Hitting the Babysitter Jackpot

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Hitting the Babysitter Jackpot - Columbia SC Moms BlogThe perfect family babysitter. Their names and identities are protected like people in the witness protection program because we don’t want our neighbor to “steal” them. If we could, we’d officially draft them onto our “team” with non-compete clauses. When they leave us, we take months and maybe even years to recover from the breakup.

But if you’ve moved to a new area, don’t know anyone and have no family around, how do you go about finding someone to entrust with the lives and well being of your children?

Carefully and thoughtfully. Below are some suggestions to help you find the perfect fit for your family.

1. Utilize the services of a reputable babysitting website.

Websites like care.com and sittercity.com help you find reputable caretakers. Each site provides you with profiles, pictures, reviews, pay rate and background checks on individuals in your area. If you are in a new area where you know no one, this is an excellent fee-based resource to find a trustworthy sitter as you begin your quest to find an additional member of your family.

2. Check your neighborhood newsletter.

Many neighborhoods have newsletters or websites that help neighbors connect with each other. Many times neighborhood teenagers (who are Red Cross certified) are seeking employment as babysitters for nights, weekends or summers … when moms need them most! This is a great way to connect with your surrounding community and create ties with those closest to you.

Sometimes your neighbors can be some of your greatest resources.
Sometimes your neighbors can be some of your greatest resources.

3. Consider your church nursery and preschool teachers.

If you child attends preschool or the church’s nursery during services, many of these individuals will be willing to work hours outside of those venues and work privately for families. Often they have already established trusting relationships with your children so it would be natural to nurture that relationship.

4. Look into the child development programs at your local college or university.

In the Midlands, we are lucky to have two post-secondary institutions that educate and train professionals to work in child development. Professors at Midlands Tech or USC may have contacts with students who need to gain experience working with children. These students have access to the latest theories and techniques on early childhood development.

You found the perfect sitter. Now what?

When you find potential babysitters, make sure you conduct reference checks, an interview and “dry-run” with your kids. Once you’ve vetted your potential babysitter, your maternal instinct and your kids’ reactions will tell you when you have found the perfect match.

When you do find that additional member of your family, cultivate that relationship because the bond between your children and a babysitter can become such a wonderful support for your family.

Additional Tips

I recently had the opportunity to represent the Columbia SC Moms Blog and talk in more detail on finding the perfect sitter with WACH Fox 57. Here are additional things to look during the process.

So what are you waiting for? Schedule that long overdue date night!

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Kristen is a wife, mother and full-time special education teacher. Born in Connecticut, she has lived in Washington, DC, North Carolina and now happily calls Columbia home. Her children, the tortoise and the hare, were adopted from South Korea and are now 7 and 4. This “Dawson’s Creek” enthusiast was convinced if she scored a spot as an extra on the show, a famous actor would fall in love with her and whisk her away to pursue a life of parties and Prada. She scored the spot, but not the actor. With a chronic case of Wanderlust, she can be found day-tripping throughout the Carolinas and planning excursions to visit family across the US. She could be a contestant on "World's Worst Cook" as she has ruined instant pudding not once...but twice.

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