Ever gotten stuck looking for a babysitter, tutor, nanny or pet sitter? It is a common problem amongst military families, who often lose their regular help due to moves (either the family's move, or the help's move.) The Department of Defense has put together an unusual deal to help track down household help: free access to the website Sittercity.com.
From the website:
"Sittercity.com is America's largest and most trusted site for matching parents with local babysitters and nannies as well as dog walkers, senior care providers and tutors, with over a million caregiver profiles nationwide. Parents looking for sitters can use the four-step screening process, which includes checking references, reading caregiver reviews, conducting interviews and utilizing free access to background checks to find the perfect match for their family. "
I went to the Sittercity website and found a link for military families at the top right hand side of the page. The registration form was simple, though it did require me to enter my husband's personal information to verify eligibility for this free program. It took only a few moments to verify our information through DEERS. Once fully registered, I had to fill out profiles for each type of help I wanted to look at (Child Care, Senior Care, Housekeeping, Pet Care or Tutoring) before I could see the listings. A quick search for pet sitters in my area turned up nearly 5000 entries. Upon further investigation, many of them were too far to be reasonable, but nearly 15 were in my very own zip code.
Access to the Sittercity database usually costs $120.00 per year. I would usually consider that a good investment, but I will definitely look there now that it is free! I like that there is some level of oversight, though you would still need to check the people out more. I applaud the DOD for trying something different to help families.
Now if we could just get a doctor's appointment that wasn't during school hours....