Sitters Unlimited of Southern CA

safe, licensed, prescreened babysitters, pet-sitters & adult companion care

Archive for the ‘Babysitter’ Category

Jun
25

Ready to Print Business Cards & Postcards

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Mar
13

How To Get CPR & 1st Aid Certified – Online & On-site Resources

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Being able to tell prospective employers that you’re CPR & 1st Aid Certified is a big plus. The downside is that these courses are expensive ($80 – $120), time-consuming (8+ hours), and can be difficult to find one near you on a date you can attend. We found an option that has worked well for our caregivers for over a decade. When I first found out about on-line CPR/1st Aid courses I was skeptical that they would provide a credible experience so I went through the on-line courses through three different services and I was pleasantly surprised at how thorough they were. Each course took between 30 and 60 minutes and I was able to print out my certification as soon as I passed each course.
Cost: $15
Time Commitment: 30 minutes
Certificate is good for two years.
The Red Cross says that they have both on-line courses and a database of local hands-on courses. Each course comes with unlimited two-year access to the course materials so you can take your time getting through a class, or complete all of the modules all at once, then revisit the materials and refresh your skills as needed.
This is a confusing website that doesn’t make it easy to find the price for the courses or offer a direct route to take a course. After more than an hour cruising this website I never did find out how to actually register for and take the online courses they offer. It is a good resource for on-site courses though.
Cost: $90 – $120
Cost: $18 for both courses
Time Commitment: 30 minutes
Certificate is good for two years.
Cost: $26 for both courses
Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Certificate is good for two years.


SAVE 20% OFF SELECT ARTS & CRAFTS + FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $99 USING CODE: ACSPRING!

Mar
08

How To Do Your Own Background Check with LiveScan

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Background Check through LiveScan

If you don’t have a current background check and don’t have the time to do it yourself then I recommend Live Scan as the easiest and least costly way to go.

U.S. citizens are entitled to request a criminal background check for their personal records. You should note on the form that the purpose of the background check is for “Record Review” otherwise you could be charged an astronomical fee. So how we saved you money already. 🙂

Even if you’ve done a LiveScan in the past you will need to renew your Live Scan every year.

Follow these steps to obtain your LiveScan:

Step 1: Download the Live Scan form and fill it out. Print clearly or type your personal information on the form.

Step 2: Make three copies of the Live Scan form after you fill it out.

Step 3: Find a Live Scan center near you. Enter “livescan near me” in the search box of your browser and you should see a list of LiveScan locations

Step 4: Bring the following to your LiveScan appointment:

Three copies of the filled out LiveScan Request Form

Government-issued photo identification such as a current Driver’s License, State ID or a passport.

Filling Out the Live Scan Request Form

You’ll only fill out the following two sections.

Type of Application: Record Review

Fill out the section of the application that asks for your personal information. This section starts with “Name of Applicant” DO NOT fill out any other sections other than these two sections.

What Happens Next

If there are no fingerprints in the system that match your fingerprints, then your transaction is generally processed within 48 to 72 hours.

Fees

Fees vary by location. Be sure to let the Live Scan office know that you want the Live Scan for your own personal review.

Download LiveScan form


SAVE 20% OFF SELECT ARTS & CRAFTS + FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $99 USING CODE: ACSPRING!

Jun
03

How to Safely Hire a Babysitter, Pet Sitter, or Senior Companion Caregiver

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If you choose to use an online service such as Care.com or Craigslist to directly hire a caregiver be sure to use the steps in our 15-Step Verification Process as well as take the following precautions:

1. Don’t believe everything you read. Verify everything that your prospective caregiver claims.

2. If someone is offering a really great deal, recognize that there may be a reason for this. Think about it. If the going rate for a babysitter in your area is $15/hr, why would someone only charge $10/hr?

3. Consider meeting a prospective caregiver at a neutral location instead of your home. Yes, it saves time to meet at your home, but when you’re hiring someone to care for a loved one, take the time to play it safe.

4. Bring at least one other family member with you. While you’re asking questions, this person is paying attention to the little things that you may not notice while engaged in a conversation. They can also simply offer a second opinion.

