Keeping Kids Safe: National Expert from SeekingSitters Offers Tips for Finding Safe, Reliable Childcare

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More parents search for babysitters and childcare during the summer, so SeekingSitters is offering advice for finding and screening a sitter. Licensed Private Investigator Adrienne Kallweit says the key is thorough background checks and screening, and learning the signs that a sitter is doing her job.

"I always recommend a thorough background investigation. I have learned no matter how nice someone appears, you can always learn a lot about them from their past experience and avoid future issues." - Adrienne Kallweit, Founder of SeekingSitters

During summer months, more parents rely on childcare. Finding a safe babysitter can be difficult and recent reports of babysitter abuse and neglect can make the task even more daunting. More than 700,000 children are neglected or abused every year in America, according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2011 report. The report states that babysitters make up about 5 percent of the offenders.

To protect kids, national expert Adrienne Kallweit, licensed private investigator and founder of SeekingSitters, says parents should take steps to ensure their sitters are safe and trustworthy and always be on the lookout for possible signs of abuse or neglect.

“We recommend that parents use a reliable sitter service that conducts comprehensive background checks, that checks experience and references or should take great care to do it themselves,” advises Kallweit, a Licensed Private investigator and president and founder of SeekingSitters. “I’ve found that no matter how nice someone appears, you can always learn a lot about them from their past experience and avoid future issues.”

When Kallweit was a young mom, she and her husband had trouble finding safe, reliable babysitters for their children. So, they founded the Tulsa-based company SeekingSitters in 2004 to help give other parents peace of mind when they leave their children for the day or night. SeekingSitters is a full service babysitting referral company that is now nationwide in 23 states with 57 locations. That means wherever parents travel for work or vacation to any SeekingSitters location, they’ll be able to leave their kids with babysitters who have been fully vetted.

Kallweit’s experience as a mom and a licensed private investigator means SeekingSitters does more comprehensive background checks than any other online sitting service today, with in-house investigators screening every candidate. They also screen families to ensure the safety of the sitters.

Kallweit says there are several steps parents can take to find a reliable sitter.

1) Run a criminal history and background check on the sitter – while some parents can use online criminal history services, they are not as thorough as hiring a licensed private investigator. Often online services will miss vital information.
2) Check their experience – Make sure the sitter has CPR and First Aid certifications. SeekingSitters verifies their credentials and makes sure they’re kept current.
3) Check references – Moms and dads need to take the time to call past references that the sitter offered as well as any others they learn about. This is often the most overlooked step.
4) Determine their level of desire – Observe how motivated the sitter is to work with children. You want a sitter who is comfortable, excited and full of fun ideas for the children, not just someone who wants extra money.
5) Consider if the sitter is a good fit for the whole family – Once you’ve chosen your sitter, have her work with your family a few hours so you can see how her personality blends in with your family’s personality.

About SeekingSitters
Founded in 2004 in Tulsa, Okla., SeekingSitters is a nationally recognized babysitting service providing reliable, convenient and safe babysitting solutions for families, from last minute childcare needs to regular scheduled services, group events and corporate back-up childcare. The company started franchising in 2006 and currently has 57 locations in 23 states. Founded by Adrienne Kallweit, a Licensed Private Investigator, SeekingSitters has an in-house investigation agency that provides hands on background screening of the professional sitters as well as all member families, ensuring the safest, most enjoyable experience for all SeekingSitters’ member families and referred professional sitters. SeekingSitters was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest growing private companies in 2010. The company was also the winner of Tulsa’s First Annual Entrepreneurial Spirit Award in November 2007 and was named one of the “25 Best Women-Owned Businesses” by Working Mother Magazine in 2008. SeekingSitters has been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN and CNN Headline News, CBS Early Show, in Entrepreneur Magazine and on the CNBC Show “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” For more information, please visit

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Diane White

Adrienne Kallweit
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