It’s happened for the last time: you and your partner are expected at an important business dinner, a networking function, or even just a get-together with old friends, when the neighbor’s teenager decides they’d rather go out than babysit. You want to find a professional, reliable sitter you can count on, someone who cares about planning fun activities and building a real connection with your child. You want someone who can do more than just make sure the place is still standing when you get home. They’re out there, you just need to know how to find them, and while going online is definitely the place to start, classified services are not one-size-fits-all.
New online directories now exist that are tailored specifically for families who need to hire a babysitter; easy-to-use platforms are becoming popular places for families and care providers to connect, thanks to a number of useful features, safety measures, and customer support lacking from more generic classifieds. First of all, their search filters are tailored to the industry, allowing you to search separately not just by city, but also by the type of services provided.
Directories like Sitter.com allow families to connect with care providers who specialize in a variety of services, giving families more flexibility to find exactly the kind of assistance they need to fit their life:
1. School Pick-up and Drop-off – If you live in walking distance to the school but don’t have time to walk your child or pick them up and take them to daycare, there are hundreds of care providers who can help you out.
2. Lifeguards/swimming supervision – Sitters come with all kinds of credentials, including lifeguard certification for swimming supervision or lesson that you can take advantage of.
3. Crafts and activities – Many parents don’t want their children spending too much time in front of TVs or smartphones, and would rather they participate in fun activities and play that doesn’t involve a screen. Instead of letting a smartphone look after your child, hire someone with years of experience getting children involved in real activities that you might even remember from your own childhood.
4. Daycare – Whether it’s just for the summer, the years between mat/pat leave and kindergarten, or after school, daycare plays a big role in raising a child. Find one close to your home, your child’s school, and one that fits your schedule.
In addition to providing more accurate search results, at least one online community has also come up with a simple but sound solution to many families’ security concerns. They worry about reaching out to strangers online, which is why they have implemented safety measures that keep your phone number hidden when you contact potential hires for interviews. All of your phone calls made through Sitter.com are tracked and listed, which means you know who you’ve been in touch with in the past. Better directories take precautions to protect the privacy of the families who use them, and actively monitor and remove users who are abusing the platform to make spam calls.
A directory should also allow you to keep your potential hires organized neatly and retrievably, alongside notes from your interviews or past experiences. Keeping a list of favorites gives you options when your go-to sitter isn’t available, and with personalized notes, you can don’t have to worry about losing track. It’s time to move past the generic classifieds – when it comes to your family, make it easy, make it fun, and make it safe.