By Jen #supermom
The hunt for a babysitter can sometimes feel so much more challenging than it should be. After all, this person is responsible for making sure your child is SAFE and taken care of while you are away. Trust is a huge issue, especially when it involves our most important and cherished little ones. When we do get out on that (very rare) occasion we are faced with this somewhat daunting task.
I think we can all agree that the best way to find a sitter is through another friend’s suggestion and recommendation. By hiring someone a friend trusts and allows to watch their own children helps keep anxiety at bay. Often when a friend recommends someone, I ask about that person – is he/she reliable/timely (aka no last minute cancellations or tardiness)? How old is he/she (not everyone is crazy about a teenager watching their children)… How long have you known her/him? If it is a teenager: do they have an adult they can reach out to if there is an emergency situation? Do they have CPR training? How many kids are they comfortable sitting for (if it’s more than one)? And of course, what is the hourly rate and where do they live (the latter part can come into play if you arrive home late and pay for their car service). It’s always best when they have their own mode of transportation!
We got super lucky this past year and met a friend of a friend who happened to be a pediatric nurse and babysat on the side. Sort of a dream come true – god forbid if something happened, we know she is in the absolute best of hands. And, the fact that she works and loves being with children surely helps! But due to her constantly fluctuating schedule and odd hours, it’s not always easy to pencil her in. So unfortunately we are put to the task of finding another babysitter more often than not.
If the option of finding a sitter through a trusted friend/neighbor/family member has dried up, there are sites that can offer assistance. These are some of the more popular ones:
https://www.urbansitter.com/ – You can find someone here with certified background checks and are able to see which babysitters are requested repeatedly by families (surely a good sign)! You can filter by age, experience and rate to find the sitter who is right for you. What is helpful and interesting about this site is that you can see if your friends or parents in neighborhood/school have used that particular sitter.
http://www.care.com/ – This site helps you find child care amongst other things like senior care, pet care and housekeeping. You create a free profile and create a “job” online and it’s guaranteed that caregivers will contact you within 3 days of submitting. Then you review profiles and request background checks before making your decision. Subscription based.
https://www.sittercity.com/ – This company runs several background checks and if the sitter you are interested in does not have a background check, you have the option for paying for that check. Great feature is that it offers details on the sitter (so if you have a specific request – child with special needs or fluent in certain language, etc. you are able to search for those things). Subscription based.
http://www.care4hire.com/ – Here you would create a profile with your specific needs for child care. Caregivers are not required to provide background checks but you are able to investigate online through a service on the site. Subscription based.
http://sensiblesitters.com/ – Based in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Hamptons, this sitting and nanny placement agency matches families with reliable caregivers. Parents have the option of working with a “Sensible Specialist” to discuss their specific needs before performing the search. A bit more expensive with a membership of $150 and hourly rates between $20-$25, this service promises a higher quality experience.
http://smartsitting.com/ – This service has a bit of an angle as it provides nannys that are both nurturing AND educational (note: only 7% of those that apply to become part of the roster are accepted). These nannies can provide tutoring or even lessons in art and other fields. Hourly rate is between $15-$25 on average.
http://barnardbabysitting.com/ – For a more affordable option, Barnard Babysitting is a student-run service that matches families with students for sitting jobs. Only $30 registration fee and average of $15 per hour. Families have to plan ahead and apply before the coming semester.
http://www.nypinchsitters.com/ – For that last minute needed care, Pinch Sitters finds experienced college grad babysitters with as little as 2 hours notice. 4 hour minimum rate of $22 plus a $15 surcharge after 10pm.
No matter how many times we hire a babysitter, there is a good 30 minutes before I can actually relax. I often text the sitter after a half hour to check if all is OK. Guess that makes me sound a bit crazy but it’s what I need to do to chill out and actually enjoy my time away from home. Thankfully we’ve been blessed to have wonderful sitters thus far, who often send me a photo of our daughter happy and playing (and PS – I see nothing wrong with requesting that they send a photo). Nothing puts your mind at ease more than seeing a big smile on your child’s face, helping erase the last memory of them screaming “MOMMY”!!!! while crying hysterically as you walk out the door!
Posted on June 3rd, 2015
Posted by Matteo