How to Find an Afterschool Babysitter

By Ashley Paskill on September 18, 2023

As a parent or guardian, you want what is best for your child, including after-school care. Many times, this means hiring a babysitter. Finding a babysitter who is available for the hours you need for after-school care can be a challenge, but it is possible.

Weigh other options

Though a babysitter is something you may be absolutely set on, there may be other options that work better for your budget and schedule. Your child’s school may offer an after-school program or there may be other programs in your area. These other programs may allow for additional socialization for your children, but if your kids tend to be stressed and tired at the end of a long day, hiring a babysitter for at-home care may be best. Think about what your kids need and what works best for your family and decide what to do from there.

Ask friends or family members

This may not be a possibility in some cases, consider checking with family and friends to see if they would be willing to watch your kids, even if it is only in the event that your other childcare or babysitter falls through. They may charge less than a traditional babysitter if they charge at all. Since you know them, the kids will already be familiar with them. However, they may not have all of the credentials and certifications you want in a babysitter or a childcare professional. Some family members may not want you constantly turning to them to watch your kids, or you may not have friends or family available when you need them.

Consider high school students

If you have kids who are in younger grades, especially elementary school, high school students may be able to babysit for you. High school students in many districts start their days earlier than elementary school students, so they are done earlier than your younger children. This means their schedules work out to be able to watch your children. Students this age are looking for spending money or are beginning to save up some money to go to college. They may also be taking classes that will help them if they are looking into going to college for childcare and education, so they are knowledgeable and experienced. Students may be more willing to get the certifications you are looking for or they may already have them, especially if they are looking to gain more experience in the field. Post on local social media groups or ask people near you if they have any recommendations for good babysitters they trust.

College students

College students are a little older than high school students, meaning they are often more mature and have more experience in childcare, especially if they are in school for childcare or education. This also means they may have more qualifications or certifications than a high school student. If you live near a college campus and are looking for a sitter, or know of community college students looking for extra money and experience, consider seeing if they would be willing to babysit for you. Because of their additional experience, they may charge more for their babysitting services than a high school student would.

Look online

As mentioned above, there are places online to look for babysitters with various websites dedicated to connecting parents and certified babysitters, including on Uloop and Wyndy. You may also decide to use social media platforms to try to find a babysitter. If you are using an online search method, be sure to check to see if the babysitter is credible. See what platforms other parents near you trust and make sure to check the references of all the sitters.

Set clear expectations

When it comes to your kids, obviously their safety is your top priority. Take this into account when considering whether or not you want your babysitter to pick up your kids and take them to activities or not. This is crucial when deciding who you want your after-school babysitter to be. Older babysitters, like college students, most likely have more driving experience and are more likely to have access to reliable transportation. However, if your children take the bus and do not have any after-school activities, younger high school students are a great choice for being your babysitter.

Decide what kinds of chores you want your sitter to do. Do you want them to make your child snack or help them with their homework? Would you rather have them do a fun activity with your child until you get home? Think about these kinds of tasks and other responsibilities that your babysitter may have. If you decide to add more responsibilities than a normal babysitter would do, keep in mind that you will have to pay extra.

Finding a babysitter for your child after school is an important responsibility, but knowing what to consider and where to look can help aid your search.

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