one fairly easily. Reach out to friends and family, the parents of your children’s friends and community resources to establish a list of potential last minute sitters. Ask each one if they’d mind being listed on your list of last minute backup care sitters. Create a final list of those who agreed and keep it in a handy place so it’s easily accessible when needed.

While parents can feel desperate and may consider hiring a stranger to care for their children, doing so is not a safe idea. Parents should screen all potential sitters and really know who they are asking to care for their children before they do.

10 Ways to Find a Sitter for an Immediate Job

Circumstances often arise when parents need to find a sitter in a moment’s notice. When these situations come up parents will need to act quickly to secure a care provider.

  1. Check with neighbors.  In emergency situations, neighbors can be a great resource for providing care, especially if it’s just until someone else arrives to take over.
  2. Call in the grandparents. Check with grandparents and other family members who may be able to babysit at a moment’s notice.
  3. Call a sitting service. Sitting services have prescreened candidates available to take on last minute care requests.
  4. Contact your sitters. Don’t forget to call sitters that you have previously used to see if they are available on short notice. Even if previous sitters aren’t available, they may be able to give you contact information for other good babysitters they know.
  5. Call your church. One good way to find a sitter immediately is to contact your local church. Sometimes churches have daycare programs or activities happening in which your child can participate. Or an older church member may be there who could babysit.
  6. Look for community resources. If you need an immediate babysitter, take the time to read the paper or call around because some communities offer free programs for children. You may be able to use the activity center as a babysitting service while your child has fun.
  7. Call some of the parents of your child’s friends. Chances are that one of them will tell you to bring your child over to her house to play. This babysitting option will probably be your child’s first choice since he will likely see it as a play date.
  8. Check out local clubs. Some local organizations or community clubs offer childcare. Look in the local phone book to find the phone numbers. The organization or community club may be offering an activity that your child can be dropped off at and picked up later.
  9. Think outside the box. Think about all of the people your child knows. Even though your regular sitter may not be available, are there others who come to or work at your house that could take the job? For example, could the woman who cleans your house on Fridays babysit? Or could one of your friends who visits often stop by to watch your child?
  10. Ask a friend. Ask one of your friends for help when you get in a jam. Chances are they’ll happily help out.

It can be hard for parents to find good, immediate childcare when they need it. Making as many contacts as possible through neighbors, family, and the community will help. Before leaving your child with anyone, however, you want to be sure that they are reliable and trustworthy, and that your child will be comfortable in their care.