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Moms Talk: How Can Parents Find Trustworthy Baby-Sitters?

And how old does a qualified sitter need to be?

This week, we'll explore a parenting issue that involves new beginnings and trust.

Suppose you are new to St. Louis. The necessary paperwork has been filled out, so the kids are ready for school and activities. But with Valentine's Day approaching, you and your spouse would like to find someone to watch them for a night.

So onto this week's question: What resources would you use to find a reliable baby-sitter? How old does a qualified sitter need to be?

MomOfThreeBoys February 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
The YMCA has a kid's night out service that we use quite a bit. We don't have family in town so that is our alternative. Just have to plan around the schedule. Hope that helps.
Debbie February 09, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Family, friends, neighbors are great resources for babysittiers. It's hard to say an age because each kid has a differenct maturity level. I've talked to moms who aren't comfortable with their 13 yr old watch their own siblings. I've also talked to moms who have used 12 year olds as their babysitter. I would make sure that the neighborhood sitter has taken a babysitting course. Parents can also call a babysitting service like TLC For Kids. All of their sitters are at least 18 years old and go through an extensive screening process.
Nancy Pasternak February 10, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I think if someone is relatively new in town - going through a reputable agency like TLC is a smart idea. I managed to find our babysitters through a variety of methods - one is the daughter of a friend, the others included my childrens' preschool teachers (and later the teachers children!). I've used referrals from close friends whose parenting choices are similar to mine. I don't really have an 'age' requirement (ours range in age from 15-55ish) but I probably wouldn't have a non-driver except my one friend's daughter who is amazingly trustworthy and mature. For those I didn't know - I usually did a bit of sleuthing (checking MO casenet and even looking at Facebook pages) - but generally, I trust the friends and others I know. I usually only use new sitters for short periods of time to get a full impression and hear what the kids think of her. Plus, I'm lucky -for the first several years - my parents were the kids only babysitters.
Nate Birt February 10, 2012 at 10:45 PM
These are great suggestions — thank you! My wife and I are thankful for the family and friends we can rely on in this area, but it's very helpful to have alternatives in the event we need to lean on them.
Mary February 23, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I'd strongly advise on using a nannying agency such as Olive U Nanny. The agency is ran by owner, Laura David. There are no second or third hands involved. Laura personally goes out to each family to see what they're specifically looking for as far as the needs, qualifications, and the wants of the family. Following that, she interviews highly experienced nanny applicants to fill the position. Basically she is the middle woman between the family and the nannies. The nannies must have an extensive resume for child care plus a background/criminal record check to make sure the nannies are legit. The family has no obiligation to keeping the nanny that is placed with them if the family does not feel the nanny fits the criteria of what they're looking for. Until placement has been made, and everyone on both sides are happy *(both family and nanny), the family does not have to pay a placement fee. It's a lot cheaper than TLC as well. TLC has several hands in the game, and honestly I find it that if you have too many people involved, it loses its personal touch. I highly recommend checking out Olive U Nanny if you're serious about finding a nanny.

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