5. Step 3 above encourages you to get references but we want to elaborate on this. Calling references does not guarantee you’ll be able to weed out a less than ideal candidate, but it’s a place to start. A family member who’s serving as a reference is not the best one to speak for a candidate, but they can help in other ways. They can verify the information your candidate gives you (or not), they can steer you to other references (if you ask).

6. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP – if someone seems like a great match, but in the back of your mind something tells you this is not a good idea, then it’s probably not a good idea. Most of the time, your gut instinct is right.

Mar
20

Sitters Unlimited 15-Step Verification Process

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We realize that hiring someone to care for a family member can be a daunting prospect and so we want to share with you the steps we use to vet anyone who works with us.

Every babysitter, night nanny, pet sitter, senior companion caregiver & party helper we work with must have passed all fifteen of the verification steps below:

1. We have several phone conversations and up to six email exchanges prior to even sending a potential caregiver an application.
2. Our application is 10 pages long and includes many essay sections. We want to know more than where they’ve been and what they’ve done, we want to know how they think and communicate.
3. We personally speak to 6 to 12 references.
4. Criminal background check.
5. National Sexual Offenders Database check.
6. DMV records check.
7. In-person interview.
8. Drivers license and Social Security check.
9. 1st few jobs are group sits or with older children so that we can get detailed feedback.
10. CPR & 1st Aid Certification in Infant Pediatrics must be kept current.
11. 3 other checks which are proprietary to Sitters Unlimited’s process.
12. We continually check: criminal background, National Sexual Offenders Database, DMV and items from #11.

If you decide to hire a caregiver directly be sure to check out our recommendations for further vetting a caregiver.

 

Nov
11

Why Babysitters Love Our Service

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Orange County babysitter having fun

BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH SITTERS UNLIMITED

  • You are an independent contractor and free to say yes or no to any job offered to you.
  • Our clients book with us on a regular basis so while you’ll work with many clients you’ll find that you’ll also have families that you’ll work with over and over again.
  • You are rarely asked to do in-person interviews but if you do go on an interview you are paid for the interview whether or not you get the job.
  • We have rates which are fair to both the client and the sitter. Our policies do not allow a client to try to negotiate a lower rate with the sitter. In other words – we stand up for you and will not allow a client to take advantage of our sitters.
  • You can work our jobs around your existing schedule.

COMPENSATION

  • $13 to $18/hr
  • We also have occasional jobs that pay $19-$25/hr

AVAILABLE WORK

  • After-school babysitters 3 to 5 days per week. Starting between 1:30pm and 2pm and going until 6 or 7pm.
  • All day sits with infants or a sick child staying home from school starting anywhere between 6am and 8am and going until 2pm or 6pm.
  • Week day evenings starting anywhere between 5pm and 6pm and going until 9pm or 11pm.
  • We service families in North, Central and Inland Orange County as well as Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Diego County.

If you enjoy working with children and are looking for part time work which you can book around your own schedule then give us a call at 949-829-2273 or send us an email.

Aug
05

Babysitting Tips: List of Do’s & Dont’s

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When a parent looking to find a babysitter posts a “babysitter wanted” ad what do you suppose they’re looking for in a babysitter? Well after you talk over your babysitting rates and you arrive at the job, did you ever wish you had a list of babysitting tips, that you could easily refer to? Something that would help you to fulfill the parents expectations for a good babysitter who they’ll want to ask back to care for their children again and again? Well we’ve compiled a list based on years of serving hundreds of Orange County and San Diego County families which we hope will help you in your babysitting adventures.

Parents: you may want to read through this list also. It can help you to know what to expect from your own babysitter.

List of What To Do When Babysitting

DO clean up so that the home or hotel room looks as good as it did when you arrived. Tip: if you make it look a little better by doing things like emptying the dishwasher, doing up dishes left in the sink, sweeping up food around the pets eating area … you increase your chance of being placed on that parent’s Favorite Babysitters List and you may even receive a tip.

DO cover up any tattoos as much as possible. Tattoos can make you look scary to children and parents alike. Or on the opposite side, tattoos can be attractive to children, especially if they like you and then of course the parents won’t be happy when their child tells them they want a tattoo like their favorite babysitter.

