There is nothing more important than making sure your childcare professional is taking the utmost care of your children.

Several years ago, it would have seemed like a strange concept, to search for someone to provide professional childcare services online. But with new technology, and access to thorough background checks, looking for a babysitter or nanny online is far more common than it once was.

Most online services, like Sitter City, Care.com, Urban Sitter, and more all use extensive background checks to ensure that the people they allow to accept jobs on their sites are 100% vetted. Their rigorous background checks make sure that there’s nothing to worry about when posting a job or browsing for a babysitter or nanny.

Reports show that the number of people looking to find a nanny or babysitter online is likely to quadruple in the next five years, and with that will come technology and safety advances that will make this the new norm.

However, it still helps to take precautions. Here are some important things to keep in mind when searching for childcare online:

  • First, try several sitters. AND TRUST YOUR GUT. It’s important to get a feel for several of the childcare professionals listed on the major sites, and make sure that there’s a connection. This person is going to be a major influence in your child’s life, so make sure they’re a good fit.
  • Ask for updates. Whether that be texts or photos, a sign of a good sitter someone who goes above and beyond when communicating with you on how things are going. Of course, you can ask them to scale back the updates if you don’t find them necessary once you have an established relationship with them.
  • Set up a nanny cam. While we personally recommend letting the sitter know that there is a nanny cam. Although it is your right to film your sitter without their knowledge in all fifty states, in order to build a trusting relationship, it’s not a bad idea to let them know.
  • Ask several important questions before your first time having them watch your kids. Here are some good starter questions:
    • Are they first-aid certified?
    • Do they know CPR?
    • Do they know where the nearest hospital is if there is an emergency?
    • What sort of activities do they arrange when watching your kids?
    • How flexible are their hours?

If you’re nervous about trying one of the online referral programs for finding a babysitter, great! A lot of parents are nervous about this new process, and that’s perfectly normal. Remember, though, it’s up to you to try several sitters through these programs and make the decision that’s right for you.

If you have any other questions, let us know in the comments below and we’ll get in touch!

If you’re looking to find your own sitter online, try our search here.