Babysitting services today have changed from the days of ringing the resident babysitter and asking if she was free for the evening. Rising rates and technology have changed the face of babysitting.
According to UrbanSitter's 2019 National Childcare Rate Survey, babysitting can be lucrative. The average hourly rate of $16.75 for one child and $19.26 for two children shows how rates have escalated.
Cost is one, but not the only, consideration when choosing babysitters. The following are some ways parents can manage the process of booking babysitters.
Recognize the changing pool of applicants
UrbanSitter's cofounder Lynn Perkins says that parents can hire nurses, teachers, psychologists, therapists, and other specialists to watch their children. Babysitting now attracts an array of care providers and is no longer just for teenagers looking to earn some spending money.
Properly vet applicants
Friends, family members and neighbors can be an excellent source of information and even recommend local sitters. But thanks to the internet and online caregiving services, parents can cast a wider net when looking for qualified sitters.
Discuss rates in advance
The going rate for sitters has increased. Babysitters and the people who need them should have a frank conversation about rates to avoid confusion. Ask sitters to text their rate so everything is in writing. For those unsure of what to offer, check sites like Care.com or contact a local youth-employment office.
Spell out your wishes
Make it clear to sitters what you expect of them. Does the child have a special blanket or feeding ritual? Are there any minor medical issues that need to be addressed? Are certain snacks off limits? Do not create room for misinterpretation, especially if a child has any food allergies or a specialized diet.
Develop a solid relationship
UrbanSitter says 58 percent of those surveyed hire a sitter at least once a month or more frequently. A good rapport with the sitter ensures he or she will take the job when called on.
Consider a nanny cam
If you agonize when leaving home, check in via a smart house camera, which helps you keep an eye on things while you're away from home.
Babysitters are a necessity for busy families. While many things about babysitting have changed over the years, the need for reliable, responsible sitters remains.