Moms and dads occasionally need time away from their little ones, making finding a dependable babysitter an important task. Learn how to hire a qualified sitter that both you andyour kids will love!
“When is Sarah coming back to play with me?” my daughter asks. “Why don’t you and Daddy go to the movies soon?” she suggests. “I’m coloring this very special picture for Sarah.” Sarah, the goddess in question, is one of our teenage babysitters, and the entire family agrees that she’s a terrific girl.
A good sitter, like a good hair stylist, is someone you want to have in your life. But how do you find a good sitter when you’ve just moved or had a baby and don’t know what to look for and where to begin?
The very best way to become acquainted with a great babysitter is through a referral. Your first phone calls should be to friends or neighbors with young children. Ask them who they use and if they’d be willing to share her name and number. If you don’t know your neighbors, get gutsy and stop mothers in your local grocery store, kids’ clothing store, or at the playground and say, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m new in town (or just had a baby) and I’m looking for a good babysitter. I was wondering if you could possibly help me out and recommend one?” Most moms have been in the same situation and will share their sitters.
If you’re not bold enough to accost strangers, try calling the youth director of a large church or synagogue in your area for a recommendation. Also, many high schools and YMCA facilities offer babysitter certification courses and can give you the names of recent graduates. Some larger neighborhoods even run babysitting co-ops, where you trade babysitting duties with other mothers with children of similar ages.
Consider an internet search site, such as sittercity.com, which allows you to search for babysitters in your area and prescreen candidates.