Finding the best babysitter for your family can be hard work. The most effective way to recruit babysitters is different based on your location. If you are a urban dwelling family you most likely don’t have family around. Most families in this case use an agency or online service to book sitters. If you are suburban dwelling family you are more likely to have family nearby to help out or the high school student down the street, but in some cases you don’t have either and an agency or online service is the best option.

Here is a list of ways to find the BEST Babysitter for your family. Now keep in mind, the best option may change depending on your family’s needs, for example we talked about location above another example is the ages of your children. If you have a newborn or infant you will most likely want to go with someone more experienced with credentials in newborn/infant care vs if your children are in elementary school, they may be better suited for a high school or college educated sitter who can help with homework and provide lots of playtime.

How to Find the BEST Babysitter

Ask your friends for referrals. Word-of-mouth referrals are often best
Post on a college or sorority Facebook Page
Search on a local career site. Many organizations and universities have students and other professionals post that they are available for work
Try an online service such as SitterCity.com
Go with an agency or company that will find the babysitter for you

Now that you found the BEST Babysitter make sure to cross your T’s and dot your I’s

Have a brief phone interview to make sure she is an initial fit for your family and your childcare needs
Meet with her in person
Trial her. Have her over to your home or meet at a park and have her spend time with your children while you observe
Ask for and call her childcare references
Run a background check
Do a social media screen

If you are a busy parent who simply does not have time to complete the recruitment (it’s a lot!), try contacting an agency or online service to make it less time intensive for you. Ask your friends or family who they use and try a service that has great reviews.

Lindsay Bell is the owner of Bell Family Company Childcare Placement Service and mom of two young boys.