That's a good question, and the answer is: a lot! Finding a babysitter on your own is a tricky endeavor, and even after you find a babysitter that you believe is the right one you may find out they are not, and then you have to start the process all over again...ugh!
If a family relocates to a location where they no longer have access to babysitters that they know personally it can feel overwhelming, uncomfortable, scary, and helpless. You know that you will need childcare because kids get sick and can't go to school, you actually need a break from time to time, and you need to nurture the relationships in your life that aren't just kids; therefore you need to find babysitters.
The old way you used to find babysitters and possibly may still have luck is: neighborhood teenagers, church members, teachers, and leaving kids with their friends' family from school, etc. If you are able to secure babysitting this way you probably don't ensure that the individuals are safe to care for your children because you already trust them, they may not be able to take care of the children when YOU NEED them, you need to pay them at the conclusion of the babysitting and chances are they don't accept credit cards so you need to have cash or the equivalent: a check at the end of them babysitting for you. This can impede plans too if you don't have ready cash at the time you need a babysitter. Plus, something may come up and, though they said they would come, they may have reasons last minute as to not coming; leaving you in the lurch without a babysitter.
Babysitting Agencies Give You Convenience:
- They have backup care if your scheduled babysitter can't make it
- They have done all the work to check the safety and credentials of all of their babysitters
- The company takes care of paying the babysitters and also their taxes so you can use a credit card to pay
- Have access to more then 2 or 3 babysitters, so they can cover you when you need it
- Confidence that your kids are safe
- They find babysitters for you and give you access to a pool of babysitters
- Communicate family needs to babysitters and keep track of family tricks and tips for happy children
- They also give basic information about your family before the babysitter arrives so they are already comfortable
What do babysitting agencies do behind the scenes:
- They spend money on recruiting their pool of babysitters
- Recruit babysitters by interviewing, background checking, and reference checking
- Communicate regulations to babysitters as needed in order to keep your family safe
- Schedule babysitters based on their availability
- Keep track of your families schedule
- Ensure babysitters act professionally
- Research average pay for babysitter rates in your area and pay accordingly so you get good babysitters
- Provide invoicing so you can pay via credit card
- Do the appropriate accounting to keep track of babysitter pay and what you, the client, pays in childcare for your end of year taxes
- Provide on the spot help to babysitters if they are struggling with behavior and, in some cases, may have someone come to the home to assist the babysitter or replace them
- Pay for recruiting either through classifieds or other job sites
- Always finding new babysitters as current babysitters leave to pursue their goals
Changing the way you find babysitters, and the job of babysitting evolves remember that things can be a lot easier if you choose to go with an agency; so you and your family will have better coverage when you need it.