Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday Talk: How to Hire a Babysitter

We hit a huge parenting milestone last week.

We had used family members to babysit in the past or opted to bring Olive with us or not go to events where children weren't welcome.  That's the reality of living far from home/family when you have a little one - am I right??  Anyways, we now live 2 hours from our family and it's doable to ask family for help, but we wanted to have someone local that could come and help us out as needed.

We asked around a bit and found some children of co-workers that might have been good options, but none of them could drive yet.  We were really hoping for a sitter that could drive.  So we decided care.com would be our best option.  I'd heard great things about it from local friends and friends in Mississippi who had all used the site. 

Have you ever used care.com?  What did you think?

Kevin got the ball rolling by finding a coupon code for 20% off your first month and set up a profile.  He posted a job and started looking through our local options.  There were tons of options so we both logged on and started favoriting potential babysitters.

We were looking for:
college aged girls in our city
with their own car
experience babysitting
local references 
as needed availability
and okay with cats

We immediately got people responding and we send messages to our top 4 choices.  We heard back from one girl right away and she said she'd love to babysit for us.  We exchanged messages back and forth and she offered to come over ahead of time so she could meet Olive and we could ask her some questions.  We also collected information from our other favorite girls in case we wanted to hire them in the future.

We set a date/time and she arrived early.  She was quiet, but friendly and Olive started sharing toys with her right away.  We asked questions and were happy with the answers she gave.  It was a good first interaction and we felt good about hiring her to babysit.  Here are the questions Kevin and I came up with together to ask:

Babysitter Interview Questions:
1. Getting to know you things
(school, major, activities, hobbies, etc)
2. How long she's been on care.com
3. Have you ever had an emergency while babysitting?
4. What kinds of things do you call the parents for while you're babysitting?
5. How do you handle toddler tantrums?
6. Are you okay with cats?
7. What do you charge to babysit a two year old?
8. No cleaning required, but are you comfortable cleaning up toys and things that get played with?
9. What's your availability like in the future?
10. References, cell phone number, etc?

I had a list of questions on my phone and just talked through them.  I didn't write anything down as she was talking.  Kevin asked some questions and so did I.  She asked if Olive had any allergies or special care requirements.

We hired her for four hours on a Friday night.  We left notes with contact information, timeline of the evening, likes/dislikes for Olive and directions for how to use the tv.  We left a frozen pizza, fruits, veggies for dinner and cookies for dessert.  Olive was excited when she arrived and wanted to start playing right away.  We talked through our plans and Olive's routine for the evening.

We told Olive it was time for us to go and she immediately asked for me to hold her.  I gave her a big hug bye and then she started telling our babysitter bye.  I assured her that grown ups come back (thanks to Daniel Tiger), we loved her and that we'd see her soon.  We all walked to the door and said our goodbyes quickly.  She teared up (and so did I) and we waved/said I love yous.  Kevin gave me a hug when we got to the car, assured me they would be fine and reminded me we were going to have a great evening.

We arrived at our party and I texted the sitter once to check in and make sure that Olive had perked up after we left.  She said everything was fine and they were having a nice time.  We enjoyed the evening and texted again when we were on the way home and hurried home to a sleepy Olive. 

Everything went well for all of us and we are looking forward to using our babysitter again.

Linking up with my favorite ladies today!
Join us with your favorite post from the week :)
(Starting from the upper left:)
Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls ~ Michelle - Grammie Time
Keri - Living In This Season  ~ Christina - Waltzing In Beauty
Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims ~ Lauren - Simply Free
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones ~ Whitney - Polka Dotty Place
Becky - BYBMG ~ Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things
Polka-Dotty Place


  1. I just had to find a new sitter since ours graduated and moved away. Can I tell you how difficult it is to find one, well you know! Luckily, we live in a rather small town. I'm testing out a friend's daughter in a couple of weeks. She cannot drive yet but we have family so close by that I think it would be OK. Luckily, my oldest is nearly 8 so she can run the show for new people and be a great assistant that is a blessing! I'm so glad you had a great experience with care.com!

  2. We tried one of those sites while living in a rural area. The nearest hub they had was 25 miles away. To far for a babysitter or most businesses to travel. We asked for and received a refund. But if you are in a small town / rural area word-of-mouth or calling the local high school would be better. Glad you had a good experience. We might try it again now that we love in a more urban area.

  3. Good sitters are so hard to find! And just as you find a good one, they get older (i.e. busier and move on to real jobs) and you have to start the search all over. But leaving the kids does get a little easier, especially when your oldest is 11 and you only go on dates maybe twice per year! :) Thanks so much for hosting the linky!

  4. Awww, this is so sweet!!! I have been wondering about using care.com, so this is really helpful!!

  5. I was wondering about Care.com. We have one girl (middle school aged) which is fine if we just want a dinner out before bed time, but not ideal for later nights. I need to give it a whirl!

  6. Finding a good babysitter just makes life better! We use our parents a lot, too, but they all live a ways away. Luckily with being teachers in the middle school/high school, it often works out to hire former students!

  7. Sounds like a good idea! My sister has been a babysitter pretty much her whole life...she would be a great backup! Hehe!

  8. Good job!! We lucked out and the teachers at her daycare also babysit. We have no family nearby or friends that have offered, so we've done it a bit. But it can get expensive!


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