DO remove any facial piercings.  Piercings are not always appreciated by the parent of a young child who may think it’s “cool” and want a piercing themselves. Really young children may even try to grab a nose ring and that’s not fun for anybody.

DO answer the parent’s telephone (unless the parent requests that you not do so). Take a complete message and speak in a friendly, helpful tone of voice. Tip: we recommend that you ask the parents if they want you to answer the phone. Many parents prefer that you let incoming calls go through to voice mail.

DO give the parent any receipts for money you spent while taking care of their children. This probably won’t happen often but if the parents ask you to order pizza you will want to make sure to give them the receipt, whether you spend your own money and are asking for reimbursement or you spent their money and are showing them an account of what you spent.

DO have a positive attitude when parents call to check in. If you are having a difficult time, ask for their advice but don’t whine about how difficult the situation is. Allow the parents to be at ease while they are out and paying you to care for their children. If the situation was so difficult that you are determined never to come back it’s best not to let them know at that time. Let them enjoy their time away and next time they call for your babysitting services you can just be busy.

DO let parents know if a child was misbehaving and if the child received a time out or another privilege was revoked. Time out and revoking of privileges are the only disciplinary tools that you have as a babysitter. Keep in mind that the parents will most likely be embarrassed that their child misbehaved so reassure them (if true) that everything worked out okay, you just wanted to let them know what happened while they were out.

DO ask the parents what the bedtime routine is. It’s no fun to be faced with a child who will not go to sleep until they have their binky, silky, passy or slimey and you don’t know where it is or WHAT it is for that matter.

DO get written permission if you are using a parents’ car.

DO follow all reasonable parents’ requests such as to bring in mail and newspapers, walk the dog, help children with homework, etc. If a client asks you to do something that you are uncomfortable with or consider an unreasonable expection of a babysitter such as to clean the bathroom, do a weeks worth of laundry, give the dog a bath … it’s best to discuss it at the time they ask you, rather than to agree to it and then not do it or do it and then resolve never to come back. Being open and up front keeps everybody happy and keeps your babysitting calendar full.

DO keep bathroom and bedroom doors open whenever you’re in the room with a child and especially when bathing, changing, dressing or helping potty training children. This helps to eliminate any misunderstandings or possible false accusations.

DO encourage children to partake in educationally oriented activities rather than watch TV or play computer games. If you have your own “bag of goodies” you’ll want to bring them to assignments.

DO take medical and transportation releases with you at all times and make sure client signs them if there’s the chance that you may administer medication or take the child anywhere outside of the home or hotel room. Make sure to hold onto these signed releases for at least seven years.

DO dress professionally for all assignments. Shorts, jeans and t-shirts are fine but no inappropriate images or verbiage should be portrayed on clothing. Clothing should be modest and clean.

DO check with the hotel operator before making a call using the room phone even a call that’s in the same area code as the hotel. Many calls within the same area code still carry a local long distance charge, which oddly enough can be 10 times the charge for a call across the country. Who knew?

What Not To Do When Babysitting


DON’T make phone calls unless absolutely necessary. If you did make a phone call; when the parents return mention that you used the phone to confirm another job or whatever the reason was. You want to make sure to do this, because chances are that the next day your DC (dear charge) will say “the babysitter was on the phone the whole time”. They’re not trying to get you in trouble. It’s just that in a child’s world the fact that you delayed making their peanut butter sandwich for five whole minutes because you were on the phone feels to them like you were on the phone “the whole time”.

DON’T eat the client’s food unless they give you permission to do so and even then don’t open something new or finish something off.

DON’T spend time on the client’s phone or the client’s computer unless they’ve given you permission to do so and even then do so sparingly. Remember that you are there to care for their children, not to do your own business.

DON’T ask the parents to come home if a pet or child is sick or otherwise difficult to handle. DO call parents though to alert them to the situation.

DON’T let children go with anyone unless you have written permission from the parents. Make sure to let the parents know if they call in or when they come home if their child left the home with another child or adult. If leaving the home with an adult that the parents have given you permission to release the child to be sure to get a photo ID from the adult and take a pic of it with your phone.

