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how-to-find-a-babysitterWe've got all the contacts you need to find the best childcare provider.

Whether it's time to go back to work or you're home and finding it impossible to be in three places at once, you are ready to share some kid-rearing responsibilities.

Here, in our next post of the 'Babysitter Series' from The List, we reveal that how to find a babysitter (and the best babysitter at that) is all in who you know and where to look.

Surprisingly, the contact info you need to find a babysitter is not some ephemeral numbers that you can't get your hands on. You and the people around you are best to tap into.

Are you looking to find a babysitter for full-time, part-time or just someone who makes it possible for you to get out on a Saturday night? Whatever your situation may be, we've got tips for helping you find the best babysitter.

Top 10 Ways to Find a Babysitter

  1. Talk to people in your mommy and me group or classes. Tell them you are looking to find a babysitter. Many of them might know of legitimate agencies, employ sitters who have friends, or they might actually suggest you share someone fabulous they already use who wants more work that you can offer.
  2. Talk to the teacher in your mommy and me group. Find out if they do any babysitting on the side--surely they've been vetted by the place where you take classes and you already know how she or he interacts with the kids.
  3. Be on the lookout at the park. If you see someone you like, chat her up. Maybe she has a friend just like her or she might be looking to move on (poaching is typically not acceptable, but if she is truly not happy, well then, we cannot feel too bad).
  4. Check local colleges. Babysitting is a popular way for college kids to make money and they typically have their own transportation and somewhat flexible schedules around their class times.
  5. Schmooze with a fabulous waitress at a restaurant. If she is bubbly and all smiles, gets your order right and is lives locally, get her number.
  6. Tap into your community. Ask families with older children at your house of worship, community center, or your kids’ schools if they babysit. The benefit is that you can talk to plenty of people as references who know you and them well.
  7. Speak to neighbors and friends in your area. Find out if they've used an agency before or if they know of anyone looking for work. Very often families will "grow out" of their babysitters or need them for reduced hours, which might be an opportunity for you.
  8. Find out if any of your favorite friend sitters have friends who are looking for work. The network of childcare providers can be a tight one and many professionals help each other.
  9. Search online for local chapters of national services. Most of these have conducted background checks on sitters and will provide you with a sitter's bio. Some provide as needed services and others long-term care. One popular site is Sittercity Babysitting.
  10. If your older kids go to pre-school or camp, find out if the teachers there or any counselors are available to babysit. They obviously like being with kids and have the patience necessary as well.

It's always important to ask the right questions when interviewing and doing background checks. Check out our blog in our 'Finding the Perfect Babysitter' series about Top 10 Interview Questions and future blogs like 'Questions to Ask a Potential Babysitter's' references.

For more on parenting advice and info, check out poshmom.com

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