Today’s post is by Rebecca Ackermann founder of Speed Babysitting. Founded in late 2008 in Melbourne, Speed Babysitting was born from Rebecca’s own time consuming experience in looking for a job as a babysitter. She thought there must be a better way and when talking to a friend, who had just attended a Speed Dating event, the idea of Speed Babysitting was born!
To find a babysitter for your children can be a very daunting process. Many parents struggle to leave their children with a babysitter and it is sure enough a big ask to hand over your precious baby to a complete stranger. But on the other hand every parent needs a break and deserves some adult entertainment every now and then, so it is worth while putting the effort into exploring the different options that are available, to find a great babysitter for your family. It doesn’t have to be complicated anymore. There are so many different options for you to find the perfect babysitter for your family nowadays:
1. If possible, ask a friend or relative if they could babysit for you every now and then.
You will feel much more comfortable leaving your child with someone you know and trust. Don’t be shy to ask! You might be surprised how many friends or relatives will be happy to help you out on a casual basis.
2. Face to face interviews organised by an agency in a speed dating style.
If you don’t have relatives or friends that can help you out, a face to face introduction to a whole bunch of pre- screened and qualified babysitters is the next best thing! First impressions are so very important when looking for a babysitter! Using the ‘Speed Dating’ style will give you a first impression of several babysitters that are matched to your requirements, in one spot at one time and you can decide afterwards which ones you liked the best and if you’d like to use any of them. You can see Speed Babysitting event dates in Melbourne here.
3. Online Directories
Great if you have the time to search through heaps of profiles, organise phone calls and interviews. You can upload your family profile with your requirements and also search a whole database of babysitter profiles. Short list the ones you like the best, send them an email, ring them up or invite them for a face to face interview.
4. Free Internet Adverts
You can post your advert for free on internet forum sites. It is a cheap and easy way to tell babysitters in your area that you are looking for some help. The downside is that you have no control over who is reading your advert and who gets your contact details. So watch out for internet pranks!
5. Babysitting Agency One Off Sitters
If you only need a babysitter occasionally and don’t want to go through the hassle of interviewing different candidates etc., you can ring up an agency and book a babysitter for a night, day or just a few hours! All babysitters on these services are usually background checked, have a Working with Children Check and a First Aid Certificate to give you a piece of mind.
6. Local Newspaper
Check out your local newspaper. In the classified section you can find babysitters and nannies looking for work.
7. Community Notice Boards
Keep an eye out for community notice boards. You can find them in libraries, book shops, cafes, parks etc, Local babysitters looking for work will leave their profile and contact details.
8. Child Care Centre
Check with your child care centre if the staff is looking for some extra work at night or on the weekends. The advantage is that you and your child might know the sitter already and you know they are qualified!
9. Maternal and Child Health Nurse
Most Maternal and Child Health Nurses have a noticeboard where local businesses and babysitters can leave their profiles.
10. Sport Clubs
Check with your local kids sport club if some of the trainers or staff are looking for some extra work. They are used to working with children and you know the person already.
Take the time to get to know your potential babysitter. If you still feel a little bit uncomfortable to leave your child for hours with a stranger, start with a short period of time. Ask the sitter to come over for a few hours while you are at home and see how your child reacts to her new friend. Then go and grab a coffee or do some shopping for a little while to see how they get along when you are not there. There is no right or wrong way but whatever makes you feel most at ease is the right way for you! And you will be surprised how quickly your child will get used to someone else looking after her for a while now and then. And you can finally enjoy some ‘Me’ time without having to worry about the little ones 🙂 .
If you are still looking for a babysitter for the holiday season why not come along to our Speed Babysitting Event on Monday 13 December, in South Melbourne. Attendance if free – You only pay if you find your ideal babysitter on the night! Pre-registration essential! Please check our website for more information or give us a call on 03 8682 8704.
How do you go about finding your babysitters? Do you have family help you out or do you used paid sitters?