Several times a week, someone on one of my social media platforms posts a desperate plea asking how to find babysitters. Now, I’m certainly no expert — it seems we often exhaust our list of tried-and-true sitters — but I do know a thing or two about how to add to that list! We have our eyes and ears open all the time, and we are never shy to ask for a number. Here are some of our favorite (free) resources — I hope this can help those of you who are desperate for a date night!
University job boards
There are dozens of colleges and universities in the Boston area, and that means there are thousands of students nearby — many of whom not only want to make a little extra money but have a good amount of time available. The Tufts student job board is a favorite among my friends, though many local schools have similar boards. Put your needs out there and see how many responses come back to you!
Many people get very protective of their babysitters. I get it — a good sitter is hard to come by, and you want them available when you need them! But I see it more as a “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” situation. I’m happy to share my sitters — and happy to hear who my friends use. It’s a great way to grow the list. Sharing is caring!
Desperately need a sitter but coming up short? Ask a friend to watch your kids — in exchange for watching hers another night. She can come to your house, or you can even bring your kids there so the kids can play while you get a little time away.
There is no shortage of local Facebook groups for parents today! These groups are wonderful for connecting with parents in your area, and who better to ask about babysitters than those who live nearby? Some Facebook groups specifically narrow in on the topic of childcare, which means you have parents and babysitters and nannies all in one place!
True story — we found our most amazing sitter while she was working at a restaurant we frequented. (She is seriously the bets — she took time off from her summer job when I had my daughter to care for my first child without us even asking.) She was a hostess at the restaurant who adored my son and always came to our table to visit. After a few interactions, we took a gamble and asked for her number. More than three years later, we don’t know what we would do without her!
Restaurants, daycares, and kid-friendly classes are great places to meet sitters. These are people who are around children regularly. This gives you a very good idea how they handle stress, how they balance tasks, and how they are around kids.
It’s hard to find a babysitter you trust — I get that! We have so many worries about leaving our kids with someone we don’t know intimately. Having a tried-and-true list of people you feel comfortable with watching your kids makes life a lot better. Plus, it makes finding that last-minute date-night sitter a whole lot easier!
Thanks for these ideas. I definitely agree on the “babysitter” share with friends. We have done this and it’s nice. We already trust the parents/families. No money to worry about. We also found a great sitter on Care.Com. It takes some energy to sift create a post, sift through replies, etc but when we had no other networks it was a good source. We have a great sitter and we’re glad to refer her to others!
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