Find A Babysitter Tips

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Can a friend with no children be a good babysitter for me?

Look to Those Looking to Start a Family

All parents have friends, but not all friends are also parents. If you are one of the few in your group who has babies, some of your friends may be temporarily envious of you and your little one. Keep an eye out for the friend who is the first to pass up greeting you to kiss and hold the baby. This friend will probably enjoy spending a few hours once in a blue moon with your little tyke. They will get to enjoy being around a child, have them all to themselves to love and treasure, and then be able to give them back by the time they realize that parenting and taking care of even one small child is a great deal of work. Make sure that if you choose to leave your little one in the hands of this good pal, you offer them something in return. Depending on the nature of this friend, you may want to offer to pay them, although they will probably refuse and do it out of their own ticking clocks and kindness of heart. Be generous with them if they can use the money to show your graciousness. Finally, make sure to cook for them so that they can spend their time enjoying having a child of their own for a short time. Everyone comes out a winner in this situation.

   
How can friends with children help each other?

Switch With a Friend

Until your friends have children of their own, they may never understand how your lifestyle and freedom to move about as you please will change. Once you have friends with their own little tykes, they will empathize with your predicament and have their own needs to go out as a couple, or sometimes to take care of business. These sympathizing friends can be a great resource when it comes to finding a sitter you only need once a month or every few weeks. These are perfect babysitters for 'date night.' When you and your partner want to have a night alone to go out to dinner or a movie, ask your friends with children for the favor of taking care of yours for a few hours. Then, for example, the next week when your friends need a night out and away from the kids, you will do the same for them. By exchanging babysitting services every once in a while, no money needs to change hands, and you will go out feeling 100% confident that your children are well taken care of. Your friends will likely thank you for it, too.

   
Can I find a babysitter at church?

Go Sitter-Searching at Church

You have probably never looked at a church as a perfect place for networking, but look no further. Church is a wonderful place to interact and get to know friendly, community-minded people from your local area. Most churches have bulletin boards where community-related announcements are posted. They range from ads selling boats, to Spanish classes, to people looking to babysit. If you see no such announcements, go straight to your clergyman or parishioner and ask if they can recommend anyone from church that babysits from time to time. If your church is a small, well-connected one, they will most likely either give you a name or point you to someone who can lead you in the right direction. If you attend a large congregation, you may want to ask certain church members that deal with children such as the Sunday school teacher or someone who teaches Vacation Bible School. These friendly faces may have a few leads for you.

   
Can I find a babysitter through my child's school?

Use Your Child's School To Your Advantage

Schools bring communities together, uniting students, teachers, and parents in one well-intentioned place. Schools can provide you the connection you need to find a good babysitter. Many stay-at-home parents offer to babysit the younger siblings of their chidlren's classmates, or even teachers' children during the day for a price lower than daycare. If you have children of school age, ask other parents in your child's class if they can recommend an excellent babysitter. If you are sure the teacher has children of their own, or even if they simply live near the school, they can likely throw you a name or two as well. If you still have no luck here, go to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association-it might go by other names in other areas). Getting involved in the PTA will guarantee you a surefire way to get to know other community members and bring you into contact with a few good parents ready to babysit for you.

   
What are the websites that help families find a sitter?

Babysitting Websites

The Internet may or may not be the first resource you think of to help you in your search for just the right babysitter. However, the Internet may be surprisingly helpful to you in your quest. Specializing sites such as www.babysitters.com and www.sittercity.com can provide you with a wealth of knowledge and resources. On www.babysitters.com, you can search for sitters in your local area or post a job for the babysitter of your dreams. All sitters featured on the site have been thoroughly reviewed to ensure their quality and security when it comes to coming in contact with your little one. The best part about this site is that it is run by all moms. Another great site is www.sittercity.com. This website allows sitters to post profiles for your review so that you no longer have to go digging for information to learn more about an applicant. It is all there for you. The site has been spoken of on many TV shows and is very reputable. There may be many other useful sites out there but before using them, be sure that the creator of the site is a knowledgeable person and not just someone out to make money. You can always contact the creator to see what their credentials are before trusting them with your children or your pocketbook.

   
How can I find out more about a person without a background check?

If All Else Fails, Google Them

If you feel that doing a background check on a prospective babysitter for your child is a bit intrusive, you can always pry in more public ways. Many businesses and daters alike have grown accustomed to 'googling' new people they meet. Simply go online to the www.google.com search engine, enter the person's full name and click on the 'go' button. You will be presented with a list of matches for that person's name. When looking at the results, keep in mind that Google will pull up anything matching this name, whether relevant or not. It will not narrow down results to your particular Jane Smith, but any and all matches to the name Jane Smith, unless you enter additional, more specific information. You can also try www.abika.com. This website allows you to find a plethora of information available to the public that is much more permissable to a person's privacy than a full-blown background check. If you truly wish to respect your applicant's personal information, simply let them know you plan on cross-checking a few facts about them. If they have nothing to hide, they will be fine with it.

   
How can I use community services to my advantage in finding a sitter?

Make use of Community Resources

Instead of going online, you may want to make use of what your local community has to offer. Most urban areas have a local recreation, park center or YMCA. You could easily create a flyer that shows your interest in finding a babysitter which lists your neighborhood, hours wanted, number of children, and a phone number to contact you. Be cautious of giving out too much information on a public job posting, as not only might you put yourself at risk for identity theft, but you may also be attracting unwanted attention to your children. Do not include your home address, pictures of your home or of your children for the same reasons. Use your first name only. The local job board may already contain listings of sitters looking for work that you can begin looking into as well. You may first want to check with the Community Liaison of the local venue if there is one available. They may be able to get you in touch with a few local sitters they know from personal experience.

   
Where can I find a babysitter?

Resources to Find a Babysitter

Trying to find babysitters but don't know where to start? If word of mouth and the local newspaper are getting you nowhere, here are some additional resources to consider:

  • The local college campus is a great place to find a babysitter. You can register with the campus employment service, or post an informal notice in the laundry area, or student union. College students are always looking for extra money, and are more experienced than teen babysitters.
  • You can find a babysitter through your local 4-H club and Girl Scouts chapters. The prospects will be younger, but well instructed.
  • Contact your local Red Cross to hire graduates of their babysitter training courses.
  • Ask your county extension office to send you a list of certified babysitters in your area.
  • Pressed for time? For a price, babysitting agencies complete background checks, interviews and searching for you.
  • Your church or synagogue is an excellent place to find a babysitter that will share your values.

  • Can I use family members to babysit for me?

    Take Advantage of Visiting Family Members

    Family members coming in from out of town can be another great, untapped babysitting resource for a one-time only situation. If you have a baby or if the visiting family members are the child or children's grandparents, it may not be that difficult to talk these relatives into babysitting for a few hours for you to have your date night. They will likely want to enjoy a few hours getting to know your children all over again. Grandparents get especially excited to have the grandkids they see so little all to themselves to spoil as they see fit. A bigger incentive would be if you had a fun outing planned for them and made sure all meals or supplies were covered. Lend them the car to do some sightseeing with your kids to some places that all would enjoy, such as parks or museums. Remind them that it takes a village to raise a child but try to remember not to take advantage of your family's generosity too much or too often, or you might find them less and less eager to come visit.

       
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    Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.