How to Find a Babysitter Near Me?
It’s time to go out. Time to put ‘being a parent’ to one side just for a short while so that you can spend time with your significant other, reconnect with friends over a glass of wine, or attend that work social. However, whilst you may have enthusiastically shouted ‘yes’ to the invitation, it masked the organisational headache you’ve got behind the scenes. What to do about babysitting? Who will look after the kids? How do I find a babysitter near me?
Panic Not, Let’s Consider the Options
Leaving your kids whilst you go out, especially if it’s the first time, can seem daunting. Sometimes it can even feel so daunting that you’ll be tempted not to bother. However, don’t despair. You have options.
• Swap with friends: That feeling you’ve got about going out and leaving your kids? One of your friends will feel the same. Chat with trusted friends and see if you can swap babysitting favours. Of course, this doesn’t work if you want to socialise together, and can be difficult as you both have kids in tow.
• Ask the family: Some parents are fortunate enough to have local family who they can call on for some babysitting help. This can be a great way for grandparents, aunts and uncles to have some undivided time with the kids. However, it can be a tricky minefield for family feeling taken advantage of, so tread carefully.
• Ask local preschools and nursery: If your child attends nursery or preschool, you could ask if any of the staff do ad hoc babysitting. This has the advantage that your child may already know the babysitter. It can be confusing though when professional lines get slightly blurred. You’ll also need to negotiate a rate and this can be complex.
• Find a local teenager: You could ask around friends and neighbours to see if anyone knows a local teenager looking for some babysitting cash-in-hand. Your advantage here is that it is usually a cheap option. However, it’s difficult to know if the individual teenager is truly responsible when looking after children. They are unlikely to have references, for example. Additionally, a teenager will have demands on their time, such as studying for exams, meaning they may not always be available.
• Look for local adverts: On your town Facebook page, in the local newsagent’s window, or in a local publication you may find a babysitter advertised. The benefit here is that you know it’s someone dedicated to getting a ‘babysitting gig’. However, you will need to ensure you interview them and vet them carefully before leaving your children with them.
• Borrow a friend’s nanny, au pair or childminder: You may have some luck finding a local babysitter by asking friends and family if their regular home-based child carer does babysitting work. Do not just assume you can ask the individual directly without jeopardising friendships. Instead, ask the parent. Again, boundaries can be a little complicated, especially if something goes wrong.
• Use an online childcare network: You can use search networks such as Childcare.co.uk. However, these differ greatly from site to site and you will still be doing the majority of the work refining your search and vetting each profile. The motto ‘buyer beware’ is probably best exercised here.
• Use a mobile app: Mobile apps such as Bubble can seem like a handy way to sort out babysitting on the move. You are connected to prospective sitters who are also connected to your social media contacts. Do take care to check each profile thoroughly. Unlike at Sitters, they haven’t been interviewed & vetted and they don't have to have professional childcare experience.
• Use a professional babysitting agency: Your most reliable option will be to find a babysitter near you by using a professional babysitting service like Sitters. At Sitters you can be sure to find a babysitter when you need them, know you’re paying the fair and appropriate rate, and are choosing someone who has been vetted. There are no blurred professional or personal boundaries and you can go out for the evening knowing that your little ones are well cared for. You can always use the same babysitter again another time, if they are available. If they aren’t, then you won’t be let down as you’ll be able to find someone else local.
Things to Help You Decide
There are different benefits and drawbacks to the different ways of selecting a babysitter. What matters to all of them is that you feel confident in your decision regarding the childcare for your child. For that reason, we suggest you pay particular attention to the following factors in helping you decide:
• Recommendation: The best way to feel confident in a babysitter’s ability and reliability is to listen to recommendations. At Sitters, babysitters available in your area are listed with comments from parents just like yourself.
• Background: Does your proposed babysitter have a background in childcare? This demonstrates knowledge and experience. Sitters babysitters come from a range of childcare backgrounds including nannies, childminders, teachers and nursery workers.
• Availability: Whilst obviously you need to find someone right now for a particular date, think about what you may also need in the future. Can you be sure that you won’t be let down? Is there is a back-up in case of any problems? By using Sitters you can choose your regular babysitter, but know that should they be away, busy, or unwell, you’ll have other reliable options open to you.
• Payment: You should always feel confident that you are paying a fair and clear rate – not too much that you feel taken advantage of, and not too little for your area or the day of the year. At Sitters we are transparent with our babysitter rates. You’ll know what your babysitter will cost, and there are no hidden extras.
• Trust: Lastly, and importantly, choosing the right babysitter for your child comes down to trust. Trusting another with your little one, and your home, is a big step. At Sitters, we both understand and respect this. Our Sitters are vetted and experienced ready to care competently and affectionately with your children. At the end of the night you’ll only be left wondering why you didn’t use us before!
So say ‘yes’ to those invitations, plan those nights out yourself, remember what it’s like to be you by knowing how to find a babysitter near me.
Need a babysitter for evening or daytime childcare at home, holiday let or in your hotel room?
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