Kids across the country head back to school next week. I don’t have a school-aged child, but I do have a teenage mother’s helper who comes a few days a week to help with the baby. So “Back to School” meant I needed to find a new babysitter.
While I’m fortunate to live close to my mother who can babysit occasionally for free, many grandmas today have jobs, volunteer work and busy lives. Even if you are lucky enough to live near your family, you might not be able to rely on them for all of your daily childcare needs.
I started my search for a trustworthy babysitter in early August, and I was able to find a wonderful, experienced babysitter who loves kids.
Here are my top tips on finding a good babysitter:
1) Use your network: Many moms are unwilling or hesitant to share babysitters, but your childless neighbor or older friend might know someone. It can’t hurt to ask. I was able to find a babysitter through older friends I’d met while volunteering. So ask around at work, at church or temple, or when you volunteer.
2) Help a friend out: I’ve volunteered to babysit for some of my friend’s children. Your friend will get a much-needed break from childcare. Your child will get a play date, and you will get a break when your friend returns the favor. Everybody wins (and saves money). But be warned: unless you are remarkably patient, you probably only want to make this offer to friends with well-behaved children. So if your own child is a little rebel, you might have a tough time finding a friend willing to help. Please try not to take it too personally if your friends turn you down.
3) If you can’t guilt grandma into babysitting or find a sitter through your network of friends, you can use Sittercity to find a responsible babysitter in your area. Candace has used this service to find two babysitters so far. Both sitters were experienced, trustworthy and infant CPR certified. (Read her full Sittercity review here.) Based on Candace’s advice, I joined Sittercity. I was able to search for a babysitter who had passed a background test, was infant CPR certified, lived nearby and within my price range. I used the interactive tools to print out interview questions that were perfect for screening candidates.
Sittercity made finding a good babysitter that passed a background check painless and fast. And Mamanista readers can save 10% with our exclusive coupon. Looking for a babysitter? Sign-up to find the perfect sitter today at Sittercity.com and use code MNISTA to save!