How to Find a Great Babysitter

How to Find a Great Babysitter

Finding a great babysitter is a task that many parents face, and it is not always an easy one. However, the benefits of having a reliable and caring babysitter can be immense. They can provide much-needed support, give you peace of mind, and make your life as a parent significantly easier.

Remember, finding a great caregiver is an ongoing process. It may take some trial and error before you find the perfect match for your family. Don't hesitate to trust your instincts and make adjustments along the way. With patience and persistence, you can find a reliable and caring babysitter who will create a safe and nurturing environment for your child, allowing you to have peace of mind while you attend to other responsibilities or simply take some well-deserved time for yourself.

How to Find a Great Babysitter

Who is a Babysitter?

A sitter is someone who is hired to care for children for a short period of time, usually in the evenings or on weekends. A sitter can be any age and does not necessarily need to have professional experience. They are usually hired for a few hours at a time, but can also be hired for an entire day.

Is a Nanny the Same as a Babysitter?

No, a nanny is not the same as a babysitter. A nanny is a professional caregiver who is hired to care for children on a full-time basis. Nannies are often hired to care for children during regular work hours and can live in or out of the family's home. They typically have more experience and training than sitters and may be required to have certifications such as CPR and First Aid.


Different Kinds of Babysitters

There are several different types of babysitters to choose from, including:

  • High school or college students
  • Stay-at-home mothers or fathers
  • Professional caregivers
  • Au pairs (international exchange students)

Each type of babysitter may bring their own set of advantages and disadvantages to the table, and the best option for your family will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.

High school or college students may be more affordable and flexible, but they may also have less experience and training.


 Stay-at-home mothers or fathers can bring a wealth of parenting experience, but may also have young children of their own that they need to care for. Professional babysitters may be more expensive, but they also typically have more training and experience in child care. Au pairs can offer a unique cultural experience for your children, but they may not have as much experience with child care as other types of sitters.

Ultimately, it is important to carefully consider your individual needs and circumstances when choosing a caregiver, and to thoroughly vet any potential candidates before making a hire. This can include checking references, conducting background checks, and having a trial run or interview with the babysitter to assess their compatibility with your family and their ability to meet your child care needs.

How to Know They’d be a Good Sitter

When considering a potential babysitter, it is important to consider the following:

  • Experience and training: Consider the babysitter's experience in caring for children and their training in CPR, first aid, and child safety. This information can often be found on their resume or obtained by asking them directly.
  • References and background check: It is important to thoroughly check the references, both personal and professional. This can help you gain insight into the babysitter's work ethic, reliability, and professionalism. It is also recommended to check Childminder's background to ensure that she/he does not have a criminal record.
  • Personality and interaction with children: Observe the babysitter's interaction with your children and their overall personality. A good Childminder should be patient, kind, and able to connect with children. You want to ensure the caregiver is a good fit for your family and children.

Children's comfort level: It is important to consider your children's comfort level with her or him. Your children should feel comfortable and safe with the provider so if your children are nervous or uncomfortable around the sitter, it may not be the right fit

Now that you're equipped with the key factors to consider in a potential babysitter—from their experience and qualifications to the essential background checks and the all-important personal rapport with your children—you're well on your way to making an informed choice. But the journey doesn't end here. Dive deeper and discover more by exploring our detailed guide, 'How to Properly Test a New Babysitter', where we unpack each step to ensure you find the perfect match for your family.


How Old Should Babysitters Be?

The minimum age to work as a childminder in Canada is usually around 13 years old, but some provinces may have different regulations. It is important to check the laws in your province before hiring a babysitter. In Ontario, Canada, there are no specific laws that regulate the hiring of babysitters. However, it is recommended that families follow general employment laws, such as paying at least the minimum wage and providing safe working conditions, when hiring a babysitter.


It is also recommended that families check the caregiver's background and ensure that she/he has the necessary certifications, such as CPR and first aid, to ensure the safety of the children in their care. Additionally, families should have a clear understanding of the responsibilities and duties of the babysitter and have a written agreement in place to minimize misunderstandings and potential legal issues.

How Much Should You Pay Your Babysitter?

The amount you should pay your babysitter can vary based on several factors, including:

  • The babysitter's age and experience
  • The number of children they will be caring for
  • The length of time they will be working
  • The duties they will be responsible for
  • The location where you live

On average, babysitters in Canada make between $13 and $23 per hour.

 The government of Canada 

updated the wages for nannies/babysitters on November 16th, 2022 which is provided in this table based on Hourly wages and community/area.


Low ($/hour)

Median ($/hour)

High ($/hour)





Yukon Territory












Prince Edward Island












Nova Scotia




Northwest Territories




Newfoundland and Labrador




New Brunswick








British Columbia








What to Prep for Them?

