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Posted 23 March 2019
How to Find a Babysitter in my Area?
At one point or another, you may need to entrust someone else with the care of your little one. It could be an event, work commitments or even an emergency. But no matter the reason, the first time can be daunting. That’s why finding a great babysitter is the holy grail.
So, you’re ready to find the perfect baby sitter. The only problem is… where are they? Before we look at qualities, let’s start with:
How to find a babysitter in my area
As well as booking through an agency you can find local agencies via a Google search, there are some other places you can look to find a great babysitter in your area.
Family and friends
The best way to find a babysitter you can trust is to ask for recommendations. Your own circle of family, friends and acquaintances is a great place to dig for information.
Why not ask your work colleagues? You could put a message out on Facebook and (if you have an Instagram account) reach out to other mothers whose Insta feed you follow. Even if you’ve never met in real life!
Nursery and day care staff
There may be trusted staff or a nursery assistant at your child's nursery who also offer their services as childminders or babysitters. If not, they may be able to refer you to someone they know and trust.
If you have any neighbours who you’re friendly with - they may be happy to watch your children for you. If you’re not confident about asking directly or don’t want them to feel pressured, consider asking them if there’s anyone they know who could help out. Our neighbours older teenage children used to babysit us when we were kids - great fun for us!
Parents of playmates
The parents of your child's playmates at nursery or school may be able to look after your child at their own home. You will be able to return the favour in future, and with babysitters being hard to find - this could be a great arrangement!
Local message boards
Check local message boards at your post office or library if you have one. There also may be message boards in local cafes and businesses. Next time you're in town, keep your eyes peeled.
Placing an ad
If you have a local parish newspaper that gets dropped through your door, they’re usually very cheap to advertise in. Pop in a small advert with a phone number for enquiries.
Qualities to look for in a babysitter
If you’re interviewing someone for the position of a babysitter, it’s important that they have the right qualities. We may not all want the same qualities, but these are a few of the things that I like to look out for.
Experience with children
It’s helpful if they’ve had some experience interacting with or caring for children. Even if it’s just looking after their own family members.
Caring and kind
This is an obvious one. No one wants to leave their child with someone mean!
Health and safety aware
If you’re hiring from an agency, it’s likely that some form of health and safety training has taken place, but ask just in case. If you’re not hiring from an agency, look for someone who is responsible and, if possible, aware of some rudimentary first aid.
Imaginative and fun
If you have a toddler or older child, it’s likely that they’ll bond much better with someone who has these qualities.
Good communication skills
This doesn’t just mean good at communicating face to face, or good at listening to and communicating with children. You want someone you can communicate with when you’re out of the house. Replying to texts promptly, answering the phone and taking the initiative to contact you if they need help or advice.
Open and engaged
I know that babysitting isn’t a career, so I don’t expect unbridled enthusiasm - but if someone seems really disinterested, it’s a definite no. I like the person I’m interviewing to seem open and engaged to my questions and happy to be there.
Leaving your baby for the first time can make many parents nervous. It’s totally understandable, especially if it’s your first child. To help ease your nerves, you may find it helpful to introduce your child to the sitter for the first time under your supervision. That way they can get to know each other before the “big day”!
Good luck finding your babysitter and if you have any tips, let us know!