Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How young is too young for a babysitter?

As the oldest of five girls, yes five! I have spent much of my life as a mother’s helper for my own mom. That background and experience is without a doubt what led me to run Lucky Lil' Darlings (LLD). My mother always believed (and I now agree) that a 12 year-old is too young to babysit alone and be fully responsible for children. As a result, I and my four sisters grew up with a mother’s helper until I got a bit older.

Once I turned 16 I bought my first car and was able to take my first babysitting job. I babysat for a family of three girls (7yrs, 5yrs and 4yrs old) about 5 miles from my parents' house. I felt confident that I could handle any situation, as I had my own vehicle to drive the kids somewhere in case of an emergency, knew quite a bit about meal preparation for kids, and had experience with my own sisters.

Through having spent more than a decade focused on professional childcare, I have met hundreds of sitters of all ages and babysat for hundreds of families. I think the most important factor a parent should consider when selecting a childcare provider is good old fashion instinct. Always use sitters directly referred from friends and always check references. Then, when you meet the sitter in person, just follow your gut. Is this person a good fit with my family? Can this sitter handle an emergency? If you don't feel totally comfortable that the answers are YES and YES, then I strongly advise you to find another sitter.

That instinct is at the heart of our Secure Sitter Selection process at LLD. After the candidate is directly referred, passes a background check and after we check references I always meet the sitter in person before sending her to any of our member families. After speaking with so many sitters throughout the years, I know exactly what to look for and ask candidates. Is the sitter professional? Is this person 100% reliable? Does the sitter know how to handle certain situations? Does the sitter have the requisite childcare experience we need? And, ultimately, do I get that "good feeling"?

That's one of the things I love most about LLD. We are essentially a professional screening service that allows me to promise my clients that when a sitter arrives at their home - they'll instantly have that same great feeling. Not only is babysitting an essential service for today's busy family, but LLD makes it so much easier for parents. LLD member families know our sitters are all rigorously-screened role models their kids will look up to. Our sitters are all college-educated, referred, dependable, interviewed and FUN, and they quickly become an integral part of our members' routines.

For any questions on finding your first sitter or LLD please contact me at


1 comment:

  1. Great article! Age (experience + maturity) and education are two important factors for being equipped to be a good sitter.References are key these days.