This Fall, Win the Sitter Shuffle

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Tips to Find the Perfect Sitter When Yours Goes Off To College

We've got more than a million caregiver profiles across the country on our site, so parents can rest assured that we've got the perfect replacement sitter right in their area.

This year, an estimated 2 million teenagers will start college*. While it's an exciting time for the college-bound teen, it can leave the parents they babysit for in a state of sheer panic. With so many reliable babysitters heading off to college each fall, parents find themselves competing with every other parent in the neighborhood in the annual Sitter Shuffle: the frantic search to find the perfect replacement babysitter.

But there is hope. Sittercity.com, America's largest and most trusted online source for nannies and babysitters, offers the following tips to make it through the Sitter Shuffle and find the perfect sitter for fall:

  •     Tip One: Start Early - The best time to start searching for a "replacement sitter" is before you lose your current sitter. Post your babysitting job on Sittercity.com a month before your regular sitter goes to college. This will allow adequate time to identify and screen new candidates, check references and run background checks. Even better, this will afford you time to have your regular sitter train your new sitter in the ins and outs of the job.
  •     Tip Two: Write Out a Schedule - Back-to-school is a busy time for families, so it's important to work with your new sitter to create a written schedule clearly outlining the job times, children's activities and general responsibilities. Include details such as the pick-up/drop-off times at your children's school, where to pick the children up, when they should start homework, what time they need to be at soccer, etc.
  •     Tip Three: Cover the Details - Before your new sitter starts, make sure you have thought through all of the details and provided her with everything she needs to make the job run smoothly. For instance, if she will be driving your car, be sure to add her to your insurance and get her a key. Also make sure the sitter has a cell phone and that you know the number, in case she needs to reach you or vice-versa.
  •     Tip Four: Be Stingy - Resist the urge to give your primary sitter's name to a pal in need. No matter how close your friend is, giving her access to your sitter will cause friction, as the friend could overstep her boundaries by using the sitter too much - or by stealing her completely. If you notice other parents approaching your new sitter or talking to her about a job, find a way to discreetly get the sitter out of the situation and refer your friends to Sittercity.com where they can find the perfect match of their own.
  •     Tip Five: Plan Check-Ins - Once you have prepared your new babysitter for the job, schedule regular check-ins to make sure everything's running on schedule. Check-ins are great on a regular basis, but very important in the beginning of a relationship when the sitter is new to the job and experiencing a learning curve. If you establish these meetings on a regular basis, you'll have a clear line of communication, and any problems or schedule changes can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

"Sittercity.com has been helping parents maneuver through the Sitter Shuffle to find trustworthy babysitters for nearly a decade," says Genevieve Thiers, founder and CEO of Sittercity.com. "We've got more than a million caregiver profiles across the country on our site, so parents can rest assured that we've got the perfect replacement sitter right in their area."

With Sittercity.com, parents have full access to hundreds -- even thousands -- of experienced caregivers in every city across the nation, all with detailed profiles that feature their experience, background checks, references, reviews and photos. Parents can either search for the perfect sitter using a wide range of caregiver criteria or post a job so the most qualified caregivers come directly to them.    

In addition to providing parents with access to America's best caregivers, Sittercity.com also makes it easy for parents to pick out that perfect sitter. From its four-step screening process (which includes reading caregiver reviews, conducting interviews, checking references and reviewing background checks) to its interactive Babysitter Rate Calculator, Sittercity.com takes all the guesswork out of hiring a sitter. While agencies charge up to $2,500 to search for caregivers, Sittercity.com provides parents with all of these tools as well as unlimited access to caregivers in her area for as low as $8/month.

About Sittercity.com:
Sittercity.com, the inventor of online caregiving, is America's largest and most trusted online source for child care, pet care, senior care, housekeeping and tutoring. As the industry leader in online care, Sittercity has a network of more than a million caregiver profiles nationwide, and helps families and individuals across America find the perfect in-home care provider quickly, easily and safely. Sittercity's care seekers can use the company's four-step screening process -- which includes checking references, reading caregiver reviews, conducting interviews and reviewing background checks - to handpick their perfect match. Sitter profiles also come with photos, experience, training, certifications, availability calendars, reviews and more. The pioneer of its field, Sittercity has been featured by thousands of media outlets, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many more. Sittercity has also received 10 national awards, including a U.S. Small Business Administration award in 2006 from President Bush, and three international awards, including first place in the prestigious UPS "Out of the Box" Small Business contest. Sittercity's Corporate Program now serves a number of marquee clients, including Avon, Mastercard, FOX Networks, Pitney Bowes, and Monster Worldwide. For more information, visit the company Web site at http://www.sittercity.com.

*] Based on estimation of 1.9 million high school graduates going directly to college in 2006, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Copyright @2009.

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