Find A Babysitter

How to Find a Sitter?

When it comes to finding a babysitter, the options for recruiting candidates are endless. While mays may yield better leads than others, all methods have potential to lead parents to a sitter who can meet their childcare needs.

Ask Around

Referrals from friends and family can lead parents to babysitters that others they know well and trust have used and been satisfied with. Asking friends, family members and other parents who they use for a babysitter can typically yield a few good potential sitters. Even with a solid referral, however, parents should do due diligence and determine on their own if they deem the babysitters qualified to provide care for their children.

Use Social Networking

It’s no surprise that most of those seeking babysitting jobs are online. In fact, chances are parents already have a few potential babysitters in their social media network. By letting those in their network know they are seeking a nanny, parents can reach potential sitters in an instant- and it doesn’t cost a dime. With a simple “Looking for sitter recommendation” parents will likely get a few good responses.

Contact a Babysitting or Nanny Agency

Parents who want direct access to qualified and prescreened babysitters without having to do the legwork to qualify and screen them themselves should consider using a babysitting or nanny placement agency. For a fee, reputable agencies will refer prescreened caregivers to parents to fill their babysitting jobs. Depending on the lead time and if the parent require one-time care or care on an ongoing basis, the parents may or may not have the opportunity to interview the sitter prior to when she’s needed for the job. Parents should, however, request proof of qualifications. Parents can visit the website of the International Nanny Association for a list of member agencies.

Post an Ad in the Classifieds

Parents can utilize both newspaper and online classifieds to recruit babysitters. Some websites like Craigslist are far reaching but not exclusively for childcare advertisements, like NannyClassifieds.com. Since parents are specifically targeting babysitting job seekers, they must be prepared to field the queries they receive. To deter unqualified candidates from applying, parents should clearly communicate what qualifications sitters should have in their advertisement.

Use Online Babysitter Websites

Online sites that recruit babysitters to create a profile provide parents with an opportunity to connect with a wide variety of sitters in their area. Sites like eNannySource.com give parents the opportunity to browse provider profiles and only respond to those providers whom they are interested in connecting with. Most reputable sites also have online resources and tools parents can use to conduct background checks and further screen potential sitters. While it can be tempting to bypass the screening process, parents should gather as much information as they can about a candidate before making a final hiring decision.

Contact Vo-Tech High Schools

Some high schools offer training and education to those students who wish to pursue a career in early childhood education. Parents can connect with the director of the program and submit a job listing. Most programs will require students to have hands-on experience and those enrolled in the program likely enjoy working with children, so babysitters referred from the director may be viable candidates to provide childcare.

List With College Student Employment Offices

College students are always seeking part-time and occasional work and by the time they hit college, many students will have had some experience caring for children. Colleges that offer coursework in early childhood development are prime places to recruit babysitters. Parents can contact the student employment office of the local student employment office to learn how to recruit babysitters who are early childhood majors.

Hang Flyers in the Community

While hanging up paper flyers can seem a little old-fashioned, doing so can lead parents to the right sitters. By putting up signs in the local library, coffee shop, gym, or on community bulletin boards parents may catch the eye of a sitter looking to take on additional jobs.

Consider Neighborhood Kids

Depending on a parent’s childcare needs, the teenager up the block may be the perfect sitter to provide care while the parents head out to dinner after the kids are in bed. Years ago neighborhoods were the main resource for securing sitters, however with more teens involved in more extracurricular activities and parents demanding more experienced sitters, the neighborhood has become a forgotten resource.

Use Family and Friends

Sometimes hiring a family member or trusted friend to babysit makes the most sense. While it can be tempting for parents to solely rely on those in their immediate circle to serve as babysitters, having a prescreened pool of candidates they can call on can help take the pressure of family and friends to provide care. Paying or otherwise meeting a need of the family member or friend providing care can help the caregiver not to feel taken advantage of and help to keep the relationship balanced and strong. Swapping childcare responsibilities with a another mom or creating a babysitting coop with friends is another way parents can secure occasional childcare from trusted providers.

Think About Church Members

Parents who attend church can recruit sitters from those who attend church with them. For parents who wish to find a sitter who follows the same moral code as them, recruiting sitters from their church body can be a solid option. Older teenagers, youth group leaders, nursery volunteers and even older adults who enjoy being around children may make suitable caregivers, depending on the family’s caregiving needs.

While there are many ways parents can recruit babysitters, it’s important that parents remember the ultimate hiring decision is theirs alone. Parents should always listen to their gut and pay attention to the feelings they have regarding a potential sitter. And while it’s tempting to take shortcuts, regardless of how parents learn about a sitter it is their responsibility to properly screen her prior to leaving her to care for their children. Parents should check references, verify education and credentials, run a thorough background check, and examine the sitters driving record. The more information parents gather about a potential sitter, the more educated and informed their decision to hire will be.