Finding a reliable babysitter who you can trust with your children can be tedious and down right scary. This is especially true if your children are still very young, although we believe it is important for all children not yet of an age where they can legally be held responsible for themselves (16 +). Knowing where to find options, what to ask, what to check and what instructions and information to give this person is of critical importance to your child’s safety. Although it’s scary, being cautious and doing your homework will give you peace of mind and your child’s.
…So what is the first step? How do you begin your search? What options are there?
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is probably one of the best ways of finding a babysitter, as long as the people you are asking are people you know well and trust. This is especially true if your children are the same age. You are trusting the lives of your children to this person, so if they come highly recommended by someone who has used their services, then it’s probably a safe option although we do recommend doing checks yourself as well.
If you don’t have good friends that know of an excellent sitter then an agency is another safe route to take as long as they are a reputable company which has very high standards for their staff. It is of great importance that, when contacting the agency, you make them are aware of the age of your children and your needs for the evening that you will be away. You should also ensure that the sitter suggested has experience, has been reference checked and has her own transport. It is also important that the agency sends you a sitter whose age, experience and training is suitable to your children’s needs. An agency, if they do ensure these factors, you may just solve your babysitting requirements for all time! Reputable agencies definitely do take the pressure off you to find what you are looking for.
Many moms and dads contact us and ask why our pricing is higher than those found on some websites. Many of these sites represent themselves as being agencies. However an agency is one where all candidates are interviewed, reference checked, background checked, etc. Listing sites are fall far from this setup. Generally anyone can go online, complete a form, providing email addresses of their references, references are then automatically emailed asking for a reference and referring them back to the website to leave a reference. This can leaves a gaping hole in the safety and reliability of the profiles presented. You may as well be picking up a paper and phoning up any random person advertising themselves as a nanny or babysitter. It’s about as efficient as going through the process yourself. If you are doing it yourself though there are many factors to take into account, which we discuss in depth in the next article on this topic, next week.
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