Whether you are one of the 87 percent of working-parent families -- according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -- or are just in need of a night off, finding a babysitter is a must for many families. If you are looking for a new sitter, but haven't had luck finding one through word of mouth, placing an advertisement can help you with your search. Wording your advertisement for a babysitter takes a pinch of creativity along with a straightforward list of requirements and expectations.
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It's unlikely that you would want to hire a babysitter who has little or no experience working with kids. Your advertisement should include specific wording that details exactly how much -- and what kind of -- experience you expect from your potential sitter. For example, if you are looking for a full-time babysitter to watch your little ones while you are at work you may say something such as, "Must have at least three years of full-time employment babysitting or working in a child care environment." If you are looking for more of an evening sitter to watch the kids for an hour or two while you go out for dinner, you may want a slightly more relaxed version of the wording and include something such as, "Looking for a child care pro with verifiable babysitting experience."
Expectations for Service Hours
Before you start interviewing, you will need to let the potential sitters know what you are looking for when it comes to the amount and times of service. These expectations may vary depending in your specific needs and should include how many days per week -- or month -- and the times of day. Keep in mind that sitters may vary in when they can work. For example, a college child development student may have evenings open. If you are in need of a sitter to watch your child when you go to lunch with friends or run errands, try wording the ad with a statement such as, "In need of an occasional babysitter to watch my child two Friday afternoons a month." Moms who need a more permanent child care professional would want to include extended expectations such as, "Looking for a babysitter to watch my child Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m."
Number of Children
Don't surprise your potential sitter with the fact that she'll have to watch five kids. Some babysitters may not feel entirely comfortable with, or have experience, watching several kids at one time. Let the job-seeker know how many children you have when she reads the advertisement, and also include the kids' ages. Add in wording such as, "In need of a babysitter for my four children ages 6 months, 2, 4 and 6." If you don't want to include precise ages, you may choose to opt for wording that features age and stage periods such as, "Looking for a babysitter to watch my toddler twins."
Where do you need the babysitter to watch your child and will she need to take your little one to soccer, dance classes and preschool? These, and other logistical issues, are key pieces of information to include in an advertisement. While it's not necessary to include each and every time task, you should feature a general overview of your needs and expectations. Also include if the babysitter will need her own transportation to get your child from one place to another. For example, "Looking for a babysitter to watch my 4-year-old in my home on Monday mornings," or "Sitter must have a car, with valid insurance, to drive my 3-year-old to preschool two days each week."