Your neighbourhood is full of childcare providers hoping to connect with local families. Thanks to Sitly, parents can find babysitters, nannies, and childminders living in the same area – and choose the one that best fits their needs. Get started by following our babysitting guide for parents.
BRAINSTORM YOUR DREAM BABYSITTER
When you know who you’re looking for, it’s easier to spot them among the crowd. Consider which qualities your ideal babysitter or nanny needs to have, and if there are any areas where you can be flexible. Ask yourself:
- What kind of personality would mesh best with my family’s?
- How much life and childcare experience is required?
- How far away should my babysitter live from me?
- How often do I need a sitter for my kids?
PUBLISH YOUR PROFILE
Personalizing your Sitly profile allows us to show you the most relevant baby sitters and nannies near you, and it also lets these childcare providers know more about your preferences. Set up your page by filling in your personal information and uploading a good picture. Consider sharing details about:
- Your family’s dynamics, lifestyle, and customs
- Your scheduling needs and preferences, eg. after school, date night, weekends, etc.
- Your desire for help with extra tasks, eg. homework, extracurriculars, meal prep etc.
SEARCH AND SELECT SITTERS
Based on your personalized profile, we’ll provide you with a customized list of everyone from full-time babysitters to on-call nannies who offer childcare services in your neighbourhood. As soon as you sign up for an account on Sitly, you can instantly view all of the registered childcare providers in your area. Setting filters like ‘age’ and ‘hourly rate’ will narrow the results down further, so you can easily find a sitter your family will love.
MESSAGE POTENTIAL MATCHES
You can open the profiles of prospective babysitters and nannies to see if you’re interested in getting in touch. Take a look at their information, pictures, and parent reviews – and send them an introductory message if it feels like a good match. Tell them a little about your family, what you’re looking for in a sitter, and why you think they may be the right fit for your family. You might also want to ask:
- Would you be interested in babysitting for us?
- Are you available when we need a sitter?
- Do you have any references from past jobs?
- What’s your rate for an hour of babysitting?
With a single click, you can also directly invite local sitters to reach out about working for your family. The selected babysitter or nanny will then be sent a standard message with an invitation to apply for the job.
CONFIRM CANDIDATES’ CHARACTER
Call the references that the babysitter or nanny has provided. What do other families think about the babysitter? Also, if you ask for the babysitter’s last name, you can check their social profiles to see who they are. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are a great way to get to know people.
SIT DOWN WITH THE SITTER
If you like what you see and hear, it’s time to meet the babysitter for an official one-on-one. You can invite them to your house for a chat over some coffee, or head to a local park so they can witness the kids in action. This is a good opportunity to see how you get along, and to get to know the sitter better. You could prepare some questions beforehand, like:
- What kind of babysitting or nanny experience do you have?
- What do you enjoy the most about working with children?
- What age range do you have the most experience with?
- What do kids like the most about your time together?
- How do you comfort or discipline the kids you babysit?
- What are your favorite activities to do with the kids you sit?
- Would you mind taking the kids to their after-school activities?
- What’s your availability like during the week and on weekends?
- Which household chores would you be willing to help with?
PLAN A PLAYDATE
Getting along with your babysitter is wonderful, but nothing is more important than how well they click with the kids. Introduce the new sitter or nanny to your children, and see if they’re getting on well by paying attention to how comfortable they are spending time together. It may be convenient to organize this meeting to coincide with the interview, but it’s fine to make a separate appointment if you’d rather take things one step at a time.
GIVE IT A GRACE PERIOD
Let the little ones warm up to the situation before you make any concrete decisions. Have the new babysitter come over a few times while everyone gets used to the arrangement. Or, gradually build up the amount of time you’re out so that you can evaluate how things are going. If everyone’s happy, let your sitter or nanny know you would like to agree on a more formal, long-term arrangement.
TALK ABOUT TERMS
Laying out your terms in a babysitting or nanny contract is a good way to make sure all parties are on the same page. Talk these points over with your sitter beforehand, then record them in a simple document you can both refer to later on if necessary. Be sure to include the expectations and boundaries that are most important, like:
- Hourly, overtime, and holiday rates
- Established working hours
- Additional tasks agreed upon
- Reminders and rules about your kids, eg. routines, medications, allergies, etc.
KEEP IN CONTACT
Establishing consistent check-ins is essential to maintaining a good relationship with your children’s babysitter or nanny, and doing so can help you keep each other in the loop about the kids. Set aside time to talk on a regular basis – ideally while the kids are otherwise occupied – so you and your sitter can both share the observations, concerns, and suggestions that will ensure your children’s best interest is always priority number one.