Finding a babysitter can be quite the daunting task if you’re new in town. You hardly know anyone here, let alone trust anyone well enough to watch your kiddos. If you’re a new mom, finding someone to leave your child with for the first time can feel terrifying. However, having a babysitter you can call is very important to your well-being and your marriage. If you’re a military family, or your husband travels frequently, it’s imperative to have a little help from time to time. During deployment, it is absolutely crucial you take some time to yourself, whether that be once a month, or twice a week. You’re on your own; a babysitter is going to be the help you need to get out of the house for a few hours to do whatever it is you need to do, in order to be 100% Mom again. Your kids need you and if you’re pulling your hair out constantly, a babysitter may be just the answer. Here is my guide to finding a babysitter in any city:
Word of Mouth
The best way to find a babysitter is through a personal recommendation. To get one of these, I would recommend asking all of your local friends. Some people are hesitant to give up their babysitters; however, if you explain the time frame you’re looking for, such as, “Mondays 9a-12p,” they open up a lot more and give you their favorite numbers. If you don’t have any local friends yet, try the Facebook groups for your military installation. They are a great resource.
Join Care.com or SitterCity.com
Most of the serious babysitters in town have a profile on these two websites. These sites are great to find qualified sitters. SitterCity offers military 30-50% off for memberships. If you are a USAA member, you can save 30% on a Premium Membership for Care.com. In my experience, many of the same sitters can be found on both sites.
Here’s how I found a great sitter online:
2) Click “Post a New Job” and fill out their form.
3) In you’re posting, be sure to include your babysitter requirements. My posting looked liked this:
Title: Wednesday Sitter Needed for 1 Year Old
Description: Hi, I am looking for a sitter for my one year old son. Mondays 9a-12pm. CPR, First Aid and experience with toddlers preferred. Thanks!
Helpful Tips: I keep my posting short and sweet. I am looking for qualified people, I am not writing an ad for my family. I don’t like to give out too much information. However, once you start the interview process, it’s important to let them know the ins and outs of your household, your children, and your expectations. You can put in your desired rate but most babysitters will come back to you with their particular rate. Each city is so different in regards to how much per hour. Generally it can run anywhere from $10-$20 (the higher end if you have multiple children).
4) Within the next few days, you will receive applications. Each applicant will send you a message and you will be able to look at his or her profile. You will have to decide whom sounds like a good fit for your family. How to decide? Each applicant has a profile/resume you can review. Many of the applicants may have already approved background checks. If they don’t, you may request one at an additional charge. There is also a review feature so you can review what other people have said about that sitter. Once you narrow down your choices, you can then set up a time to call or meet the applicants. I met one applicant at the coffee shop, and another I felt comfortable enough with them coming to our home. The applicant was the daughter of another Navy family. It turned out she was absolutely fabulous and watched our son for an entire year. My lifesaver on deployment!
Trade Services with Another Mom
If you can find another mom around town, the two of you can set a schedule where you watch her children for a few hours and she then watches yours. This is definitely the most cost effective way to hire a babysitter.
Find a Co-Op
A babysitting co-op is essentially where a group of parents get together and trade free babysitting. Some groups have a specific time each week, such as, Thursdays 9a-12p. Every other month or so, depending on how many people are in the co-op, it will be your turn to watch the children during that time. Ask around in local Facebook groups for Co-Ops or here are two sites to find other babysitting co-ops in your area:
Military Families-Utilize the CDC on Base
In almost every Navy town there are Child Development Centers that are available for ages 6 weeks to 5 years, 6am-6pm. (Hours vary per location) They have drop in rates at $4 per hour, but a reservation must be made in advance. They take reservations up to 30 days ahead.
Good luck! I hope you enjoyed The Navy Mom’s Guide to Finding a Babysitter and I hope you find a wonderful babysitter for your family!
Do you have any other helpful hints on finding a great babysitter? Let us know.
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