Whether it’s spring break, the week of July 4th, or the year-end holiday season, finding a babysitter for a holiday is a challenge. Maybe your regular sitters have plans of their own, or perhaps they were already snatched up by one of their other clients. Maybe you don’t have a regular sitter, but the family and friends you normally rely on are celebrating with you. No matter the circumstances, you don’t have to cancel your RSVP. There are plenty of reliable, trustworthy, qualified caregivers out there who will take good care of your kiddos. You just have to know where to look.
- New Years
- Valentine’s Day
- 4th of July
- Mother’s & Father’s Day
Start the Search for a Holiday Babysitter Early
The earlier you begin your search for a babysitter, the more candidates you’ll have to choose from. So, if your family hosts an annual holiday event you know you want to attend, don’t wait for an invitation. Call the host, tell them you’re booking childcare, and ask them when the event is scheduled. That way, you have more time to nail down your usual sitter or find, vet, and hire a new one.
Use National Online Babysitter Searches
Caregiver sites are designed to help you find exactly the care you need, exactly when you need it. Some sites allow you to narrow down your search with the availability filters by selecting the dates you are looking for on a calendar, while others simply post availability directly to their individual profiles. Either way, these tools can save you valuable time and energy as you search for a sitter that has holiday availability. You should be aware, however, that not all sitters update their profiles regularly to reflect their schedules.
Share Rare Babysitter Care with Other Families on a Holiday
If several of your friends and family members are attending the same event, and they also have children, consider sharing a caregiver. This way, you only need to find one or two available, qualified individuals in order for everyone to enjoy the holiday. Sweeten the deal for the sitter or sitters by offering to pay your normal rate, instead of splitting the cost between families. Not only will you attract more and better caregivers, they will likely make themselves available the next time you need them for a similar job.
Be Prepared to Not Get a Babysitter on a Holiday or Have it Fall Through
Holidays may be the most wonderful times of the year, but they are also some of the most dangerous. Therefore, pool season must also be water safety season, decking the halls must include checking the fire detectors, and instructions for your babysitter must include what to do in the event of an emergency.
As difficult as it is to think about, accidents, weather, natural disasters, and other emergencies do happen. By formulating a disaster plan and sharing it with your sitter, you can ensure that they know what to do and how to communicate with you in the unlikely event that something bad happens while they are caring for your children.
For even more peace of mind, look for sitters who are trained and certified in CPR, first aid, and emergencies. These skills are commonly covered in babysitter training classes, and many online caregiving directories allow you to search for candidates using these criteria.
Finding a sitter for a holiday is a challenge, but the aforementioned tips and tricks — combined with the ease and convenience of online caregiver directories — make it possible. Just remember, you don’t have to settle. No event or celebration is worth leaving your kids in the hands of someone who is ill-qualified.