As an owner of a babysitting agency I have real experience with finding qualified babysitters, and I'm always surprised by some of the relaxed attitudes there are out there about babysitting. Like having a living person's life in your hands isn't serious. I've had people show up for interviews with friends in tow, ask what's the big deal about babysitting, wonder why having some college is important, write resumes chock full of grammar errors, simply just being a parent should be enough and I should hire them on the spot without even meeting them or not show up all together after scheduling an interview without so much as a text to cancel.
I don't know how parents have the time to find babysitters of their own. Not to mention how to find a babysitter when you've been relocated to a new city for jobs, and you are far from family and people you know. Finding the right babysitter, for me, has been excruciating at times. If I interview 5 people I might hire 1 or 2, and that takes nearly 5 - 10 hours only to find just 1 or 2 people to hire.
When you do find a babysitter what does a family do if the babysitter is sick, doesn't show up, quits with no notice, or worse, isn't a good babysitter, and not at all what they presented themselves to be?
These reasons are only some of the reasons you should look to a babysitter agency. The benefits of using an agency are:
- The agency has done all of the interviewing, screening, background checks, and reference checks to make sure the person applying is qualified.
- The agency has a pool of babysitters they trust when you have a babysitting emergency such as sickness, no-shows, school closures, travel, etc.
- A good agency will also provide billing, payment of babysitters, statements for taxes, and a whole variety of other services that will help you be at ease so you can concentrate on your family and jobs (which is enough).
- An agency gives you more freedom to go out on dates when you want to go out by providing a team of babysitters that are loving, patient and kind that will be able to be there when you want or need them.
- Agencies are also up on babysitter wages and rates for the area so they will be able to attract quality babysitters and be confident that they are paying the going rate in the area. Trust me, babysitters want to be paid what they are worth, and a lot of them charge a lot more than they should. I have over 40 years babysitting and nanny experience and I would never charge a family $30/hour. Just because you pay more doesn't necessarily mean you're getting better.
These are just a few of the reasons that using a babysitting agency is helpful and, quite frankly, worth it. Babysitting isn't like it used to be, neither is parenting, and childcare. There is more need for a wide variety of services from after school transportation, to date-nights every family is different and babysitting agencies are there to take care of each individual need.