My review of SitterCity and how we used it to find a reliable babysitter quickly and easily.
A few months ago my wife and I decided we needed to find a reliable babysitter. In the past we’ve always relied on my sister watch our kids, or we traded babysitting services with friends who also had young children.
But there were times when our friends were busy and we didn’t want to have to rely solely on my sister who might also have plans. We wanted the freedom to make a last minute decision to have a date-night without having to worry about finding a babysitter.
The problem was we had no idea how to find a babysitter we could trust.
We didn’t want to just pick someone off the street, so we were happy when we stumbled onto a website called SitterCity.com
How Does SitterCity Work?
SitterCity is a neat website that helps you find experienced babysitters and nannies in your area. You can read detailed profiles, references, and reviews of prospective babysitters. You can even run online background checks on them.
We started off by browsing through the profiles of various babysitters in our area. With a free account you can’t see the entire profile or read the reviews, but you can at least get an idea of who is out there. We were surprised by how many local babysitters were available!
Need a babysitter? Find the most qualified sitters at Sittercity.com.
Once we decided we were serious, we signed up for a paid membership. They charge a monthly fee for full access, but what we only paid for the first month and then canceled after we found babysitters we liked. I suspect that is pretty much the standard practice…sign up, find your babysitter, and cancel before you get charged for the second month.
Within 24 hours of signing up and placing an ad explaining our situation and our needs we had about 30 applicants. I couldn’t believe how quickly these babysitters were to apply!
We carefully sifted through the applications and quickly eliminated about two thirds of them. Some of them were just too far or had obviously not read our ad at all (for example, one woman said she had allergies and hates pets but we have two cats and a dog…another said she could watch 2 kids at the most but we clearly said we have 3 children).
We narrowed the list down to five candidates and sent them each a message indicating that we’d like to meet with them. Two of them never even responded which was pretty frustrating. Why’d they even bother to apply in the first place?
The other three all responded and were able to arrange a meeting, though one of them was going out of town for a few weeks so she wasn’t able to schedule anything right away.
We met with the other two applicants and we loved them both. They were both women in their early twenties and both attended local colleges. Both had references and when we contacted them they gave raving reviews of how great they are with children.
In the end we ended up hiring them both. We simply alternate which babysitter we use for each date night so they both get a chance. And it helps us to have a backup in case one of them is already busy when we need her.
Both babysitters have watched our kids several times and our kids love them both. We’re actually planning to move in a couple of months and they’ll be a bit too far away to continue babysitting for us. I guarantee we’ll join SitterCity again to find a babysitter or two in our new neighborhood.