Dear PoPville – Where Do You Find Babysitters?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

“Dear PoPville,

I’m a masters educated, CPR and first aid certified, newly single professional in dc who has found myself with more time on my hands and little to no desire to jump back into the dating world anytime soon. This combination, along with my love for children has led me to decide to seek evening and weekend babysitting jobs. Just one problem – I have zero idea where to start advertising! I considered and ended up starting with craigslist but I fear that craigslist ads are becoming more and more sketchy for things like this. As an unmarried, childless yuppie I don’t know what listservs and places would make the most sense. Could you request a plea for ideas from your readers?”

For the parents out there – how did you find your babysitters?

30 Comment

  • Sitter City.

    Also, PoP, could you please hook me up with the OP? This is quite timely; we’re desperately in need of a sitter!

    • me, too! 🙂

    • greenroofgoddess

      Haven’t used Sitter City yet, but my good friend (and mother of 4) swears by it. She even used it to find a great sitter in C-ville when we went down for our reunion.

    • Hi dreas, I’m OP and would love to connect! I’m not sure it’s wise to give out my e-mail on this comment section, but if PoP can’t give you my e-mail address I will.

      • I think a post on PoP is a brilliant way to advertise. Certainly the cheapest.

        When you have your first client in a neighborhood you like, have them send an email to their neighborhood listserve, assuming one exists. Also good free advertising.

    • Hey dress and mhm…. On second thought, so PoP doesn’t have to it is mgfltch (at) gmail (dot) com. Just drop me a line so we can connect further. I’m now on sitter city too.

    • +1 Sitter City. That’s how we found our sitter.

  • The parking lot at Home Depot. There’s usually a pretty good selection of guys from which to choose, and they work pretty cheap.

  • If your neighborhood has a listserv that can be a great way to advertise that’s a bit more trustworthy than Craigslist. And if you have friends with kids ask them to help you get the word out to other families.

  • andy

    ask the maestras at day care whether they will baby sit.

  • Don’t people just bring their kids to Wonderland these days?

  • Love the photo you used with this post.

  • bless your heart, poster! i agree with the listserve idea. that’s where i get mine (those two times i’ve managed to over the last three years!). i know on capitol hill, we pay a lot…$12-$15/hour for just one sleeping child! good luck!

  • I agree with the neighborhood listserve idea (petworth parents is one). You an also put something up on the nanny/sitter forum on DC Urban Moms and Dads–

  • Although they are a tough crowd – DC Urban Moms and Dads has a number of forums and one must be related to child care.

    BTW – we pay $12.00 per hour as well.

  • Once you find one job as a babysitter in the city, word spreads quickly. I started babysitting for one couple and in a month’s time I was sitting for 4 on the same street. And no, I’m not cheap-$15 an hour seems to be the average.


    There is a listserv just for Petworth Parents – might be a good place to hit up.

  • Just today we learned about Seeking Sitters through Living Social. I can’t find anyone who’s used that service, though, and it looks like they’ve got fixed rates that are higher than what we’ve paid in the past.

  • Fifteen dollar an hour? I did it growing up and all i got was five.

  • DC Urban Moms and Sitter City.

  • I will babysit your kids

  • Doesn’t anyone have friends with kids anymore? Do a trade-off once a month, or get a group. You take their kid one Saturday a month, and they take yours.

    When that doesn’t work, I use word-of-mouth. Sometimes teachers at daycare will babysit too. We usually pay $10-15, depending on multiple factors (how long, whether I pick them up/drop them off, whether they’re just here while the kid’s sleeping, etc.)

  • American University has a website that connects students with potential employers for babysitting, petsitting, etc. I used this for several years and was always pretty happy. Might be a little more difficult during the summer though!

  • I’m looking for a babysitter, too, for a 3 year old. OP, email me if you’re interested! jennstop at gmail.

  • I’m in a somewhat similar boat to the OP. Live on Holmead PL (near the Giant) in Columbia Heights, mid-20s, work FT at a non-profit, and am available for weekend/evening gigs. Anyone in/and around Holmead PL interested? Also, I have a car, if that is useful 🙂

  • I found two families through PoP and its working great. Much better crowd and you don’t have to pay to register.

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