There’s no denying you love your children, but Mommies need their playtime, too. Taking the occasional night off, especially as the holiday season approaches, can help you unwind. If you’ve maxed out calling in favours from friends and family, a babysitter is the next step. However, it can be tough to find reliable childcare on your own. Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of services that can help you connect with a qualified babysitter online. Learn more about the most popular platforms below, and get closer to finding your future babysitter (or saviour).
The Basics: Finding a Babysitter Online
- Many of these platforms offer both a free and subscription-based service
- Parents search through a database of potential caregivers whose profiles contain qualifications, experience, expected salary and availability
Care.com has 13.3 million members in over 16 countries (primarily in North America and Europe). Potential sitters create a profile and, as a parent seeking childcare, you can filter your search based on criteria including license or car requirements, live in/live out, non-smoker, CPR certified, etc. Care.com also offers a feature that helps you find a last-minute replacement if your babysitter is unexpectedly unavailable.
Sittercity.com boasts that they “connect a family with a caregiver every 3 seconds.” It is a US nationwide service that has over 11 years of experience (meaning more care providers to choose from) and a partnership with the Red Cross. With a subscription, parents are able to request and access background checks, references and reviews. Sittercity.com offers video profiles and virtual interviews to help you further screen candidates prior to arranging a meeting in person. Talk about efficient!
Babysitters4hire.com is like SitterCity in that it services the US and offers background checking services. If you wish to go through a free trial version of this site, you will be able to contact sitters internally, but once you pay a subscription you can access their direct email and phone number. This platform is endorsed by Dr. Phil, which says a lot about their reputation.
GoNannies.com serves the US, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom and is cost-free. Because it is a free service, their caregiver database is smaller than subscription-based competitors. However, you can reach out to candidates through internal messages and arrange a meeting for an interview to develop your own impression of the sitter.
CanadianNanny.ca states that it is “Canada’s largest and most recognized online service for finding child care.” Similar to other online services, parents can search through their database of potential candidates. It offers listings by city, as well as universities and colleges where babysitters are available. They also allow parents to set up a trial profile to get a taste of their service, prior to subscribing.
Making a decision
Many of these services were founded by babysitters themselves, so care is at the core of their philosophy. These platforms streamline the search process, but you should always form your own impression of the sitter through face-to-face communication. Even supervising the babysitter while they look after your kids for the first time is a good idea. Because after all, he or she has to be someone that you and your children feel comfortable around, and that feeling is not always something you can tell from a website. Tell us:
What do you look for in a babysitter?
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