Before hiring a sitter, it is important to prepare for their arrival. This includes:

  • Creating a list of emergency contacts
  • Make a list of responsibilities: Clearly outline the duties the babysitter will be expected to perform, such as feeding and putting the children to bed, playing with them, and maintaining a safe environment.
  • Gather necessary supplies: Ensure that you have enough food, diapers, and other supplies that the babysitter may need to care for your children.
  • Show them around the house: Give the babysitter a tour of your home, pointing out emergency exits, the location of first-aid supplies, and any other important information.
  • Introduce them to your children: Allow the babysitter to meet your children and let them get to know each other in a relaxed and friendly environment.
  • Preparing a list of activities or games for the children to do
  • Review your expectations: Before the babysitter starts, take the time to review your expectations regarding safety, discipline, and any other important issues.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that the babysitter is prepared and comfortable in their role and that your children are safe and well-cared for while you're away.To learn more about what information should be included in your babysitter's checklist, visit What Information Should I Leave For the Babysitter? for detailed guidance and a comprehensive checklist template.


What Kind of Duties Will You be Giving Your Sitter?

When hiring a caregiver, it is important to explain what kind of duties they will be responsible for. Some common duties include:

  • Feeding and bathing the children 
  • preparing meals
  • helping with homework
  • supervising playtime
  • Putting the children to bed
  • Cleaning up after the children
  • Providing entertainment and supervision
  • Handling any emergencies that may arise

It is also important to discuss any specific requirements or expectations you may have, such as strict bedtimes, dietary restrictions, or special needs of the children. Additionally, make sure to discuss payment and any other logistics, such as the expected duration of the babysitting job, to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and the babysitter.

Babysitting Advice from Parent to Parent

As a parent, it’s always helpful to hear advice from others who have gone through the same experience. Here are a few tips from parents to parents on how to find a reliable babysitter:

  • Call references and do background checks: As we mentioned in the previous paragraph parents also emphasize calling previous employers or families they have babysat for to inquire about their experience, and behavior or even to check her/his criminal history related to child abuse or neglect. 
  • Get recommendations from friends and family: Word of mouth is often the best way to find a babysitter. Ask people you trust for recommendations, and don't be afraid to ask for references.
  • Consider the sitter's connection with your family: You want someone who is going to connect with your children and be able to establish a good relationship with them. If your child is shy or introverted, for example, you may want to look for someone who is patient and nurturing.
  • Ask your kids about the sitter: Children can be very perceptive and may be able to pick up on things that you may not. Ask your kids if they feel comfortable with the sitter and if they think the sitter would be a good fit for your family.
  • Be flexible. If you need a sitter on short notice, try to be flexible with the schedule and pay rate. You may also want to consider a sitter who is willing to work with your schedule, even if it means taking time off from school or work.

Ask a potential babysitter these questions

  • What experience do you have with children of this age?
  • What are your childcare policies (such as disciplining, feeding, etc)?
  • Are you comfortable with such as bathing, preparing meals, etc.?
  • Are you comfortable with such as using car seats, supervising near water, etc.?
  • Are you willing to provide references or a background check?

Babysitter Rates for 2023

The cost of hiring a babysitter can vary greatly depending on where you live, the age of the sitter, and the amount of experience they have. However, the following rates are a general guideline to help you determine what to pay your babysitter in 2023:

Minimum wage: $13 per hour

Experienced babysitters: $18-20 per hour

Live-in nanny: $45,000-$50,000 per year

 The average salary for a babysitter/nanny is $18.24 per hour in Canada. 

Based on 1.8k salaries reported on the  website The average salary for a babysitter/nanny is $18.24 per hour in Canada, This statistic is updated on February 1, 2023. 

You can find the highest paying cities for Babysitter/Nannies in Canada in the below table

Toronto, ON

Montréal, QC

Edmonton, AB

$20.35 per hour

$19.38 per hour

$17.88 per hour

105 salaries reported

34 salaries reported

61 salaries reported

Burlington, ON

Calgary, AB

Thornhill, ON

$20.03 per hour

$18.99 per hour

$17.86 per hour

11 salaries reported

71 salaries reported

13 salaries reported

Vancouver, BC

Oakville, ON

North York, ON

$19.83 per hour

$18.76 per hour

$17.53 per hour

Child care center or babysitter?

When it comes to finding care for your children, you have two main options: a child care center or a babysitter. Both options have their pros and cons, and the right choice will depend on your individual needs and situation. provided a complete guide for parents to compare daycare centers with nannies and then decide to choose an option for their child.



Child care centers offer a structured environment with trained staff and a set schedule. They are a great option for parents who work full time and need a reliable place for their children to be during the day.

However, child care centers can be expensive and may not provide the same level of personal attention as a babysitter. Sitters offer a more personal and flexible option. You can choose a babysitter who fits your schedule and your budget, and who has the skills and experience you need. However,childminder may not be as reliable as a child care center, and may not be able to provide the same level of structure and routine.



Finding the right sitter can be a challenge, but with a little preparation and effort, you can find someone who is a good fit for your family. Remember to ask questions, check references, and consider your children's opinion when choosing a sitter. And, when it comes to paying your babysitter, make sure you are paying a fair rate that reflects the sitter's experience and qualifications. Whether you choose a child care center or a babysitter, make sure you find a solution that works for you and your family.

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