If you work outside the home and have school aged children, then you know exactly what I’m talking about here. Who will be caring for your child during the summer when they are out of school?  My children are well taken care of during the school year at an after-school program and love it. They’re with their friends, their caregivers are moms that I know and are friends with; so all’s good.  Then the summer approaches and the hunt is on to find the best sitter that I can find for my two adventurous boys.

The day care setting is not an option –they hate it and quite frankly, so do I.  Summer camps are not an option for the entire summer – how many camps can a child possibly attend and do you really want your child in a group setting like that day in and day out?

For the past three summers, I have hired a sitter who comes to my home every day and it’s been such a blessing.  Our sitters are college age girls who have their own transportation and they’ve been able to take the boys to swim lessons, the library, soccer camp, the movies, etc.  My current sitter is wonderful! The first time she came to meet us she showed up with references, her CPR certification and a copy of a background check (a requirement from her job at a pre-school).  Did I mention she is wonderful? The reasons that I love having a sitter in my home during the summer are:

  • My children remain in their familiar surroundings
  • They get to sleep in every day (it’s summer vacation!)
  • They can be as leisurely as they want to or as structured as I want them to be

How do you go about finding an awesome summer sitter like the one I have?

  • Start early.  I found my sitter last November and used her during Christmas vacation as a way to see if the boys liked her well enough to spend the entire summer with her. Since then she’s come over a few times while my husband and I enjoy an evening out and this has helped establish the relationship they formed.
  • Ask friends and parents at school about their sitters and if they have one to recommend. We are very lucky to live in a college town and have a great source of really good girls that live minutes from our home.
  • Care.com – This is really a great resource for sitters, house cleaners, pet sitters and elder care.  I did find a few sitters in my area (I did a search in my town for sitters who are in college) and you’d be surprised how many are out there. You can even post a job (free) and then see what type of response you get.

As a mom, if you can’t be there yourself, you want the very best and need to make sure that they are in great hands.  So start early and do your homework, test the waters so to speak and make sure everyone is happy and that they’re going to enjoy being together all summer. Then relax and have peace of mind that this summer is going to be the best one yet!