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Choosing a Baby Sitter You Can Count on

Choosing a Baby Sitter

WebMD Feature

Parents are particularly scrupulous when looking for daytime child care arrangements. But should you be any less careful when hiring a baby sitter for a one-night booking? It is equally important to make the right choice when hiring a nighttime sitter.

The Search Is on

Don't assume that a relative or family friend is any better than a sitter-for-hire; the most important qualifications for a sitter are maturity and responsibility. Here, three sources for finding people that meet these qualifications:

1. Get Personal Referrals

The best referrals come from dependable sources. Inquire among people you trust: ask how they found the baby sitter, if they were comfortable with the arrangement, if they would ask the sitter back again and what they paid. Places to consider when sleuthing for names are your pediatrician's office, churches and your child's school.

2. Conduct a Self-Search

A second option is to advertise. Consider a local paper or community or college bulletin boards. The New York City-based Child Care Action Campaign (CCAC) recommends that your ad give the following information: your child's age; the hours during which you need child care; the professional qualifications you require (such as certification in CPR); and the benefits that you as an employer will offer, such as gas money to get to and from your house or free meals while on the job.