Demand for childcare is at a record high in many cities in North America, and it can be a challenge to find daycare in those years before your child starts school, or even after-school care when they begin public school and you head back to your career. Finding Mary Poppins’ double might be a tall order, but a great babysitter or daycare option will have a curriculum of teaching and socializing children. High-quality childcare improves peer socialization, school readiness, and language skills, and when you find the right option, you’re setting up your child for success.
With all the stress entailed in finding childcare so that you can get back to work and you career, it can seem overwhelming at first, but you no longer have to scour the newspapers for reliable daycare options. Going online can help you find a place for your son or daughter in a daycare or with a babysitter, and even help you find occasional sitters for those weekends or week nights when you have a social or work function. But skip the usual classifieds that you might turn to find second-hand furniture or a good deal on movers – there are websites you can use that specialize in helping families find childcare like Sitter.com. With listings in hundreds of cities across North America, you are bound to find a sitter or daycare in your price range with the availability you need to get back to work. What differentiates a site like this from generic classifieds is the availability of certain features that make it safer and easier to hire:
- Favorite Lists: Make lists of the sitter profiles you find promising so that you can easily consult them later to call for interviews or hire when a cancellation puts you in a tight spot.
- Make Notes: Take notes while you interview a candidate and then put them into private notes that you can attach to a sitter, like a digital Post-It; they’re not visible by the public or the sitter, but for you to consult when you make a hiring decision
- Privacy: A good site should also protect your contact information by disguising your phone number and email address in the initial part of your interaction with potential employees; later, when you’ve hired someone you trust, you can give them your real phone number.
- Customer Support: A great site gives you help along the way, and that means assistance making wanted ads or user profiles, and tips on how to build a relationship with a daycare provider.
The internet is ideal for comparing many different babysitters and new daycare options, while maintaining your privacy with features like identity protected phone calls and emails. It’s an especially useful feature if you’re worried about providing your information before you’re convinced that you want to hire the individual or send your child to that daycare. Reliable websites also track the calls and emails users send to watch for patterns that suggest their communication system is being used by spammers.
On a site like Sitter.com, you can search by city, neighborhood, and ZIP code to a daycare or a sitter near you, but you can also narrow down your search by language (an important part of encouraging bilingualismin your child), transportation, availability, qualifications, and even additional tasks like pet sitting and special needs. Daycare is an essential service for many families; you need all the tools and resources you can get your hands on when you’re trying to find a childcare solution. There’s no need to line up overnight for daycaresin your city; turn to an online community that takes its role connecting families and providers seriously, offering customer support for using the site, a frequently updated blog with all kinds of tips on how to find childcare, and technical features that simply make your search easier. Spare yourself all the trouble you can and focus on identifying the best option for your family and your child.