The way the world works has changed in so many ways, from more choices to where our children go to school, the way our children play and participate in the world, and the simple way at how we acquire babysitters, and childcare professionals.
Obtaining trustworthy babysitters has absolutely changed. If you are lucky enough to have a network of family, friends, and church members then you are an anomaly, and not the normal. People move and are relocated to places where family and friends are no longer viable, and it will take time to get the connections in your community such as church, new friends, and teachers to trust with your children.
Babysitting agencies can fill-in the gap between moving and getting acquainted with your community. Babysitting agencies can also be a reliable resource to finding you excellent back-up care for when children are too sick to go to school, and you can't miss work or when you take a vacation and want some adult time to reconnect. Babysitting agencies, like Babysitters In a Pinch, will do all the babysitter/nanny screening for you. When recruiting babysitters is done carefully it takes a lot of time. Interviews should take at least an hour in order to get a REAL feel of who you are speaking to, and what they are about. That is a lot of time to have someone in your home while your kids are roaming around or during nap time praying that the kids don't wake up too soon so you can finish the interview not to mention the time it takes for background checks and reference checks.
When you choose a babysitting agency you should talk to a person, and not just visit their website. Find out what they are about, you should get a warm feeling talking to them, and that they will truly send you babysitters that will care for your children or are they just in it for the money. By choosing the right babysitting agency for your family you should feel comfortable with the way they hire babysitters, and what their recruiting process looks like. Don't hesitate to ask what kind of questions they ask when they interview possible babysitters. They should definitely be asking questions about first aid and CPR as well as how they were raised by their parents.
The goals for what you want in the babysitter should be the same for the babysitting agency also; if your family is deeply religious don't hesitate to tell the babysitting agency this, or if athletics is important you should also mention that. Does the agency have a place where babysitters can access information about your family before they arrive? This is important because the babysitter should already have a sense of your family before they enter your door, and have some things prepared for your children.
The role of a babysitter and nanny has evolved just as families have evolved. Babysitters and other childcare professionals are more a part of our family landscape then they ever have been in the past due to busy schedules, neighborhood teenagers being more busy, and the relocation of families into areas that are new. Babysitting agencies can relieve a lot of stress, be a HUGE help to a family. Now all you need to do is change the way you feel about getting a babysitter from an agency and let the professionals handle all of the worry for you instead. The biggest relief is if a babysitter doesn't show up an agency should be able to get a replacement to you right away especially if you scheduled the original babysitter through them.
10 reasons why you should use a Babysitting/Nanny agency:
- They take the time to vet babysitters and nannies through interviews, background checks and reference checks.
- They have a pool of babysitters ready to send at a moments notice if necessary (of course they can't guarantee this but their chances are better than yours).
- If the agency is the right agency their babysitters are professional and take the position seriously.
- Peace of mind that you will be covered for life crises that come up fast, and you need to find a babysitter asap such as permanent nanny is sick.
- An agency will know availability of babysitters, and schedule accordingly.
- A babysitting agency will be aware of your upcoming events if you make them known, and will be able to find the right fit for your family.
- You will always have at your disposal a variety of qualified babysitters and nannies.
- Agencies are convenient and especially for vacationing families because you can find babysitters for you while you take some adult time.
- Not all agencies provide this but they take care of taxes and can send you end of year statements for possible tax write-offs.
- Babysitting agencies will pay the babysitters/nannies so you don't have to worry about stopping and getting cash or writing a check.
Yes, you can save money by finding the babysitter or nanny yourself but it is time consuming, more difficult than it used to be, and what happens if they need time off for a variety of reasons? Babysitting agencies are a smart backup, and unless you live in a rural area I don't see how a family can live without them.