Finding Childcare When You Are New In Town

Tips for Finding the Best Sitter for Your Family After a Move

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Finding childcare when you are new in town can be quite challenging. For one, leaving your children with someone else can be anxiety-inducing. You want only the best for your child whether you’re choosing a full-time person childcare provider or an occasional babysitter. Here are tested strategies for finding a provider when you’re new to the area and don’t know a soul in town. 

Childcare Sites 

These sites can be intimidating for a lot of parents.

It’s hard not to feel like you’re Internet dating when you review nanny or babysitter profiles online. But sitter sites do have their advantages. Not only is there a wide pool of applicable candidates to choose from but before you hire someone, you can generally: check availability, message a potential candidate, conduct a background check, speak to an individual’s references and set up an in-person interview

Schools and Daycares 

If you’re looking for a classroom setting or want to give your child the opportunity to socialize with peers in their own age group, schools and daycares are the way to go. In addition to researching the schools online, check the library and pediatrician’s office for free publication guides that list schools by location as well as provide contact information and hours of operation. Also check your area’s licensing requirements, so that you can be aware of any licensing violations or complaints.

Many states now post their licensing guidelines and findings online, which allows you to conduct an online search of providers and their status. A quick internet search using the terms “state name” and “child care licensing” should help you find your state’s standards. 

Word of Mouth 

A personal recommendation for a babysitter still goes a long way for many people, so ask, ask, ask.

Talk to the people involved in your move (real estate agents are often in the know on many subjects), chat up your co-workers and the neighbors. Many neighborhoods now have online groups who are willing to recommend everything from the cheapest dry cleaner to the most reliable babysitter. College students who are interested in babysitting often post their contact information on these sites when they are home for the summer or other school breaks, so be sure to check these sites often.

To get a city-wide perspective, use Facebook. Many Facebook groups and moms groups are organized by city. These forums are a great place to find out about everything local, including child care providers. These groups have the latest whether you are looking for the occasional date night sitter or more regular child care.  Even if you don’t see a childcare thread on these forums, start one. You’ll be surprised how many people will chime in!

College, Church/Temple and Community Center Bulletin Boards 

While the internet has replaced many things, many locations still have bulletin boards, be it an online version or the corkboard kind you tack things onto.

Often you can browse the listings without having to sign up but you may need to register if you want to post a job. 

Special Needs 

If you have a child with special needs, finding child care can be especially tricky. Check to see if your county has a parent network organization for children with special needs. Special needs support groups and online forums are also a good source of information.  Many nannies and au pairs specialize in special needs care, so do an internet search for providers in your area. Also, don’t forget to talk to your child’s doctor or therapists about child care resources. 

Many churches and temples now have special needs programs. Even if you don’t attend a particular church, be on the lookout for these programs as they often maintain a directory of local providers and resources and can be a great source of information. 

Choosing child care can feel overwhelming. You want someone who has the right qualifications based on experience and skill set but also who is the right fit for your family. While the process can be consuming, seeing your child bond with a caregiver is rewarding and provides you ultimate piece of mind. 

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