Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Parents in need of a night to themselves who feel hindered by the lack of a great babysitter have a wealth of online tools to find a caring person to look after little ones for a date night.
Paid subscription sites such as SitterCity screen babysitting candidates and require a nominal monthly payment or one paid a year in advance. Find college students, childcare professionals, and teachers looking for extra work outside the school day. It can also be used to hire dog walkers, tutors, pet sitters, housekeepers, and senior caregivers.
UrbanSitter is a community accessible through your Facebook page that allows you to search for sitters according to date and time or post a job based on your needs. Sitters can be booked online instantly and paid through your PayPal account. The mobile app is incredibly handy tool that can be used to book your sitter on the go even at the last minute.
Neighborhood and mom group listservs can draw on local talent that lives nearby. Listservs can be great for a mother’s helper, generally a middle school age student who can walk over after school for a couple hours to provide welcome relief just as the witching hour hits. They can also be helpful in locating college students living at home and high school students who can assist with night and weekend sitting for nights out.
Local colleges and universities can be a treasure trove of young, energetic young men and women who could use a welcome break from studying. Email the education or psychology departments to find those who understand child development and want to become teachers to ask if they have a physical or online bulletin board that you can post a sitter query to. Be sure to maintain your privacy in any information you post by keeping the information general. Don’t share specifics such as your address, age of your child, or days where you’re looking for care until you make contact with the student. It’s best to include your distance from the school so students can determine if they can get to you easily and includes your cell phone or email as contact information.
Once you build up a list of great sitters, use a free app, like Karoo to help them keep you informed of your little one’s activity while you’re away. Karoo is a free app from Care.com that that serves as a communication tool with caregivers. Parents can add their sitter or nanny to their trusted network of caregivers or update their child’s timeline to share important updates about their child regularly. Karoo ensures that parents are updated about important moments that happen even while they’re away.
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