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Finding the perfect babysitter can be an overwhelming task. Some parents have never had to use a sitter before and have trouble knowing where to start looking for one. Whether parents just need an occasional night out or could use a regular babysitter with steady hours, finding a sitter that fits the family’s unique needs is important. Keep reading to discover 50 different ways to find a babysitter.
10 Ways to Evaluate What You Want From a Sitter
Every family has unique needs based on lifestyle, ages of the children in the household and even the hours that a sitter is needed. Sitting down to determine what you’re looking for in a sitter is the first step to the process of hiring a sitter. Use these tips to create a list of exactly what you feel is important in a babysitter.
- Decide whether you feel it is important for the sitter to have past experience. If you do, ask for professional references from past babysitting clients.
- One quality that you should always want from a sitter is CPR training.
- If your family has a unique philosophy regarding raising children, the sitter should be able to conform to any requests you have regarding this philosophy. It helps if the sitter is familiar with the methods.
- Determine whether the age of the sitter is important to you. Some parents are fine with hiring high school students, while others won’t hire a sitter under the age of 21.
- Think of qualifications the sitter should have based on the needs of your children. For example, the sitter should be able to change a diaper and prepare a bottle if you have an infant.
- If your family has special dietary concerns, the sitter needs to be able to prepare meals according to these concerns. This applies to families who practice vegetarianism or veganism and families with children who have allergies or medical conditions that require a restricted diet.
- Determine whether the sitter will need to have personal transportation to and from your house.
- If you have children that are in school, consider hiring a sitter with strong academic skills. A sitter who had high marks in school will be able to help your children with homework when you’re not around.
- Some babysitters are only available during certain times of the day. This is especially true for sitters who are attending high school or college. Figure out when you need the sitter to be available.
- There are some sitters that only provide sitting services in their own home. Decide if it is necessary for a sitter to be able to watch your children in your own home.
10 Ways to Determine How Much You Should Offer to Pay a Sitter
Payment is one of the most difficult subjects a family faces when hiring a sitter. Fortunately, it is possible to calculate a fair amount based on a variety of factors. Read the tips below to determine how much you should be offering to pay a sitter.
- The first step to determining pay rate is finding out the average rate in your local area. You can do this by asking other parents in the area how much they pay their babysitters.
- The age of the sitter can contribute to determining how much you should pay. High school and college students often get a dollar or two under the normal hourly rate. This is mostly due to lack of experience and the possibility of the sitter being less mature.
- Sitters with CPR certification and other medical training should be offered at least one dollar more per hour than sitters who do not have this training. The skill and the peace of mind associated with medical training is worth the premium.
- If you want sitters to do household tasks while babysitting, you will need to pay them more than if they were just expected to watch the children. The amount that this addition is worth depends on how much you expect the sitter to do. For basic chores like washing dishes, you could probably add less than a dollar per hour. If you expect them to vacuum, do laundry and straighten up the house, consider adding two to three dollars per hour.
- The age of the children determines rate. Infants need a lot of care, so the service will be more expensive. Middle school children are often able to care for themselves, so you can pay the lower rate if your children fall in this age range.
- If more than one child is being cared for, increase the rate by a few dollars per hour. Unless the children are infants, caring for two children does not mean that the parent should pay twice as much.
- Keep in mind that metropolitan areas usually mean much higher rates for babysitters. The demand for sitters tends to be high in these areas, so you’ll probably be paying a premium to employ a trustworthy, reliable sitter.
- If the sitter is expected to stay overnight, you should pay them for all of the hours they are in the house. However, the rate paid for the hours the sitter spends sleeping can be much less than the regular hourly rate. You may want to pay 25 to 50 percent of the normal rate for the hours that are spent sleeping.
- Add a dollar per hour if the sitter is coming on a Friday or Saturday night. These nights are considered a premium night because sitters often get many offers for jobs these nights and may have to miss out on personal plans to babysit.
- A sitter who has a degree in a field related to childcare will usually demand up to 50 percent more than the going rate because of knowledge and experience.
10 Ways to Create a Job Description
A thorough job description is one way to avoid having to deal with interviewing candidates who are not qualified for the job. The job description lets sitters know exactly what you are looking for so they can determine whether their experience and expertise meets your specific needs. Trying to find a sitter without one can result in wasted time for both the parents and the sitter.
- A job description can include some information about compensation. You can decide whether you’d like to spell out how much you will be paying the sitter or if you just want to mention that the job will be paid hourly.
- Make a point to talk about any special needs your child has in the job description. For example, you want to let the sitter know about medical needs before the interview. Interviewing a sitter with no experience caring for a child with special needs is a waste of your time and the sitter’s time.
- List any certifications that you want the sitter to have in the job description. This should include CPR training.
- If your family subscribes to a unique way of raising children that not everyone is familiar with, mention this in the job description. This helps you find a sitter that is both familiar with the technique and willing to comply with your wishes regarding using these methods while babysitting.
- If you cannot provide transportation for the babysitter, outline this fact in the job description. The phrase “must have reliable transportation” makes it clear that you will not be picking up the sitter or driving the sitter home at the end of the night.
- Clearly state whether the sitter is expected to come to your home for the sitting job. Some sitters prefer to watch children in their own home, and it’s essential to make it clear if this is not acceptable.