DON’T let anyone into the home or hotel room without permission from the parent. Feel free to refuse someone access to enter. It’s so much better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to let the parents know if someone asked to take the children.

DON’T transport children or adults in your own car unless you have insurance that specifically covers this. It’s a good idea to have a signed note from the parents if you’ll be walking with the children outside of the family’s property, taking the children on public transportation or using the parent’s car.

DON’T administer any medications without a signed release.

DON’T smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or have a guest visit you while on an assignment.

DON’T be late – EVER. Be respectful of the fact that the family has made plans based on your commitment to be at their home to babysit the children at a certain time. If they have tickets to something that they cannot attend or are late arriving because of your tardiness, they  may ask you to reimburse them.

DON’T complain to parents. It’s a good idea to ask for advice, but it’s never a good idea to complain.

DON’T spend money on the children unless the parents have given you permission to do so; i.e. they ask you to order a pizza or to flag down the neighborhood ice cream truck. And if you do spend any money make sure to give the parents the receipt.

I hope that this simple list will help you to understand what a parent’s expectations may be for a good babysitter who they will ask back again and again.


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Mar
06

Find A Babysitter In Your New Neighborhood

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Orange County babsitting agency

How do you find a babysitter when you’ve recently moved to a new neighborhood? Even if you only moved a few miles, you may find yourself without your usual stable of reliable baby sitters.

The teenage baby sitter who was half a block away is now a five mile drive. That doesn’t sound like much of an obstacle, but when she doesn’t have a car, it can make all the difference between having a reliable babysitter on a Saturday night and being stuck at home staring at leftover macaroni and cheese with your DH. The neighbor who was happy to run over for a few minutes while the baby napped and you ran out to pick up your toddler from preschool is no longer available and your new neighbors all work a  nine-to-five schedule.

Find a Neighborhood Babysitter

Posting a “baby sitter wanted” advert doesn’t always bring the best results. So how do you find a babysitter in your new neighborhood? You can start by taking a walk around the area with your kids in a stroller or wagon and be open to talking to the neighbors you see, especially the teenage girls. Cute kids, tend to attract teenage girls. Just let your kids be their own charming selves and they’ll draw in potential teenage babysitters.

You could also hang out at the park and talk to the mothers and nannies that are there with their children and charges. Some nannies work part time and may be available for occasional babysitting.

Find a Babysitter By Networking

Talk to moms and teachers at your kids school and ask who they use for babysitting.You might have to be careful here because some parents are reluctant to give out their coveted babysitters contact info for fear that she won’t be available when they need her. You might start by asking how they found a good babysitter and hope that they volunteer their favorite babysitters phone number, but even if they don’t, they may give you some good tips for finding a wonderful new babysitter for your family.

If you go to church, get to know the nursery caregivers and find out if they are available for babysitting. Even if you don’t have babies or toddlers yourself, you can still drop into the nursery to help out during the rush when kids are being checked in. This gives you a chance to meet and get to know the nursery caregivers and determine if they would be good candidates as potential babysitters for your family.

Use A Licensed Babysitting Agency

If this all seems like too much work, you can always look for a licensed babysitting agency who will work with you to find prescreened, CPR and First Aide Certified babysitters.

Sitters Unlimited, will only send tried and true babysitters to our new clients. We do not send new babysitters to new clients. That’s a huge advantage to you, as you know you’ll be getting a babysitter who other parents have already given their “seal of approval”. If you like the babysitter that we send, then she’ll be placed on your Favorite Babysitters list and next time you call we will try first to secure her. If we can’t then we look for a babysitter who sits for the same clients as your preferred babysitter in the hopes that you will also like this babysitter.

The further ahead you can plan your outings the more likely you are to be able to secure the babysitter of your choice. The closer to your date that you call to book your babysitter the more chance you take that she will be booked elsewhere. This is why its good to have a couple of babysitters that your family knows and is comfortable with.

The beauty of using a licensed babysitting agency to find your pre-screened babysitters is that if you have to cancel a date it’s likely that they will be able to rebook her so that you won’t feel bad about her missing a work date and/or you having to pay a cancellation fee.

You should be ready now to start finding a babysitter in your new neighborhood.