Finding a Babysitter

Finding a babysitter can sometimes be difficult. To cultivate a pool of possibilities, we suggest the following means of marketing your job opening.

Work of mouth
Speaking to other parents at a park or a school outing is a good place to start. Most parents protect their best sitters but their sitter may have brothers or sisters who are available.

Church or Synagogue
Older women like to be around children and may welcome the chance to read to a child for a few hours a week.

Local High School
Not only contact the guidance counselor for their recommendations on students but many young teachers like to supplement their income by watching children on the weekends or during the evening. The guidance counselor or principal can put out the word of your need for help.

As a working mother you might not be as familiar with the teenagers in the neighborhood as some of your older neighbors or stay at home mothers. Ask around.

Post flyers in local libraries, day care centers and youth centers. Give only your number but for security purposes omit your name.

You can find licensed agencies in your local yellow pages.

Domestic Help
Put out the word among the domestic help who frequent your neighborhood. Everyone has a sister and you never know when babysitting might be their profession.

Your Pediatrician
Sometimes other mothers will watch other children for a little extra spending money. If it's a mother of a child your doctor is familiar with, you'll know first-hand the kind of care she provides her own children.

The response to an ad can sometimes be overwhelming. Look in your local paper for an ad soliciting a similar babysitting situation. Try calling the person whose ad you see in the paper and see if they had an excess of good respondents. As a gesture, you can offer to split the cost of their ad to obtain the name and phone number of a possible sitter.

Picking the right babysitter Whatever channels you choose to use to find a babysitter, we suggest always carefully screening the prospective candidate. Make certain they are experienced and come with good references. Most of all, a mother's instinct is always a strong indicator of success.

Also see: Questions to ask when interviewing a babysitter or nanny