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How To Find a Babysitter (when grandparents aren’t an option)

By Guest Contributor

By Britt of Miss Britt
When my family and I moved to a new town in a new state, the very first thing I learned was the location of the nearest grocery store. The very next was how to find an after hours babysitter in a town where I knew no one.

1. Ask Your Teachers and Day Care Providers.
These people know people with kids. They know people who work with kids. And most importantly, they know people who don’t get paid squat for their dayjobs. In other words, they’re the best resource in town for reliable and affordable sitters.

2. Find the babysitting classes.
Your local YMCA (and some Red Cross chapters) usually offers babysitting classes. Contact them and ask for a list of past *graduates*. You’ll probably end up with a highly annoying overachiever type, but at least you know they’ll show up on time.

3. Go to church.
In between sermons and hymns, scope out the families with multiple kids, focusing on the ones with preteen older siblings. To get the most bang for your Sunday buck, I recommend attending a Catholic mass at least once a month!

4. Post a Craigslist Ad
And, try not to word it “looking for available teen, nights and weekends”. There is a childcare section on Craigslist that can be a great starting point. Of course, you’ll want to carefully screen and check references (as you would with any new sitter).
5. Pay Someone Else to Look For You.
Sites like Care.com and Sittercity allow you to search for available sitters, nannies and mother’s helpers in your area. They also assist with background and reference checks. Sure, you have to pay someone to find someone you’ll pay to watch your kids – but it’s still better than being stuck at home for free.

Published December 1, 2008. Last updated October 8, 2011.
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We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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