Babysitting options for parents

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Trying out an online babysitter service…is it right for you?

When summer rolls around it means school is out and it’s time to find entertainment for the kids for a couple months. Some parents choose day camps and sleep-away camps and some parents choose babysitters. Parents search for the right person they can trust in watching kids, a person who is responsible and enjoys spending time with their kids.

Some choose someone they already know, a family friend or relative. But for others, that may not an option, so they opt to using an online babysitting service. These services like Sittercity.com or Care.com allow parents to browse babysitters in their area, reading profiles in an effort to learn a little more about a potential babysitter.

After joining the online site for a cost of around $35, parents can directly contact a babysitter and even view a background check on the sitters. The profiles give information on costs and experience, as well as a photo. Parents have their choice of a variety to choose from to figure out who is the best fit.

Parent's night out: an affordable five-hour babysitter

Every so often the Parker Recreation Center offers a Parent’s Nigh Out event. Parents can drop their kids off at the Parker Field house from 6-11 p.m. and spend an evening away from the kids. Although this is a great opportunity for parents, it’s an even greater opportunity for kids.

Children ages 5-13 can enjoy family-friendly movies, crafts, open inline skating, organized sports games in the gymnasium and on the turf and the climbing wall. Kids can bring their own snacks or buy some at the fieldhouse. The cost is only $15 for the first child and $10 for each additional child.

Cathy Berends, day camp director at the Parker Fieldhouse, said the event is very popular with an average of 100 kids attending. She said what makes it so great, is the fact that kids are in a safe environment enjoying activities that get them off the couch and their eyes off a computer screen.

“There is such a great variety of things for the kids to do,” she said. “They can run around in the gym, skate and then relax at the end of the night watching a movie.”

She said parents can rest easy leaving their children for the evening. She said there are three managers on site as well as staff members in each room, and a person at the front check-in table to ensure no children leave the fieldhouse without a parent. When picking up a child, parents must also show identification.

Pre-registration is recommended, but parents can drop off their kids the day of the event for an additional $5 per transaction.

The next two Parent’s Night Out events are scheduled for May 21 and Aug. 6. To register, visit www.parkerrec.com or call 303-805-6300.

How parents can prepare young teens for babysitting

The following are some helpful babysitting tips for teens parents can share with their future babysitters:

Only take jobs you know you can handle.

Tell your parents where you will be, how they can contact you, and what time you will be home.

Remind them they can always call you if they have questions or concerns.

Call 911 in case of emergency – be ready with the family’s name and address.

Ask the parents about any food allergies, rules for snacks and meals, bedtime, playing outside, etc.

Make sure all doors and windows are locked.

Never unlock the door to strangers.

Do not give out information over the phone. Tell callers, “___ can not come to the phone right now, may I take a message?”

Make sure you know where the children are and what they are doing at all times. Always stay with young children when babysitting.

Never leave a child alone in a bathtub, wading.

Courtesy of www.mychildsafety.net

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