Let’s face it. Not every family’s schedule looks the same. Parents working second or third shift need childcare, but finding it can be tough. And what about those last-minute situations that arise, leaving you without a trusted person to care for your child(ren)? Typing “24-hour babysitters near me” into Google can produce results that span the spectrum. So, how can you find the right sitters for your specific situation?
Use a trusted source
Your number one concern when deciding on 24-hour childcare options is likely your child’s safety. Trusting a sitter to come to your home and be responsible for your kids while they sleep is a big deal. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. The process is simple if you follow the right steps and use a trusted source.
Sittercity, for example, helps connect families to sitters without having to wearily punch “24-hour babysitters near me” into a single search engine. In one place, you can define what you need, and find sitters that match your preferences. Lean on reviews, ratings, and other tools as part of your screening process.
Getting stuck in an unexpected situation that requires additional childcare sends many parents into panic mode. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid the stress, if you plan ahead.
For 24-hour care and non-traditional schedules
The first step in finding a sitter for your non-traditional schedule is to plan out your needs.
- How often do you need consistent care?
- What are the times you’ll need care?
- Will those days and times change weekly or monthly?
- Will the sitter be responsible for any meals or putting the kids to bed?
- What are your expectations of the sitter while the kids are sleeping?
Once you’ve written down all of your answers, head to Sittercity to begin the matching process. You can post a job (with all the details of what you need) and sitters that match your needs will come to you. Or, you can reach out to specific sitters whose profiles meet your expectations. After going through the process of finding a shortlist of sitters that might work for your family’s situation, it’s time to interview your candidates. Use this checklist to make sure you cover everything.
Once you’ve chosen a sitter that fits well with your family, it’s time to discuss what you’ll pay and get a babysitting contract in place. Being very clear upfront is critical to a strong, ongoing relationship.
Having a permanent childcare solution in place will take a huge weight off of your shoulders. But what happens when your regular sitter is sick? Remember all of those great candidates you found during your Sittercity search? It’s time to get a few of them on board for unexpected situations that may come up with your regular sitter.
Again, be transparent about the nature of the position, and that you may call at the last minute. If they’re interested, talk about their pay and get a contract in place ahead of time—even if their time with your kids will be infrequent.
For last-minute childcare needs
If you don’t have a non-traditional schedule, hopefully, you’re all set with your ongoing sitter situation. But have you thought about having a Plan B? When a sitter calls in sick or your child needs to be picked up from school early, it’s important to have plans in place before the situation occurs.
Sourcing a few on-call or temporary sitters can be quickly done on Sittercity. Use the same tips as above to connect with like-minded childcare providers, and have them all set up for when those unexpected circumstances come your way.
Remember, you don’t have to be part of the growing number of parents losing sleep over finding care for their kids. Do you spend time researching the right schools and neighborhoods for your family? Investing time to explore childcare options is no different. Be prepared before an emergency situation or schedule change comes up, and help ease the stress of your entire family.