If you do not have family that is local, it can be so hard and very stressful to find a babysitter that you trust for returning to work or just to have a night out. Personally, I have avoided the process entirely up to now because I always got so overwhelmed, that we often just missed the event or date night.
Now that my kids are getting older I am more comfortable seeking babysitters, but not so comfortable that I will hire just anyone! So I did a bit of digging to find some resources we can all use to help find reliable, trustworthy childcare!
Hire the Teen of a Good Friend
Especially during the summer, your family friends may be an excellent source for occasional childcare. If you are close friends you will more than likely know the teen well, the family, and be confident that your children are safe for the few hours you are out of the house.
This also helps the teen that is watching your kids because they will already know your children and have plenty of backup and people to call in case of an emergency.
Obviously, this would only be for a short-term need, not something that would be full-time childcare.
Use a Childcare App
Maybe you don’t have any trusted teens in your life or you are looking for something more full-time. I found some of the best childcare Apps you can use to find sitters that have had some form of vetting. Some of these require monthly subscriptions or the prices for the hiring are set in stone so you will want to look at your childcare budget along with these sites.
Sittercity– with sittercity you can search for the Corpus Christi sitters and see ratings and the rates that they charge! Basic membership is free, but to access advanced features, you’ll need to sign up for a premium account.
UrbanSitter – The layout and structure of this site are very similar to Sittercity in my opinion, it didn’t look like anyone local was available at this time. But it is open for our area to use.
Care.com – This is probably the best-known site for finding childcare. And while it advertises that you can find babysitters, I think it is best for finding nannies or long-term care. You can set up an account for free, but like all of the sites for premium access, it requires a monthly membership.
Bambino– Bambino is a free app you can download to your phone, and you can find sitters of all ages through the app who have gone through a few verification processes. Then when you book and pay the sitter you also pay a small booking fee. This is really a valuable resource for that last-minute date night!
While there are SO many other sites these four were the easiest to navigate (in my opinion), and had people or openings for our Coastal Bend area already set up.
Run Background Checks
Even if you decide to go through a website or app to help you find a babysitter or long-care nanny for your children I think it is always better to make sure you are comfortable by running your own background checks once you have interviewed or hired someone.
There is a site called Nanny Parent Connection that helps you run different levels of background checks for a fee. Or you could do a google search to find free background checks if you are not wanting to pay for the service.
I am by no means an expert, hiring people is such a hard task. My husband and I have had the WORST luck with contractors and hiring trustworthy people in the past. This is probably one reason trying to find a sitter is so overwhelming to me! Being a part of a few large online mom groups I have seen so many horror stories so I wanted to share some things I have learned from the mistakes of others.
- Do not hire a stranger without running rigorous background checks and asking for references that you can cross-reference.
- Do not pay anyone before they show up. (a scam being run locally is to contact you with a sad story and ask to be paid in advance and then never show up)
- Listen to your gut! (I know this isn’t technically a “don’t” ) but Mommas know and if things feel off listen to that gut feeling!
- Do not skip the interview! Unless you are hiring the Teen of a good friend, make sure to set up an interview before you leave your kids unattended with a babysitter. This will also help you have an opportunity to get references, and for any additional background checks go through.
- Don’t forget to treat your babysitter well, that way they will want to continue to work for you and your family. Here is a post about why some teens refuse to babysit.