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Find A Babysitter

Updated on June 3, 2015

Finding a good babysitter or nanny can be a challenge for any parent, in fact, it can be a real headache.  Parents must be cautious when selecting someone to come into their homes and care for their children.  There are stories in the news all the time that discuss cases of babysitter abuse.  So how can parents find someone they can trust?  This article will provide a few suggestions to help narrow down the search for a potential babysitter or nanny, and the warning signs to look for up front to help you steer clear of any danger.

Babysitters and The Nanny - Search Methods

Referrals From Family, Friends, and Colleagues - One method for finding someone you can trust to watch over your precious little ones is by referral through family members and friends. Ask around from those you know, who they use and what their good points are. Ask for contact numbers and other references. Generally this is one of the safest ways to know you have someone that you can count upon to be trustworthy.

Babysitting Services- Another great tool that is available to parents, are baby sitting services that help you search for a babysitter in your area. There are even very reputable services on the Internet like Care.com, where you can search for babysitters, nannies, child care, senior services, and home care services all at the same site. Care.com will also let you perform FREE background checks on individuals when you sign up so that you can know who you are dealing with. You can also read detailed reviews of potential babysitters that have been written by other parents who have used them, and get the feel for the personality of a good babysitter. Also, if you are a babysitter looking for babysitter jobs then Care.com also allows you to post a profile and record reference interviews to try to find babysitter work.

Nanny Services - Finding a nanny is a little bit different than trying to find a babysitter. The process is basically the same, but due to the minute differences in the type of job, the digging for a trustworthy individual is a little more involved. Babysitting is usually a temporary fit for an evening on the town every once in a while. While a nanny is someone who is hired to live with the family, usually, and help with raising children. A great website to assist Parents in finding a nanny is Nannies4hire.com. This service is very reputable, and has even been featured by Dr. Phil on his television show.

Video With Babysitter Interview Advice

Interviewing Potential Babysitters and Nannies

 After you have some referrals from family and friends, or you have utilized a babysitting service of some type, you will need to interview prospective candidates.  Here are a couple tips for the interview process.

  1. Contact prospective sitters by phone at first to get a general feel for their personality.  It is perfectly acceptable to request names and contact information of all references and to inform the baby sitter that you will be calling these references.  You can also ask what their fee is for babysitting, and lastly make sure to ask if the candidate has any formal medical or emergency training.
  2. After the initial phone interview, it is necessary to contact the references provided by the babysitter.  Make sure to ask the references if there were ever any personality problems or conflicts between the sitter and their children.  Ask what was good about them, and what was bad about them.
  3. If you come to a decision on any of your first candidates, decide which ones will move on to the next round.  The next round is when you will invite the candidates that you feel might be a good fit to your home for a face to face interview.  It is very important to meet your baby sitter face to face before leaving them alone with your children.  An important thing for parents to remember is to trust their instincts.  Try to get a good feel of the sitter's personality.  If you think it is appropriate, let them meet the children and notice if they get along with the baby sitter.
  4. At this point, you should have a couple good candidates for hire.  One perfectly acceptable steps in this process is a trial run.  Just hire the babysitter for a test period of only a couple short times to see how things go.
  5. If everything checks out, and the trial went well enough, you can start to feel confident about hiring this babysitter when you need them to be there for you.

Babysitting Rates

 There are several factors that go into figuring out how much to pay a babysitter.  Most caregivers will have a figure in mind as to how much they would like to be paid per hour to babysit children.  Generally a good base pay rate to start with is between $9 and $13 per hour.  Additional items to consider adding to the base rate is ages of the children, number of children, etc.  For example, if you have three children, and your base rate is $10 per hour, you could add and additional $1 per child for a total pay rate of $13 per hour.  It is perfectly acceptable to negotiate the babysitter rate, but I would not sacrifice a good person for a savings of a few dollars. 

Finding A Babysitter Online Video

Here is a short video on how to find a babysitter online and the safest way to go about it.

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    • marriednokids profile image

      marriednokids 

      7 years ago from California

      I thinks it's great that you use resources outside of your friends. In my hub https://hubpages.com/family/5-Ways-to-Insure-Your-... , I talk about the problems you may run into when doing that. I still think the rules apply if you have a professional.

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