Finding a babysitter in today’s society involves more than simply putting up a “babysitter wanted” flier at the local grocery store and hiring the first person who gives you a call. In today’s society, when we all fear the unknown, getting a good babysitter takes time and, frankly, great interview and investigative skills. Gone are the days of simply hiring the girl from next door! If you need to find a baby sitter but don’t want to have to put up a “wanted: babysitter” flier, here are a few routes you can take to locate a babysitter who is reliable, affordable and good with kids.
1. Talk to other parents in your neighborhood and at the local playground and ask who they use as a baby-sitter. Other parents will be able to provide you with information that an interview and a resume cannot. The other parents that you spend time with will be able to tell you which sitters their kids liked and why as well as which sitters did not work out and why not. Sure, every kid is different but when looking for a babysitter; your best bet is to call someone who gets rave reviews from the other parents in your neighborhood or play group.
2. Students. Do you live in a town with a university or community college? These schools usually have programs for students who want to go into teaching or early childhood education-what better pool to pick from than a student who wants to be a teacher? Students will also often work for lower wages than other babysitters-especially those who respond to “babysitter wanted” ads. Ask one of the professors to recommend someone to you!
3. Ask your kids’ teachers if they know of anyone that they can recommend baby-sitting your children. The teachers at your kids’ schools, preschools and daycare centers know your kids well and might know of someone reliable that your kids will get along with nicely. Teachers usually have an ear to the ground in the “wanted: babysitter” world as they hear reviews on babysitters from parents and kids alike!
4. Agencies. If you have exhausted your interpersonal resources and still cannot find anybody to answer your “babysitter wanted” call, you might try checking to see if there is a babysitting/nanny agency in your local area. Many of these groups advertise on the internet now and have scores of babysitters who would love to come care for your children while you take a day or an evening off (or are required to attend an event that does not allow children). Make sure, though, that you interview each candidate thoroughly and do background checks on anybody you are considering hiring. The internet is a wonderful resource but you cannot trust it to do the extra work for you!
Once upon a time you could simply tack up a babysitter wanted flier and hope for the best. Today parents have to be more careful! Thankfully there are still plenty of resources to help you when you sound the “wanted: babysitter” call!