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On Your Marks, Get Set, Speed Date for That Sitter

speed-datingA good sitter is worth her weight in gold – or in my house, chocolate – but they have a lot in common with sexy straight men who aren’t flying the freak flag: they’re all taken.

No wonder some moms are taking the same steps they took to hook a sperm donor to find their new nanny. They’re going speed dating.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the women (not picking on dads here – in this story it really was moms dating their prospective caregivers) line up in groups of ten to face off with a string of nanny candidates. They get five minutes to chat the sitter up before moving on to another person vying for the job of mother’s helper.

Designed by a mom who found she just couldn’t devote weeks on end to interviewing potential nannies found through ads and employment agencies, the speed dates are meant to give parents a one-stop shop for finding a sitter.

And frankly, it sounds like a dream come true. I can’t tell you how many times I’d be making wild phone calls at the last minute when my regular daycare provider called out and my back up was somehow unavailable. Living in a rural area, it’s particularly difficult because registered daycares are filled almost immediately – and most won’t take a part-time kid because they need that slot for a five-day a week paying customer. So you’re stuck with a woman who knows a woman who knows a guy who knows a woman.

The so-called interview becomes – hey, are you available on Friday? How much do you charge? Do I have to bring lunch? Their credentials you take mostly on word of mouth because you are just do darn desperate. And although I won’t discount word of mouth (the best sitters, I found, came from recommendations), it would be nice to come face-to-face with these people and weight out your options.

If this is an option in your area, make sure you check out how to keep them happy!  And tell us, how did you find your sitter?

Image: supercon conventions, flickr

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