How to find a brilliant babysitter

Library Home  >  Babysitters
  Published on Wednesday, 12 June 2019

How to find a brilliant babysitter

Library Home  >  Babysitters
  Published on Wednesday, 12 June 2019
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When you join the babysitters' club, a whole new world of child care becomes available. Babysitters can provide regular care, last minute care, temporary care, and special event care. Whether you're looking for after school assistance, emergency back-up or a cosy date night, there is a sitter to suit your circumstances.

A babysitter can be booked through a professional agency or may come recommended by family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues.

Both are good options, and to help you decide whether to use an agency or find a babysitter yourself, we've put together this table pointing out the benefits of each approach:

Benefits of Agency-Booked Babysitter Benefits of Finding Your Own Babysitter
  • A good agency saves you time by using tried and tested processes for advertising, recruiting, and screening carers.
  • Agencies have established policies regarding things like placement and billing.
  • Established agencies with good reputations attract high quality carers which improves the choices for families looking for child care.
  • An agency should be able to source a carer who matches your family and your specific requirements.
  • Agencies can assist with the interviewing and recruitment process by providing information on which questions to ask and how to make your final decision.
  • Agencies can help you write an employment contract covering things like salary, hours and leave entitlements.
  • Good agencies will maintain regular contact with families to ensure they are satisfied with the arrangement and to collect feedback on the carer.
  • Agencies hold insurance cover and can mediate between both parties in the case of disagreement.
  • No agency booking fee or cancellation fee and may come at a cheaper hourly rate, depending on age and experience.
  • May not have a 'minimum hours per booking' limit, meaning you can hire them for less than three hours.
  • Interviewed and reference-checked by you, so you get a sense of their experience, character and child care approach before booking them.
  • Are usually located near you, for convenience and peace-of-mind.
  • Come recommended by someone you trust.
  • May have an existing bond with your child, e.g. they live next door, so that your child feels immediately comfortable.
  • May have child care experience, e.g. they might be a child care worker or retired teacher who does casual babysitting.
  • May represent a 'win-win situation', e.g. booking a friend's teenager means you get affordable child care and the teen earns some money.


CareforKids contains information, advice and practical materials that will support your babysitter experience.

Our Overview on Babysitting is a great place to start. Before booking your babysitter make sure you print off our Babysitter Checklist and have our Parent/Babysitter Notes form on hand for when they arrive.

All you need to do is leave the house and take full advantage of those child-free hours!

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2020

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