CHICAGO, Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Back to school can be a stressful time for both parents and children, but a recent study reveals that younger parents of school age children may experience more stress around this time than their older counterparts. A study commissioned by Sittercity found that younger parents, ages 18-24, reported a much higher degree of stress (86 percent) surrounding finding an after school sitter and arranging transportation logistics, compared to their older counterparts, ages 35-44 (53 percent)*.
In general, more than half of parents surveyed cite finding an after-school sitter and arranging transportation logistics as the biggest stressors they face during the back to school season (56 percent), beating out purchasing back to school necessities such as clothes, notebooks, pens, paper, computers (42 percent).
To help parents beat the stress, Sittercity, America's largest and most trusted website connecting families with babysitters and nannies, created a how-to guide for finding the perfect back-to-school sitter.
- When to Start: Start looking for a back to school sitter before school starts – preferably months before school starts, so early August. This will allow adequate time to identify and screen new candidates, check references and run background checks. Even better, this will afford you time train your new sitter and make sure your children begin to develop a relationship with her. Sittercity parents start posting after school babysitting jobs starting in February, but the majority of parents post a back to school job the last week of August/first week of September.
- What to look for: Make sure your sitter has the necessary qualifications you need, including experience with specific age groups and safety training like First Aid and CPR. And since homework will almost certainly be part of the daily routine, look for sitters that are willing and able to be there when the kids need a helping hand. On Sittercity, parents can specifically search for those sitters who have indicated homework help as part of their strengths.
- Transportation needs: Helping with transportation logistics is a key part of many after school sitters' responsibilities. Of the after school jobs posted on Sittercity, Eighty percent require the sitter pick up children from school or drop them off. If you plan on having your sitter help with transportation, confirm the sitter has a valid driver's license and, if she is using her own car, valid car registration and insurance that is up to date. And if you are letting the sitter use your car, make sure to add them to your car insurance policy.
- Lend a Helping Hand: Another reason to hire your sitter before school starts is so she can help you with another school stressor: getting all the back to school necessities. At Sittercity, 60 percent of the parents who post a job ask that sitters help them in other ways, such as helping to get back to school goods or prepare dinner for the family.
In addition to providing parents with access to amazing after school sitters, Sittercity.com also makes it easy for parents to pick out that perfect sitter. Sittercity connects families with pre-screened caregivers by providing detailed profiles, parent reviews, background checks, up-to-date-availability, references and caregiving experience. Parents can also use Sittercity's interactive Babysitter Rate Calculator, which pulls real-time data from the site's job postings and sitter profiles to calculate what parents can expect to pay in their city.
*The Sittercity Back to School survey was conducted by Carbonview Research using an email invitation and online survey of 2,350 parents. The chances are 95 in 100 that a survey does not vary, plus or minus, by more than two percentage points from the result that would be obtained if the interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
Sittercity, founded in 2001, is America's largest and most trusted online solution for connecting families with high-quality, local caregivers, including babysitters, nannies, tutors, elder care providers, pet sitters, and housekeepers. With over 2 million members nationwide, Sittercity connects families with pre-screened caregivers by providing detailed profiles with photos, parent reviews, background checks, up-to-date availability, references and caregiving experience. In fact, every 30 seconds Sittercity connects a family with the local caregiver that meets its unique needs. As the Department of Defense's solution of choice, military families in all four branches (Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force) have access to Sittercity funded through an exclusive Department of Defense contract. Many other leading employers provide Sittercity's Corporate Program as an employee benefit including UnitedHealth Group, MasterCard, Northwestern University, Avon and Children's Medical Center of Dallas.