- If you’re looking for a sitter who can also help your children with homework or even act as a tutor, talk about which subjects the sitter would need to help your child with. Mention the grade that your child is in so sitters can determine if they have enough knowledge to apply for the job.
- Mention how many children the sitter will have to watch and be sure to list the age of each child. Some sitters only have experience with a certain age group. The sitter will especially need to know if the child is a newborn.
- Note whether you want the sitter to complete household chores while babysitting in the job description. Elaborate by explaining exactly what type of housework is expected. Some sitters are only willing to do some light cleaning, but other sitters may be willing to take on a job that combines both sitting and housekeeping duties.
- Include information about unique situations that some sitters may not be willing to take on. Examples include overnight stays, working on holidays and driving the children to activities.
10 Offline Ways to Market Your Babysitting Job
While many people use the Internet to find a babysitter today, there can be safety concerns when using this search method. There is also the possibility of missing out on hiring a great babysitter if the sitter doesn’t use the Internet to find work. However, parents often have trouble knowing where to start in an offline babysitter search. Use these tips to successfully market your babysitting job offline.
- If you have ever had your child in a daycare, ask the daycare providers and other parents about babysitters. Childcare professionals and other parents who have children the same age as yours are a great resource when it comes to finding a reliable, experienced babysitter. Some daycare providers even work after hours as sitters.
- Parents of school age children can ask teachers about sitters. Some teachers are able to provide referrals, while others may work a second job as a babysitter. The benefit of using a teacher as a sitter is that your child is already acquainted with the teacher.
- Friends of the family that have teenage children may be willing to let their child babysit for the family. Again, there is a benefit of having a familiar face come to babysit.
- Advertise the position through the library. Many local libraries have a bulletin board for local information. Nannies, sitters and parents all frequent the library, so posting a notice on the bulletin board will be sure to reach plenty of qualified sitters.
- Consider joining a parents’ group to connect with other parents in the area. These groups can be a great resource for a variety of information, and there are sure to be a few parents in the group that can refer you to a babysitter that they have used in the past.
- Newspaper ads may seem like an old-fashioned way to get the word out, but there are still plenty of people looking for work in the classifieds. Using the local newspaper to advertise the position means that only people that live in the immediate area will apply for the job.
- Post an ad at the local college. College students make great babysitters, and you’re sure to get lots of interest if you post a few ads around the campus. Just be sure to ask someone at the student affairs office to approve the job listing before you start pinning in to bulletin boards.
- For families who are looking for babysitters that will work limited hours at night and on weekends, high schools can be the ideal place to find a sitter. The principal or guidance department usually handles ads for part time jobs for students.
- Homeschooling families may be willing to watch a child at any time of day. There are often groups that connect students that learn at home with students in public schools. Use one of these groups to get acquainted with homeschooling families in the area.
- If your child participates in an after-school activity, ask other parents and instructors about babysitters in the area. The instructor may even be willing to let you put an ad up.
10 Online Ways to Market Your Babysitting Job
Babysitters often use the Internet to look for new clients. One advantage to using the Internet to market your babysitting job is that it is common for sitter databases to list qualifications, specialties and even whether the sitter has recently undergone a verified background check. Parents who are searching for a babysitter online can use the tips below to make sure they end up with the best sitter for the job.
- NannyPro.com is the most well-known website used for finding a sitter. It is a database of sitters that you can search based on qualifications, experience and availability. The website does charge a fee for access to sitters’ profiles.
- eNannySource.com allows parents to find care for their children based on their children’s needs. While there is no charge for a basic membership, parents who would like access to more features will need to upgrade to a paid membership.
- Babysitters.net is a free database that allows searches by zip code.
- Craigslist is a common place for people to post babysitting jobs. Since the website is not as secure as others, make sure that you plan to interview the sitter in a public place. Ask for solid references that you can call directly.
- The local library may have a website that helps people in the area find jobs. Ask if you can post the babysitting job on this website.
- Some areas no longer have print newspapers, but there are often still online local news websites available. See if there is an online newspaper in your area. As with print newspapers, you can post an ad in the classifieds.
- Join forums for parents of children that are the same age as yours. These forums may have groups that are divided by region. You can connect with other parents in the region and discuss childcare. This is a situation where you would want to meet the potential sitter in a public place when conducting an interview.
- Access the websites for local colleges in the area. These websites generally have a section for students looking for jobs. You can post your ad on this website and make it visible to all of the local college students.
- Websites for expectant parents often allow you to connect with babysitters in your area. Find a forum that specifically caters to your area. Even websites that do not specifically have a forum for connecting parents with babysitters can be a place to network with other local parents to find a sitter.
- Find local websites that list babysitters in the area. These are similar to other babysitter database websites, but they are specifically designed to allow sitters in one metropolitan area to post on the website. This is the best way to find a sitter online if you are living in a large city.
While the process of finding a babysitter can be difficult, the right sitter is out there somewhere. Remember to determine what your family values in a sitter before starting the search, and outline required qualities clearly in the job description. Start your search through friends and family, and branch out to using the Internet if necessary. Soon your children will be having fun with a reliable, experienced sitter while you get to take some much-needed time off!