Parents Breath a Sigh of Relief!

Kids Say Trust Tops Tube Time in's Babysitter Survey

Sep 10, 2007, 01:00 ET from

    WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents across the country can
 rest a bit easier thanks to a new survey by ( -
 the premier source of trustworthy child care options - about how kids view
 their babysitters and caregivers.
     While popular culture often portrays kids being giddy at the thought of
 endless hours of television and ice cream for dinner once mom and dad walk
 out the door, the omnibus survey of 1,360 kids (ages 8-18) conducted by
 Harris Interactive(R), reveals that the number one quality that kids look
 for in a babysitter is not about fun, friends or the freedom to do whatever
 they want. It's trust.
     Trust Matters Most to Kids
     Among 8-18 year olds who have had at least one babysitter in the past
 year, nine out of ten (92%) said that "trust" was an extremely or very
 important quality in a babysitter or caregiver, beating out a babysitter
 who lets them "watch television or play computer games" (59%), is a
 "friend" (61%), or, is "fun to be around" (80%). Among the survey's
 youngest respondents, the 8-9 year-olds, a staggering 97% emphasized the
 importance of trust, compared to a mere 52% who valued a babysitter who
 lets them watch television or play computer games.
     "The average parent understands the importance of finding a trustworthy
 caregiver for their child," said Sheila Marcelo, Founder and CEO of "What's surprising though is that these results clearly show that
 kids get it too. They want their babysitter to be someone that they feel
 safe and secure with, not just someone who gives them free reign the second
 mom and dad leave the room."
     Can't Take the Place of Mom and Dad
     The survey results also suggest that while nearly six out of ten kids
 (57%) enjoy spending time with their babysitter or caregiver, they do not
 take the place of mom and dad when it comes to confiding in them. Seven in
 ten (70%) 8-12 year-olds who have had a babysitter in the past year said
 that they would never or rarely tell their babysitter things they do not
 tell their parents.
     On the topic of gender and who kids prefer, while parents might assume
 that their kids want a female babysitter, a majority of all kids who have
 had a babysitter in the past year (54%) have no preference.
     Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! also looked at the similarities and differences between boys
 and girls and their babysitter attitudes and behaviors. Though a majority
 of both sexes like spending time with their babysitters, girls are more
 likely than their male counterparts to always or often enjoy spending time
 with their babysitters (63% versus 51%). Girls are also more likely than
 boys to say that the thing they like doing the most with their babysitter
 is having their babysitter take them somewhere such as the mall, or a
 restaurant (21% to 15%).
     Given the choice to play on the computer, play video games or watch TV
 alone rather than do things with the babysitter, boys are nearly twice as
 likely (19% versus 11%) to go it alone compared to girls.
     For further information on, please visit
     This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
 Interactive on behalf of between August 15 and August 22, 2007
 among 1,360 U.S. children and teenagers (ages 8-18 year old), of whom 591
 have had a babysitter. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex,
 race/ethnicity, education, parental education, and region to bring them
 into line with their actual proportions in the population.
     All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability
 sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not
 possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error,
 error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording
 and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore,
 Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are
 misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling
 errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples
 with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published
 polls come close to this ideal.
     Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have
 agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been
 weighted to reflect the composition of the 8-18 year old U.S. population.
 Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to
 participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates
 of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
     About is the premier source of trustworthy care options for
 children, pets and elderly parents. The company provides a simple and safe
 way for families and individuals to manage their care needs.
 offers a full breadth of subscription-based services - child care, pet
 care, senior care and tutoring - to address the lifecycle of specific care
 needs, while providing free background checks and a suite of tools and
 resources for selecting the best care possible. The company was founded in
 2006 and is funded by Matrix Partners, with a mission to help people
 achieve a more balanced life through smart care connections.