I’m not sure why – but sometimes finding childcare can be elusive. If you’re like me and live away from family – tapping into a network of babysitters and/or nannies can feel like a scavenger hunt – ESPECIALLY when you’re a new mama. (BUT – once you’re able to tap into a local network of childcare it is life changing! (or at least it was for us.) All of a sudden, my husband and I could go on regular date nights, I could scoot out for the occasional girl’s night and I have even been able to patch together some get-a-away weekends and catch a little R&R!
If you’re in the market for a babysitter or a nanny – here are some resources that might help.
Babysitting resource tips:
Start local and work your way out.
*Does your neighborhood or zip code or building use the Next Door app? It’s a great way to send a message to your entire neighborhood (via electronic message) and ask for babysitters or recommendations.
*Does your neighborhood have a park? Be sure to check their bulletin board every so often for babysitter posts. Our park bulletin board has a ton of offers, especially around the holidays and the summer. Most times it’s high school-aged kiddos, but once in a while, there are posts by college aged kiddos and full time nannies.
*Get social at your park or local library. If you see a mom or dad – strike up a conversation and ask them if they have any recommendations. I know this can be awkward and intimidating – but most parents are THRILLED to help out another parent. They won’t bite – I promise!
*Are you on Facebook? If so – start searching for Mom (parent) groups in your area. Ask friends if they are part of any Mom (parent) centered Facebook groups. A few months ago a girlfriend (thanks, Naya!) added me to a mom-centered Facebook group and my life changed. All of sudden I was presented with A TON of babysitter options. I’ve seen postings for babysitting, nannies and also mother’s helpers (kind of like an assistant for mom) I didn’t even know those existed!!
*Want a more professional approach? Try Urban Sitter or Care.com . You can check your potential babysitter’s resume, contact their references, and even pay the babysitter for their services through the web-site!
*Do you frequent a gym? Is there a child center there? If there’s a child center at your gym, be sure to ask the staff there. It’s possible they also baby sit (and since they work there, you know they like babies/toddlers) and/or it’s possible they know someone who does! You’ll of course interview all potential candidates – the more candidates the better! Some gyms even have “Parent’s Night Out,” where they host a movie night for the kiddos for a few hours while you get to grab a nice, uninterrupted dinner or maybe even a movie!
*Does your kiddos attend a Mother’s Day Out program or a pre-school? Ask the teachers or staff there if they babysit on the side (I’ve heard some schools prohibit this) or if they know of anyone who does. Most times the staff babysits on the side – who doesn’t like a little pocket change?! Win-win since they already love your kiddo. 🙂
Good luck finding your perfect babysitter so you can enjoy a night on the town or even a quiet night alone! And just think, when you come back to your baby or babies, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to love them even more. 🙂