I have been working more lately and as a result we have had to call on friends and family to help with the kids. Luckily we have a very tight support group around us and usually getting help isn’t too hard. It’s usually more reasonable to send the children to their grandparents’ and let them pass the kids between the two houses.
Every so often this isn’t an option — and I’m totally frazzled about being able to trust a baby-sitter I’ve never met. How did you find a baby-sitter you can trust? — Sarah
We’ve been lucky — friends and family that are in line with our parenting practices have always been the people who have watched our son so far. If that’s not an option, I have friends who use Care.com. It works in two ways: people who want to apply to be caregivers can create accounts, and people seeking care providers can sign up for a free account to peruse their local options. Care providers can opt to pay $15 for a background check, which can put your mind at ease. If you go this route, I recommend meeting with the potential caregiver at least once before he or she is set to come over — that way you can see how you really feel about him or her.
Another option is to look for certified baby-sitters in your city (for example, the city I live in has Rocket City Sitters). Sitters are usually required to be up-to-date in their First Aid and Child CPR certification, have three to five references, and pass a criminal background check.
Regardless of how you find someone, it’s definitely important to have a child-care provider you trust.