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How do I find a casual babysitter?

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#1 MyButterflyGirls

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:02 PM

What is the best way of going about finding a casual babysitter?

I've been lucky up until now that my Mum has been able to help me out when needed but for various reasons this is not currently an option. My youngest is still breastfed at 18 months so going out at night hasn't been possible until now.

The only childcare workers I know are from my eldest child's centre but they have a policy of not allowing staff to babysit for children who go to the centre.

I just looked at findababysitter.com.au but they want a joining fee!!! I also checked out gumtree.com.au and only one babysitter came up in our area. Even if I did choose one from a (reputable!) website, how do you really know what they are like? Do you interview them if it's just for casual babysitting? Ring all their references?

Do I go through an agency and pay over $100 for a night out? Find a willing teenager for $15 an hour? Argh!

Clearly I've never left my kids with anyone but Grandma so I'm a little out of my depth.

How do I find a babysitter that I can trust with my precious kids???

#2 halcyondays

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:14 PM

The website type (like findababysitter) just put you in contact with people who would like to babysit. You need to interview them. With younger kids, you need to give some time to see how your kids interact with them, or they could be very upset if they wake up to find a stranger trying to pick them up.
For occasional babysitting when the kids are largely asleep, I have found that other parents are often very helpful. They may know babysitters, have family friends with highschool children who are responsible and reliable. My son's daycare teachers also have family friends and student teachers who passed through the centre on pracs looking for casual work. Currently, my daycare director has a family friend with a 23 year old daughter who babysits regularly for several daycare families.

You need ask everyone you know to recommend someone and try them out. It is very labour intensive, but once you build up a network of babysitters, it is much easier.

My neighbours have children roughly the same age as ours, so we "swap" babysitting between us if it is needed during the day for an hour or 2.

#3 Ice Queen

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

I used findababysitter.com when I moved interstate for a few months and had no contacts or family to help out.  I paid the $45 (cheapest option) and ran through all the sitters listed in my area, emailed maybe 6, had 3 reply of which I interviewed 2.  I had 1 do a trial (but I did pay her) with me at home.  So she played with DD, had her for 30mins while I nipped to shops then took het to the playground.  So I watched her interact etc.  I then used her for casual jobs, mainly at night.  Worked great.

Back home I have used teenagers (but no younger than 17) but i was living in a country town and they were the daughters of friends, or I knew were studying teaching at uni, knew them from my local cafe etc.  I would never hire a young girl unless she came recommended or I knew her from somewhere.

I have also used nanny agencies but only as a last option. Like a work function, wedding, 40th of my BIL or when we are away on holidays and dont know anyone.  They are always great BUT too expensive for me to consider using all the time.  I like the knowledge that they are police checked, work in childcare and have lots of experience.  I only ever been sent first rate sitters using an agency.

#4 uniquelyme

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

I do Family Daycare and have looked after my families of a night regularly in the past few years. They dont do it all the time, but at this time of year I get a lot of requests. None of them sleep over, but I charge the out of core hours fee...which is $9 p/h and the best bit for the families is that they get it covered largely by CCB :-) They might drop off at 6pm and pick them up around 10pm. But it is at my house....thats the downside if you want to drink!

#5 MyButterflyGirls

Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:19 PM

Thanks very much for your experiences halcyodays and Ehill. You've given me something to work on!

QUOTE (uniquelyme @ 05/12/2012, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do Family Daycare and have looked after my families of a night regularly in the past few years. They dont do it all the time, but at this time of year I get a lot of requests. None of them sleep over, but I charge the out of core hours fee...which is $9 p/h and the best bit for the families is that they get it covered largely by CCB :-) They might drop off at 6pm and pick them up around 10pm. But it is at my house....thats the downside if you want to drink!

Do you live near me by any chance?! Sounds perfect! biggrin.gif

#6 uniquelyme

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:36 AM

Haha, Im in Tweed Heads, but it could be worth sourcing your local family daycare office?? wink.gif

#7 mummy~2~two

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

Where are you located?

#8 SlightlyLeftFeral

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

I was lucky and found a great one on Gumtree. She is only young, but she really interacts with my daughter.

Last time they made cakes together and just had a great day.

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