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Whether you’re a parent who recently moved to a new city or town, or just need to freshen your existing pool of sitters, finding help can be a tough and time-consuming chore. Parents can be incredibly protective of their childcare help, lest you steal their Friday night regular sitter. On a similar note, many of the best sitters find regular gigs and are constantly booked. But there are some strategies to use to help you make date night happen more than once in a blue moon. Here are five to try:

Join a Moms Group on Facebook
Put out a request and you’ll be surprised how many sitters are on there looking for work. Plus, moms who have changing childcare needs (aka no longer need a sitter but have used a great one) may be able to make solid recommendations. 

Use a University List 
Colleges often have lists of students looking for babysitting jobs and some even have online databases you can post to with your needs. QuadJobs is a newer company that pairs college students (including babysitters) with people looking for temporary help. 

Cast a Wide Net Through Friends
Yes, people are protective of their go-to sitters, but if you ask enough people, somebody is bound to help. Methodically go through not only your list of best friends, but coworkers, book club members, gym buddies and other acquaintances to see who they use and if they’d be willing to share. 

 Search Through a Digital Service
Companies like Care.com (and many others) have a very large pool of babysitters; it’ll take a while to sort through them, but it will be worth it when you have some one-on-one time with your partner. 

Ask Their Teachers
If your child is in daycare or school, asking their teachers if they’re looking for extra after hours or weekend work can be a quick way to find reliable help. Bonus – your child already is comfortable with them, so you don’t have to worry about them settling in. 

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