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Tips for Finding a Babysitter for Valentine's Day

Romance! Candles! Wine! Dinner! Dancing! – but what about the kids?  To truly enjoy some grown up time together, you’ll need to make sure the kids are taken care of, too.  Valentine’s Day is coming up... soon. It’s one of the hardest days of the year to find a babysitter, and even with ASAPSitters here to help, it’s good to remember to:

Plan Ahead (as much as possible):  The sooner you find your babysitter the better. ASAPSitters starts getting requests for Valentine’s Day at the beginning of January! But even if you are inspired to plan a last-minute romantic rendezvous, we will do our best to help make sure the kids are taken care of.  

Be Flexible (and creative): A dinner out at a crowded restaurant isn’t the only option for romance.  A gourmet meal at home, brunch, or a late night date – with a babysitter to watch the kids – are great ideas, too.  Work with your babysitter’s schedule too - sometimes a half hour one way or the other will make the difference in their availability. If you are going out with friends, sharing a babysitter may be the best solution.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day this year with ASAPSitters and request your babysitter today. You deserve it!

 

Facebook Datenight Giveaway

You don't want to miss our Facebook Datenight Giveaway!

 

Sewing Lessons in Old Town Alexandria from ASAPSitters

Hey Mamas! (and Papas!) Have you ever wanted to learn how to sew? To create a one-of-a-kind outfit for your little one? (Pinterest is calling!) There is no time like the present. Our awesome friends at UpCircle Studio are offering our families 20% OFF any sewing class in November with the code: ASAPSITTERS. 

UpCircle Studio is located in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria in Virginia. UpCircle Studio makes one-of-a-kind, handmade apparel and accessories for children and parents. They also offer sewing classes at a workspace in Old Town. Whether you’re a budding seamstress or a frequent sewer who wants to learn a new pattern or two, you’ll love the individualized attention you’ll receive during these sessions—and you’ll always walk out with your very own hand-sewn creation! Check out their convenient class schedule.

Babysitter ABCs

Babysitter ABC’s

Since starting ASAPSitters in 2008, we’ve learned a lot of things about babysitting.  Over the past 6 years there have been many different situations and questions that have come up from our families and babysitters. Based on our experience, we’ve compiled this short go-to list of the most important things that babysitters and parents need to know:

Agenda – Let your babysitter know your child’s regular routine and schedule. Sticking to a routine, especially at bedtime, often makes things a lot easier for everyone! You can also make a schedule for your babysitter that includes things like chores, homework time, snacks, naps, TV time, etc., to make sure everyone stays on track.

Basic Safety – Leave a list of emergency phone #s including your pediatrician, relatives/neighbors, and poison control center.  Be very clear about any allergies or medical conditions as well as medications or administration of epi pens, inhalers, etc.  Make sure kids do not have access to any guns, weapons, or toxic chemicals. Have an extra key stashed outside or at a neighbor's. Inform your babysitter if he or she should expect anyone to come by the house and what to do if someone unexpected does. 

Communication – Make sure your babysitter knows how to reach you and that you know how to reach your babysitter (home phone, cell phone, text message, etc.). Don’t be afraid to express your expectations about activities, clean-up, and rules. Agree on your babysitter’s rate and payment beforehand – it saves everyone from a possibly awkward situation at the end of the night.

Remembering these ABC’s will help you make sure the kids are happy and safe with your babysitter so you can relax while you’re away!

What’s the Difference Between a Nanny and a Babysitter?

What’s the Difference Between a Nanny and a Babysitter?

Are you looking for someone to watch your baby while you go out for a date night? Do you need someone to pick your kids up from school and stay with them until you get home from work? Are you looking for someone to help with the twins on a regular basis three times a week? How do you know if you need a “babysitter,” ”nanny,” or “Mother’s helper” and what is the difference?

Babysitters

At ASAPSitters, we define “babysitter” as someone who cares for children for a few hours or a few days at a time, either occasionally or on a regular schedule. Babysitters are as-needed or temporary caregivers. Examples are date nights, occasional weekday and weekend childcare, or back-up care for nannies or daycare. A babysitter’s job is to keep the kids safe, be actively engaged, and have fun. Babysitters typically charge an hourly rate (or sometimes a flat-rate for overnights or extended stays). 

Mother’s Helper

A babysitter that helps out while mom or dad is home (part or all of the time) is a Mother’s Helper or Father’s Helper. Their role may extend beyond assisting with childcare to helping with household tasks like laundry, cleaning, and cooking.

Nannies

A nanny is usually someone that cares for children on a long-term or permanent basis either part-time or full-time. Often, nannies are full-time employees to manage children’s schedules, activities, and meals while parents work. They may also be responsible for other household duties. Nannies are typically salaried employees and negotiate an employment contract with their family that may include tax withholdings, paid vacations and holidays, and sick days. Nannies can be live-in or live-out.

Au pairs are similar in scope to FT live-in nannies and are young foreign nationals from around the world. In most cases a family hosts an au pair for a year and provides room, board, and a stipend. The au pair cares for the children and may help with other household duties as well.

(ASAPSitters does not refer permanent full-time nannies but there are many reputable agencies that do. A great resource in the DC Metro Area for information about nannies and nanny agencies is the  Association of DC Area Nannies. ASAPSitters recommends A Nanny Next Door in Alexandria, VA & the free Nanny Forums on DCUrbanmom, for families looking for permanent full-time nannies.)

Newborn Care

There are agencies that specialize in care for newborns and overnight or 24-hour care for newborns. These caregivers often don’t fit the traditional definitions of “nanny” or “babysitter.” Our partners at Hush Hush Little Baby provide new moms & dads with Newborn Care Specialists who they define as “an individual trained and skilled in newborn care.”  Our friends at Let Mommy Sleep refer Baby Nurses (RN’s & LPN’s), PostPartum caregivers, and Multiple’s Specialists to families with new little ones.

 

Part-time Nanny or Ongoing Babysitter?

The line between a part-time nanny and a regularly scheduled babysitter starts to get a little blurry. We consider the length of commitment to be main difference between the two. A babysitter may fill in full-time for a week for a family whose nanny is on vacation or work with a family two afternoons a week for a semester. A family looking for a year-long (or longer) commitment from a caregiver is typically looking for a part-time nanny - for example, a family that needs afterschool care for the whole school year.

Do you have more questions about babysitters? We are happy to answer them! Email us at info@asapsitters.com

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