Some parents, especially the new ones, are at a loss on how they will look for a babysitter. This is not surprising at all since we've all heard of horrible stories involving babysitters once they are into the homes of their employers. Here, parents would rather resort to hiring the services of a babysitter agency rather than post ads in newspapers or put a wanted ad sign in front of their house.
Neverheless, a babysitter agency also has to be evaluated because some agencies tend to exploit this particular need of most parents. Some agencies have more focus on earning from the babysitters that they send out without really exhausting all efforts to conduct a background check or match the babysitter to the needs of the parent-customer.
Your search for a babysitter then begins with your search for the best babysitter agency by taking note of the following:
1. First and foremost, consider the costs when obtaining the services of an agency.
Those who have been through the process knows that by getting a babysitter through an agency can cost them more than a thousand dollars just to get started with the process. There are all sorts of fees involved like membership fee, initiation and processing fee, and placement fees.
On top of that, some may even charge you for the transportation expenses of the babysitter they will be sending. Hidden fees are not uncommon especially if the parents do not ask many questions. Here, it would be best to ask a written quote from the agency as to how much you will be paying before signing any agreement forms.
2. Ask recommendations from relatives, friends, colleges, and community centers about any babysitter agency that know of, who can provide sensible and satisfactory babysitting services.
You can also find babysitter professional organizations or associations who aim to distinguish themselves from the fly-by-night operators. These groups can vouch for the reputation of their members. This is a shorter route to take rather than calling on all agencies listed in your area.
If you get negative results from these sources, your sources of information regarding the best agency are the review and ratings sites. If you're still not satisfied, research from some parenting forums and ask from forum members for feedback and recommendations. Almost all parents have to contend with the same problems and babysitting issues are very common.
3. Once you have narrowed down your choices, find out the following about the babysitter agencies you have short listed by talking to an authorized representative.
a. How long has the agency been operating. A strong point would be the number years of service despite competition. This means that they were able to serve their customers well since; they have a good client base made up of satisfied customers.
b. Establish the actual services the agency is offering. Some may require several fees but will also leave the screening and selection process to you. The best agencies are those who have made pre-selection and pre-screening procedures. Their services should also include checking the references provided by the babysitter as well as conducting a background check for criminal records and other types of offsets.
c. Find out if the babysitter agency has emergency or contingency plans in case the babysitter they recommended calls in sick.
Ask about the babysitter rates then compare notes as to which babysitter agency can provide the most secure source of babysitter service at the most competitive price.