Are Online Babysitting Services a Safe Option

Online babysitting services are becoming increasingly popular due to how busy most folks’ lives have become. The “point and click method” often takes less time for a parent and can yield as successful a result as doing it the traditional way. While not everyone is as quick to jump on the online babysitting services bandwagon, more and more parents are choosing to go this route although it may not be the safest option for your child’s welfare.

The process tends to be simple and straightforward. In order to join a babysitter service that is available, online parents need to pay a membership fee, which can vary from service to service. Professional babysitters, however, can join the service free and post their own information relevant to the jobs they are seeking. This may include preferences such as number of children per household, age of children, or the location preferred.

There tend to be different rules and age restrictions from service to service and from one group of people to another. It is important for parents to realize that sitters who sign up free for the online service are not screened in any way. There is no background or criminal checks done on the prospective sitters therefore parents are encouraged to proceed with caution if they choose to find a babysitter this way. The biggest advantage of an online babysitting service is convenience. It is a time efficient way to shop for a sitter and there is often a variety of individuals to choose from.

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Despite the lack of screening or background checks, the online service would have certain personal information about the sitter in question at its disposal. As well the parents can contact the babysitter by telephone and arrange an interview and from there can either decide to ask for references or decide to continue to look further at other potential candidates. Some parents interview many babysitters before settling on one while others find a person they like after only one or two interviews. Keep in mind that your gut instinct about a person is often right so do not discount how the babysitting candidate makes you feel. Introduce your child or children to the person when they come to your home for the interview if possible and see how they interact together.

Many online babysitting services connect parents with not just full-time babysitters but also with babysitters for evenings and weekends as well. If parents like to have a “date night” every Thursday or every second Thursday, then the online service can find someone who is available on that night as often as you need them. If parents work on Saturdays, then that is not a problem either. You might even find one or two babysitters that you can telephone on a regular basis on the occasions that you need someone. There are also last-minute babysitters that can be found with the online service. Once you build trust and communication with a babysitter and if your child is happy with them, then that is sure to put a parent’s mind at ease. After all, leaving your child in the care of someone safe and responsible should be a top priority.

National online babysitting services tend to be the most common and are likely to have the largest pool of potential candidates. However, there are plenty of regional services, which should also have a selection of reliable individuals to choose from. Many of these services will have websites that will have descriptions and sometimes even photographs of the babysitters who are seeking work. Often there are testimonials of parents who used the service and were pleased with the results. Sometimes there are testimonials from babysitters as well who have had positive experiences with the families they have worked for.

While online babysitting services are still in their developmental stage, there are many parents and businesses to be found in suburban or rural areas that have created their own unique form of babysitting services. Many of these can be found by checking the local newspaper, the yellow pages or simply word of mouth. There are neighborhood groups or associations that are likely to offer free or virtually free babysitting services and they are worth checking. Additionally, many churches operate babysitting services, as do some youth groups and other programs geared towards helping out moms in any way they can.