After School Sitter -Scared..

Updated on April 16, 2013
M.M. asks from La Habra, CA
16 answers

I have to go back to work and need afterschool care for my three kids. I have never left them with anyone besides famliy and really apprehensive and scared.
How did you moms get over a fear who have done this?
What are some good sites to find a sitter?

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answers from Phoenix on

Does the school(s) not have after care? I would do that before I hired a sitter I didn't know. It's always there, there are activities and entertainment, and there's no transport involved. Some of their friends from class will most likely be there and it will be "familiar" for them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on


We had some bad experiences with sitters. Finally, I asked around the neighborhood to see if there was anyone found to be reliable. This one girl was recommended to me. I was a little skeptical at first because she was young at the start (only 15). I was looking for an older teenager or a young adult, maybe in college or something. We gave this girl a try and she was 100 times better than any of the older sitters we had. She's now grown as my kids have grown and they love her and look forward to her coming.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I got over it by being picky. If I was comfortable with the person or facility, then I was comfortable leaving her. We are going to try a new sitter this week, but I know her pretty well from church and I am confident that she can handle one 4 yr old. Ask around. I found my DD's old daycare by asking for references from coworkers and friends, and they also steered me away from a few facilities. Knowing who to avoid can be really good info. Then we visited them all and the one that was close to our home, but we just couldn't make ourselves love was crossed off. If there's something that doesn't sit right about the person/place, don't force it. Go with your gut. When SD was little, we used the aftercare program at her school.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you have friends in the neighborhood, ask them first. Get a referral from someone you know if you can.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I suggest referrals from friends and neighbors. We met a wonderful family when our daughter was younger. They had 3 girls. All 3 girls were sitters for us. As one would leave for college, the next in line would step up. The set up worked well for both our families.

Also, does your school have an afterschool program? Many of the elementary schools around here have a program at the school for after care until 6pm. Children are given a snack, then 1/2 go outside for fun time while the other 1/2 are divided among teachers and they go finish homework, etc. Then they switch so that everyone has fun outside but also has time in small groups with teachers for assistance with homework, etc.

Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I got referrals from friends and relatives and have never had a problem. Ask the person for references, I know we've given our permission for former daycare providers who did an exceptional job to use us as a reference and we're happy to tell them about the care our daughter received.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Find a local child care center that has after school care. OR use the after school care program through the kids school or the YMCA. It's pretty easy to find good child care for school age kids if you just call the centers and find out who takes that age group and goes to your school.

OR you can just sit in the parking lot of your school and see what child care centers come to pick up kids. Then call and get their prices. I would imagine it wouldn't be much over $100 per week for 3 school age kids.

A lot of places will do family discounts too. First kid is $XX then second kid is $xx and 3rd kid is $X.

A babysitter is alone with your kids in your home and there aren't any checks and balances. In a center there is always other staff around and there are always parents popping in and out. I think this situation might give you peace of mind.

I know I liked the kids going to after school care, they played games, did puzzles, kept active, watched video's, did stuff with their friends instead of coming home and sitting and vegging out.

One thing, do not let anyone else help your kids with any homework, you are responsible for that, not anyone else. You don't know their teaching style, you don't know if they flunked that topic, you don't know anything about the work they do while you're not there. So have the kids do their homework when you're there with them at home.

I made it a policy across the board that kids were not allowed to do homework at my center. Some parents got mad but I told them it was not my job to make their kids do school stuff, it was my job to supervise them and make sure they were busy doing healthy wholesome activities.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your local YMCA or park district might have extended day programs, where they would bus the kids from their school to the YMCA or park.

You COULD check but you really have to be dilligent to find a good sitter. I've interviewed about a dozen sitters from there, but use about 2 of them consistently. 1 that I had sit for me turned out to be terrible.

If you are in the Chicago area there are tons of universities around, and most of them have some kind of education program, Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary Ed--my university used to get job postings for child care and they always came to us Education students first. You can advertise with the career center for the university, or in their student newspaper.



answers from San Francisco on

Check with the school to see if there is an afterschool program on site. If not, there may be one at another school in the area and you might just need to arrange transportation from one site to the other. Other than that, check with the school (they usually have a list of after school care providers) or ask your children to ask their friends where they go after school.


answers from San Francisco on

First, start at their school. Most schools have after school care programs which are not only convenient and affordable, but the kids like it because they see many friends there.
Second, if the school doesn't offer this (or you just don't like what they have) ASK AROUND. The parents of your kids' friends and classmates are your best local resource.
Third, if you have a college nearby, advertise there, in the job center. We found two of our most wonderful babysitters this way (they both provided references which we checked out first.) And our kids LOVED the college girls, they were fun and engaging!
I would only use a website as a last resort, even though they do background checks and everything it just doesn't seem as comforting to me as something or someone recommended by actual parents in our area.
Good luck!


answers from Washington DC on


Ask for referrals from friends and family. I get why you are scared!!

Go to your local high school and talk with the guidance counselors. SOME high schools have a program for the kids to get certified in CPR, etc. and also baby sitting classes - what to do with kids, etc. and since high school gets out before elementary school - he or she can be there before the kids let out.

How did I get over fears like this? Watching the person with my child. Talking with my child after they left - what did they like - not like, etc? It's okay to give your child a voice in this! :)

Sites to use? and are supposed to be good, although I admit - I've never used them.

Good luck!



answers from Beaumont on

I'd get someone from my church that comes recommended and that I personally know. Good luck. These days it is so scary to trust your kids to anyone...



answers from Chicago on

see if there is a local park district or YMCA after school option, then it would be just like you were leaving them at school because it would be someone background checked, etc.

You can go through a nanny service to get screened people

you can insist on fingerprinting, background checks and do your own computer check (paid even to get more info)

you can contact a local college that had an early childhood program, then you will be getting someone that you know will care about educating them at least

you can ask their friends' moms to do it

you can find a neighbor teen to do it

Trust your gut



answers from Boston on

Here are some suggestions for finding sitters:

1) Do any of your neighbors have high school age kids whom you trust?
2) Ask neighbors who they use for sitters
3) Call a local church, high school or YMCA and see if they know of any leads (e.g. they might know groups of kids who have taken babysitting classes etc)

You can definitely look into after school care at centers or the school too. Not sure what age your kids are, but they might have have a preference or idea of where to go. They may already be aware of friends who go to a local center.

Good luck!


answers from Kansas City on

we use the YMCA care. they are on sight at our school.

don't be scared - it's no different than them being cared for by teachers throughout the day.



answers from Detroit on

if you are scared.. use the latch key program at their school. there are many kids and several adults so nothing bad can happen as there are lots of witnesses.

that will get you through till school gets out.

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