10 Places to Find a Grand Rapids Babysitter
1) Word of mouth – getting referrals from friends and family is a great way to find a reliable sitter. You can usually trust a sitter if someone you know has already used them for their children. This is how many people find their babysitter.
2.) Care.com – This website provides connections for nannies, babysitters, daycare workers, tutors, special needs care and au pairs. You can search the database to connect with local people within your pay range. As a parent seeking a sitter, you pay a fee to use the site.
3) Sittercity.com – A website that provides a database of babysitters and nannies near your zip code. Parents can post a job description to which sitters can apply. Sittercity is a fee-based membership site.
4) College job boards – Many schools use Handshake, a place for college students to search for jobs and employers to post their job listings. When you sign up, you can easily post your job listing to many schools at once, for free. Local schools that use this tool include Calvin College, Aquinas and Cornerstone. Grand Valley also has a job posting site.
5) Greatstartconnect.org – A local resource for daytime care. By creating an account, you can search for preschools, in-home care and daycare centers. Through the search, you will be matched with providers who meet your criteria (drop off times, locations, etc.). You will also be given access to any reports on the provider (annual reports, incident reports, etc.).
6) Church youth groups – This is a great way to get a younger sitter from a family you may already know. Also, sometimes younger sitters like to work in pairs, so you can get two for the price of one! Also, consider having a young teen as a mother’s helper. Train the sitter as you’d like and in a few years, you’ll have a sitter that is just like a part of the family.
7) Local gyms – The YMCA, GR Kroc Center, Grand Rapids Gymnastics, MVP and other local gyms have parents’ night out programs where you can drop off your kids for a few hours and they can play with other children in the program.
8) Northlight Nannies – If you are looking for regular in-home care or an occasional night out, this company provides a locally owned option. A nice perk here is that they issue payment to the sitter for you, so you don’t have to fumble for cash at the end of your date night.
9) Babysitting Co-op – If you can find some people to swap sitting with, this is a low-to-no cost option for babysitting. I was in a co-op where we earned one Popsicle stick per child per hour when watching kids. Then we paid the sitter watching our children one stick per hour per kid when we wanted to go out. If we were running low on Popsicle sticks we knew it was time to volunteer to watch someone’s kids.
10) Facebook Groups – Some Facebook groups you already belong to may be helpful when looking for a babysitter. For example, do you have a neighborhood group? Advertising that you need a sitter may be the key to finding a trusted helper nearby. Or other Mom or Parenting groups you may belong to can be a good place to reach out for recommendations for babysitters.
Whichever option you choose to find your child care, we recommend you conduct interviews so that you are comfortable with your provider.
How do you (or will you) find your sitters?