So trying this one out couldn’t have come at a better time. My sitter called out last week, she had come down with a nasty case of strep and all the fun stuff that comes with it. I joined Sitter City, a national online babysitting service, and did a search for a local babysitter.
The sitter I ended up using came out for an interview first. I also found a weekend babysitter for those nights my husband and I may want a date night! And what was great is that she too was willing to come out for an interview to say hi, and I picked her out by simply doing a search on the site and contacting her after liking what her profile had to say.
The site is a great service and community tool. You can search by all sorts of criteria and can get as specific as you’d like. (non smoker, okay with pets, etc.) It’s free for sitters – they fill out a profile and most of them have their available hours listed. Sitter City has a chart at the base of each sitter’s page showing what their availability is. (Presuming they’ve filled it out.) They also provide information about themselves – including references and those that opt to, a background check.
They have a rate calculator too which is cool. You put in how many kids you have, age, your zip code, age of the babysitter, and it’ll calculate what you should be paying.
You can also rate sitters and leave comments to help other Moms decide. They also have message boards – they’ve been down while I’ve been testing the site but I assume it’s a good spot to go and chat with other Moms about babysitters, what to look for, what questions to ask in an interview, rates and more.
Now, they advise that your results are better if you post a specific job. (ie, Friday night sitter, 5 pm, my house) but you can opt to do a search only of babysitters with profiles.
Anyway, check it out. Test it out. Hop over to the site and do a search to see who’s available near you. You can check out their photo and info for free, you just don’t have access to contact them until you join. If you chose to join, use coupon code MWS for 10% off your membership (annual membership, $95.88, or $5 off of the monthly membership, $39.99.)

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