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How Do You Find a Babysitter?

It's an important question if you're traveling, or going to a coworker's party, or just need a night out once in a while.

If you have children, then you know that finding a reliable, trustworthy babysitter is high up on your list of things to do. Maybe you've leaned on the grandparents, or even an aunt and uncle, to help out. But, at some point, you're going to need to find a professional — a stranger! — to watch the kids.

Whether you're traveling or have to attend a coworker's wedding, or maybe you've got young children and are looking for a babysitter for the first time, the process can be frustrating.

Our Parents Talk Q&A is here to help make it a little easier. At the same time, we want to hear from you, and how you find—and hold onto—a good babysitter.

Now that school is back in session, some parents look to local universities for a suitable sitter. Others employ an agency or even hire someone fulltime. Word-of-mouth used to be the most reliable source for good babysitters. Or maybe there was a neighborhood babysitters club. Today, some people go online to find the right person.

Madison and Chatham parents, we want to hear from you: How do you find that 'special somone'?

Colleen Bohensky September 28, 2011 at 03:34 PM
When I was a teenager I babysat ALL the time. I never really thought once about how those parents found me. I suppose it was word of mouth from friends and other parents. Because I was always babysitting... I never thought how difficult it might be to actually have to find a non-family babysitter. It's one of those struggles that no one seems to share ahead of time. We have been fortunate in that one of the girls' day care teachers will babysit in a bind. I did finally give in and try care.com. I placed an ad for an "occassional babysitter" and was actually a bit overwhelmed when I got 27 responses in just the first weekend. We did find an AWESOME FDU student... but she's only here for another year... and only during school. I swear each year I'm going to go door to door in my neighborhood and just ask "Do you have a high school student? Do they babysit?" (And in June when they put up the "graduate" signs in the front yards I'm REALLY tempted to ask if they want to make some cash before heading to college!!!)
Elizabeth McConnell September 28, 2011 at 05:23 PM
We have contacted career services at FDU in the past which worked really well. We got one sitter who recommended a friend when she graduated and that chain was only recently broken. One thing that I liked about these girls was that I felt they got a little bit of home away from home spending time with us. And this summer we finally found someone who goes to college out of state but lives here and can sit when our FDU girl is home.
Candi September 30, 2011 at 02:51 PM
You are preparing to hire a babysitter for the first time. What all do you need to do to be well prepared for successfully employing a babysitter? Determining what job tasks you want the babysitter to perform (just childcare? feeding? house cleaning? transporting? administering medications?) 1. Determining what traits and skills you will seek in a babysitter (based on the job tasks above) 2. Determining what you are willing to pay a babysitter (usually expressed in dollars per hour worked) 3. Determining what you are willing to do for your babysitter (transporting her to/from your house, allowing her to snack on items in your fridge, etc.) 4. Determining your preferred... http://tinyurl.com/y9vhrv3

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