How do you know you can trust the person you hired to watch your kids? With scary headlines of child abuse in day cares and freak accidents with sitters, parents need to make sure they hire a trustworthy babysitter to keep their children safe. Bambino, a free membership babysitting app, uses a private social network to connect you to a community of recommended sitters that are trusted by friends and families right in your own neighborhood.
The app lets you see which babysitters your friends and neighbors like by browsing their favorites, and you can also search for sitters nearby. You can read reviews written by parents and detailed babysitter bios, and sitters list hours they are available and other information that can help you make a decision. When you’re ready to book a sitter, you simply log in with your Facebook account (the app never posts to your wall, solicits your friends or uses your Facebook credentials) and enter your details, request your chosen sitter and book. Once booked, you can set the time tracking manually or set it up so that time is tracked automatically. Paying your babysitter is easy, too. You can pay through the app using listed standardized rates.
Bambino’s Chief Marketing Officer Sara Snow, an Emmy-award winning TV producer, news anchor and TV host and mother of two young daughters, found that Bambino eases the burden on busy parents by providing access to child care whenever and wherever it is needed. She joined Bambino because she could understand what the core users deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Here Sara shares with us some of her best tips for finding a great babysitter:
“The biggest mistake you can make when choosing a sitter is to hire without hearing what other parents (preferably parents you know and trust) say about him or her. You might be okay hiring a plumber off an online search, but when it comes to someone who is going to be in your home watching your children, you want to know what other parents thought about her! Did she stick to your rules regarding desserts and bedtimes? Did he clean up the kitchen and the toys? Did she arrive on time? Nothing trumps a personal recommendation.
Don’t forget about what your kids want and need. You need someone who will be on time and keep your kids safe, but they might need someone who will get outside and play soccer with them, get messy in the kitchen or even help with math homework. If you’re ever unsure whether a sitter will work out, schedule a quick meet and greet ahead of time at your home or someplace neutral.
Make sure you find out a sitter’s rate ahead of time. There’s nothing more awkward, for the parents and the sitter than to have that awful rate conversation at the last minute. On Bambino, you can see exactly what a sit will cost before you confirm a sitter for a job. And the sitter knows what they’ll make before they accept. Plus payment happens through the app so you don’t have to mess with cash at the end of the night!
Do a quick check-in on driving expectations before the scheduled sit. Will he or she drive themselves or will they need to be picked up? And, if it’s a young sitter, are her parents okay with you sending her home in an Uber at the end of the night, or would they prefer to come pick her up? These are things that are best planned out ahead of time.”
When booking a sitter, it’s important that she has First Aid and CPR certification. If an emergency situation arises, your sitter needs to know what to do. Make sure she has numbers for the Poison Control Helpline and the children’s doctors and a list of phone numbers for both you and other trusted adults who can step in and help if needed. Also provide a list of allergies and medications, including the amount each child takes.
Does your sitter follow through with babysitting commitments and does she always show up on time (and dressed appropriately)? You’ll want to know you have someone who is reliable so you can follow through with your plans and commitments.
Your babysitter is like an assistant parent so he needs to act mature and be a good role model by using appropriate language and teaching your children how to manage conflict respectfully. He also should engage in your children’s activities and help them with their homework.
If you have an infant, make sure your sitter knows how to properly care for one and that babies should be put to sleep on their backs. Reiterate basics such as “dos and don’ts,” never leaving children unattended and always keeping knives and anything with harmful chemicals out of reach. Make sure your sitter knows that he, not your kids, should answer a phone or doorbell, and to never tell anyone that mom and dad are not home. If your child has a playdate at a friend’s house, your sitter should escort him there, make sure the parents are home and ask for the parent’s phone number so you can stay in touch.
Remember to make sure there is something for your sitter to eat if she’ll be sitting your kids during a mealtime. Show what foods are available for both your kids and her and what meals she can prepare.
It can be difficult finding a sitter you trust every time you need one, but if you know what to look for and you’re armed with the app, finding a great sitter can become much easier.
To learn more about the app, visit bambinoapp.com.