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Best Babysitter Agency Tips

May 24, 2008
It may take time and effort to find a good babysitter agency. Chances are, if you aren't careful, an agency can also be the cause of terrible headaches for you. Finding a good agency is as important as finding the right nanny or sitter. Here are some important tips to consider when looking for an agency.

References - Always check the references of the agency itself. Find out through online message boards if it is a company that many people would recommend. Check too the track record of the company. Find out if it has been in the business of providing sitters to families for a long time and if there are instance of major client complaints.

Comparisons - Compare as many agencies as you can. You can easily do this through the internet. Many agencies have online sites that you can access. This will give you an idea which agency has the most convenient system and the most complete service.

Check the Services - Go through an agency's list of services one by one. Find out if they have everything you need or if they are missing some crucial service. Important services to consider are thorough background investigation and reference checks.

The Fee - Never fail to ask a babysitter agency about the total cost. Be careful. Some agencies have lists of fees that do not include other possible costs. There may be some hidden fees that you may not know about. Always ask an agency for the complete breakdown and total of costs, including possible sitter replacement fees.

Sitter Service - Ask too about arrangements for the sitter. Once you pick a sitter, find out if you would have to spend on transportation fees. Consider in advance if you would want a stay in sitter or one that would stay out. Not every agency provides both types of sitters.

Parent Participation - Find out how much you will be involved. Some agencies will let you participate actively in the screening process. They could provide you with an opportunity to interview possible sitters. There are also some agencies that can do the screening for you so all you have to do is to wait for the sitter chosen by the agency. The agency type that you choose will depend on your own personal preferences.

Agency Guarantees - Ask about guarantees. How far will an agency be willing to accommodate your preferences with the least degree of inconvenience on your part? Will they replace sitters you are not happy with at no extra charge? What will happen if a sitter has to go home for personal reasons?

Disadvantages - One disadvantage of a lot of agencies is the steep cost. Always be prepared to spend a lot on an agency is you want good service and a good sitter.

There are several trustworthy agencies out there. However, you have to be careful. You don't want to end up with the wrong babysitter agency. The wrong agency will not just be a waste of your money. It can also endanger your kids and your home by giving you a sitter who is either incapable or dangerous.
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