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Best way to find a babysitter?
I work from home, but I want to find someone to look after my baby for a few hours here and there - when I have a meeting outside the house or if my husband and I want to go out for dinner. We're new to the area, though - any tips on finding a reliable babysitter?
Leaning on local schools sounds like a great idea. My sister teaches four and five year olds (I know she's a saint, right?), and she is constantly getting requests from parents to babysit. Many of those parents also refer her to other parents with kids.
I would also consult your neighbors who have small kids, and ask them for a few reliable suggestions.
Lastly, ask for references from a babysitter ... you can never be too sure!
I would add to ask your pediatrician, if you have one in town. Friends and family are always best. Are there any relatives in the area? Perhaps asking co-workers who have young children as well if they would share their contacts.
There's a few ways you can find someone reliable. Try asking local daycare centers for recommendations, or even local places of worship (churches, synagogues). Those are people who are plugged into the community, and it's much more reliable and easier than putting up an ad someplace. Just make sure you get references and call on those references!