Tips to Help Parents Find a Babysitter for Children Online

Parents can find their next sitter from the comfort of their own home

mother working in computer with child on lap
Hero Images/Getty Images

Parents are increasingly going online to find babysitters for children. And why shouldn't they? People are finding life partners over the Internet, shopping online for furniture and the perfect wedding gown, and even choosing daycare centers, schools, nannies or au pairs electronically. Given this, why shouldn't parents find a babysitter in the same fashion?

The use of online babysitter services is a growing trend, and while it may not be for everyone, it is a godsend for some parents.

How Online Babysitter Services Work 

The process varies, but typically parents pay a membership fee to join an online babysitter service and sitters enroll for free. Different groups have different rules and age restrictions. Parents should be clear that these sites typically do not screen or conduct background searches on potential sitters; their claim to fame is "connecting" parents and sitters. However, having said that, information about sitters is typically included and often includes ways a parent can check with references or talk with the sitter before any agreement is reached.

Babysitter service sites may feature testimonials from parents about the sitter and often include photographs of the sitter to put parents at ease. For example, Sittercity.com promotes success stories on its site. Another online babysitting service, 4sitters.com, features a parent testimonial on its home page.

 

While larger urban areas will typically feature a larger pool of potential sitters on the growing number of national babysitter service sites, zip code searches can make it easier for parents in suburban or rural areas to find potential candidates.

Conduct Local Babysitter Searches Online

Parents shouldn't forget to search locally on the Internet for babysitter candidates as well.

While national or regional online babysitter service companies are relatively new, many enterprising parents and businesses have already embraced this type of partnership locally. Neighborhood associations offer potential babysitter services online, as do churches, schools, youth groups and moms groups. Although the pool of contenders may be more limited, the list typically comes with a free price tag and much easier to check references.

Wrapping Up

Many parents may feel uncomfortable finding babysitters online, but the trend is growing, with more families consulting websites that provide such services. Parents should be comfortable knowing that these sites do not advocate simply connecting a willing babysitter with any family. Rather, the creators encourage the sitter and parents to talk with one another and get comfortable enough to arrange a babysitting agreement.

You never know what type of sitter you might find online. While you may fear the worst, a babysitter found on the Internet could end up being the best caregiver your child has had.

But it's impossible to find out if this could happen unless you take the plunge and consult an online babysitting service.

Continue Reading