My favorite website for finding local babysitters is also my new social media platform for advertising hazelandfriends.com. For $100/year I was able to shop for quality care, post jobs, browse, contact, schedule and even sort end of year taxes for numerous sitters in my area. While the hiring process was wonderful, my experience as a daycare provider, not so much…

Between raising my own little one and figuring out the 20/80 marketing rule for my newest endeavor (20% action = 80% results) I remembered my wonderful experiences with local talent on Care.com. Once I figured out how to create a provider profile, I researched their advertising rates and realized they are very affordable (as little as $8/month). Care.com does not offer PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, at least not that I am currently aware of, but they do claim to give you exclusive referrals if you sign-up for a premium account. So far, I am not really impressed and will not renew my provider membership. The alleged “leads” are simply job postings for ANY and ALL care jobs in my area and most of them are double-postings which are available for free on sittercity.com.

While I am trying to remain optimistic and applied to several listings, I am not expecting a large ROI, but luckily, the investment was not much at all – nothing lost, nothing gained is an okay outcome.

I do recall hearing from Hazel’s early care-takers whom I found on Care.com that ours was a dream job as I only had ONE baby to watch and a decent hourly pay. I, sadly, did not have the need at that time nor the budget and thus encouraged my babysitters to take full-time, better paying jobs when they came along. I was not delusional nor selfish enough to push a full-time nanny position on these wonderful and ambitious young ladies because simply put, I did not have the budget that Charlotte from Sex and the City was working with when she brought on her bra-less babe of a nanny to help with her adopted girls. I love the scene when she is sipping martinis with Miranda and confesses her first thought when Samantha warned her about Harry cheating with the nanny was, “I can’t lose the nanny!”

So I guess the challenge for my local Albuquerque, NM market is to encourage residents to expand their minds when it comes to alternative daycare solutions. If you have family in tow, ask yourself the following.

What was my experience growing up with this person? Do they really, truly, want the responsibility or are they just doing it out of a sense of obligation? Can they truly afford to not work themselves to stay home and care for my little one (ie. will they resent me, my child and/or feel I owe them down the road)?

Peace of mind is priceless and even your local family and friends have the ability to have their home inspected and maintain proper licensure through the state to legally care for babies and children out of their own homes thus creating a real job and income for themselves. Or… opt for an already registered, willing, energetic and able provider, such as myself, to do the job instead. Did I mention I LOVE caring for babies and kids?

I thought I had a competitive edge as an in-home daycare is much cheaper compared to a Licensed, non-home daycare center, I have a 1:4 ratio of provider to maximum non-resident babies and children, I have a full kitchen and bathroom in addition to a well-located, large, clean, baby-proof, open on the weekends, live-work loft in Old Town, Albuquerque, NM but I suppose, time will tell.

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