WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents across the country can
rest a bit easier thanks to a new survey by Care.com(SM) (www.care.com) -
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
Care.com. "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!
Care.com 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 Care.com, please visit www.care.com.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
Interactive on behalf of Care.com 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.
Care.com 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. Care.com
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.