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We’ve all been there and heard the horror stories about baby-sitters. They leave the kids alone, the kids get hurt, and they invite their boyfriends over or worse. No parent wants to have those things happen, but finding a reliable baby-sitter can be a huge task. It’s so important to find one that you trust with your kids, but at the same time, it’s important to not spend an arm and leg too. Use these 5 tips for choosing the right baby-sitter the next time you need to go out so that you can enjoy yourself with no worries about your little ones!
Set a budget – Before you even start your search, you need to know how much you can afford to spend on a sitter. Set a budget that you can live with and stick to it. Just be sure to take into account that sitters generally aren’t cheap and if someone is charging you a crazy low amount? They’re probably going to give your kids a crazy low amount of attention.
Ask around – Do your neighbors have kids? Friends? Family? Most likely they do and chances are they’ve hired a sitter recently. As around to see who they’re using. One (or more) of them most likely have one sitter that they go back to over and over again. If they’re willing to share, your sitter search could be over before you know it!
Use Facebook – Facebook is HUGE and so is the amount of local buy, sell and trade groups. Use these groups to sniff out a few good options for a baby-sitter. Keep in mind that when you post, you’re likely to get a lot of responses since people are having it rough and looking to earn extra income right now so be careful when you answer them that you’re picking the best responses you can.
Check and double check – Make absolutely, 100% certain that you check references. I don’t mean just checking one either. Check every single one they give you. If they can’t provide references for people they’ve worked for then ask for character references. If they can’t provide even character references, move on. Don’t trust your child to someone who can’t (or won’t) provide references.
Meet them in person multiple times – Not only should you personally interview prospective sitters, but your kids should as well. Children are amazingly intuitive and generally can pick up things that adults may not be able to. Make sure that you interview your applicant alone and then a second time with your kids. If your kids are uncomfortable? Find a new prospect.
Finding the right sitter doesn’t have to be a huge, drawn out chore that ends in tears for both you and the kids. With time, patience and the right strategy, you can easily find one that both you and your kids love!
How do you find your baby-sitters? Do you do it differently than I did here?