How to Find a Trustworthy Babysitter or Nanny in Your Neighborhood
As a mother of two, I've used nannies and babysitters on a variety of occasions, usually relying on recommendations from friends and neighbors to find people that I could trust. However, we recently moved from our home in Austin to Minneapolis when my husband Jim switched jobs - and this is a completely new area to me. Being disconnected from my home social network, I found it very difficult to find people that I could trust when we needed help with the kids. Its funny how you take for granted being able to find trustworthy help when you know lots of people around you.
Once when Jim and I had a dinner party to attend, my first reaction was to look on Craigslist for a babysitter. This was a nightmare of an experience! First off, so many people did not even respond to my job request. And some of the ones who did respond were either creepy or just sounded strange on the phone. There were a few who sounded decent who I invited over to meet in person - and many of these did not even show up. I was exasperated by it all and was unable to find anyone who I was satisfied with and ended up having to skip the event to watch the kids.
Now I knew there had to be a better solution for this! Where was the place to search for and find trustworthy babysitters and nannies? After hours of searching, I came across a site I had never heard of before called Care.com. The way the site worked was pretty simple, you submit a description of your job request - your location, what hours and rate you're willing to pay - and they post your request to babysitters and nannies in their system. Eventually you get emails when interested parties respond, and you can click over to see their profile. Its great because you can see their photo, detailed background, and most importantly, reviews by other moms who have used their services. They have a useful feature where you can request a background check on any of the people you'd like to hire. I didn't use this feature, since the reviews gave me enough comfort to meet these people in person.
The main downside to Care.com is that you need to subscribe to really get the benefits of the service. The monthly subscription is $30, which seemed to be a bit high. But when I tried the service and found how much time I saved, plus the added benefit of finding people you feel comfortable with leaving your child with - in the end I think its worth it. However, if you visit this link you can try the service for free and decide for yourself whether its worth the subscription.
I've used the service to find 3 babysitters and our current nanny - and despite one of the babysitters being 30 minutes late one time, everything had gone without a hitch. I feel very comfortable with the people we've hired and would recommend them to my friends and family. I think this is a great service for anyone, especially if you've moved to a new area and need a way to find people you can trust.