5 Best Places to Find Babysitters & Nannies on the Web

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cribHere's a disconcerting story for any parent who's ever used a babysitter: A couple who left their 13-month-old daughter with a babysitter returned to find the 23-year-old woman who was supposed to be watching their kid, "slumped against the kitchen counter with her hands on her head", according to a police report. AKA, she was drunk off her ass. Thankfully, the baby was fine, but the alleged "fall-down drunk" babysitter has been charged with misdemeanor endangering the health of a child -- as she should be.

I swear to god, man, it seems like every day we hear a new story about a childcare situation gone wrong. Makes you never want to let your kids out of your sight. But since that's just not possible for many people -- here are 5 reputable sources for finding a babysitter or nanny.

More from The Stir: Little White Lies Moms Tell Their Babysitters

Sittercity.com. Sitter City is a nationwide service that's been around for 10 years, and has a partnership with the Red Cross. It gives detailed profiles of potential candidates; offers background checks, references, and reviews; and has a "4-step screening process" that (hopefully) ensures you and your children wind up with the right choice. (It's good to go with a service that can provide background checks, as doing them on your own can be both time-consuming and expensive.)

Care.com. This is actually the service I used to find my daughter's nanny, and I couldn't be happier with the result. The set-up is basically the same way as Sitter City (you have to pay for all these types of services, btw). After posting an "ad", detailing exactly what I was looking for, I got about 80-someodd applicants, and I weeded out from there. A few specifics I mentioned: Non-smoker; someone who's okay with dogs; someone CPR-certified; and at least three good references.

Babysitters4hire.com. Same kind of deal as the above two. Babysitters4hire has been around a while, is national, and -- if you're into this sort of thing -- is even endorsed by Dr. Phil himself. There is an online investigation service located on the site for you to do a background check on candidates -- you should definitely use this.

eNannySource.com. Another national company that's been around for over 17 years. eNanny has background checks on all members, and they also have what's called a "Safe Nanny Hiring Kit," which is a handy step-by-step hiring guide that helps you keeps track of what screening you've done on each nanny (who you've called, if you've done a background check, etc.).

Seekingsitters.com. Seeking Sitters has been featured in numerous, credible media outlets, such as ABC, NBC, and CNN. They background check all potential sitters, and offer what they refer to as "Certified Sitters."

A note: I'm a big believer in "going with your gut." When I met my daughter's nanny, I knew she was the one. Like I said, I found her on a reputable childcare site -- and I had spoke with three families she worked for in the recent past -- but when we started talking, I knew I would feel comfortable letting her care for my child. Honestly? She's pretty much one of two people I'd ever leave my child with. So, if you meet someone, and all their references check out, etc., but you just don't feel like it's a good fit, keep looking. After all, nothing's more precious than your baby.

Do you have a babysitter? How did you find her/him?

 

Image via janineomg/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Nadine

DO NOT use sittercity dot com! I hired someone off of there and she was a total nut job!!!!!! She'd had a background check, but I wish I'd never hired her!!!! She was a total weirdo!!!!! Sittercity dot com OFFERS background checks but that most of the people on there HAVE NOT HAD ONE!!!! And just because someone's had a background check does NOT mean they're trustworthy! It just means there's no record of their wrong-doing!

nonmember avatar Gretta

We used Seeking Sitters and found one girl we loved and one girl that was a total nut job. We had to fire her.

Justa... Justamom96

iI used Sittercity.com as well, and was very unhappy with the person we hired from there!! Aside from not showering for weeks at a time (I don't think she showered after we hired her), she didn't bother to show up or call me when she didn't show. I had to call off work (I had a set schedule - 9:30 am - 6:00 pm). I finally got a hold of her at 11:00 when she woke up. I fired her after that. There were many other things that had her on the edge of getting fired, but that was the last straw.

nonmember avatar April

I was a nanny for 3 years and had my profile on Sittercity.com. There is an extra icon on the profile if they have had a background check, and the woman who hired me interviewed me first. I think you can tell a lot about someone from both appearances and questions you may ask them. I would make sure to look for people who have a background in education or early childhood (I was working towards my Masters in education when I nannied). Those are both good indications that they actually care about what they do and that it isn't just a way to make some money.

Santa Wify

This includes anything from washing the children's clothes and tidying the children's rooms, to supervising homework and preparing children's meals, as well as taking children to and from school and activities. Thank you.
preferrednannies

nonmember avatar Mickey Mixon

Nice information!

nonmember avatar Dayna

I went through a nanny agency to find my daughter's nanny, and I couldn't be happy with the results! Nanny First in Chicago is the absolute best!

nonmember avatar Delaine Brown

To the first poster..I hate that you had a bad experience. It is going to happen at times :( But realize there are so many great people out there!! I am on sittercity.com and a few others. I try so hard to be the type of nanny any parent would want. Unfortunately, I do not have an amazing education. What I do have is love, respect, an imagination and the want to provide help for a loving family. Don't give up, great people are out there :)

nonmember avatar Emma

I am actually a guest blogger @ Nann411. Net the site is a bit newer but it does have reliable babysitters with good references. I work as Daycare Educator,my daughter currently attends my daycare, but prior to this job I found a nanny on nanny 411.net. I did register @ca.care.com,, but I found it a bit expensive. Nanny411.net had better pricing with qualified candidates. The selection wasn't as much but most of the profiles where quality ones.

Emma411 Emma411

 I work as Daycare Educator,my daughter currently attends my daycare, but prior to this job I found a nanny on nanny 411.net. I did register @ca.care.com, but I found it a bit expensive. . Nanny411.net had better pricing with qualified candidates. The selection wasn't as much but most of the profiles where quality ones. O I'm reposting because Now I am a member..Yeah!  I really like this site.

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