Choosing the Right Childcare: Tips from the Expert

Choosing the right childcare, whether it's a Saturday night sitter or a full-time nanny, can be very stressful. We recently caught up with Lindsay Bell, owner of Lucky Lil' Darlings, New York's most comprehensive family care solutions company, who gave us some great tips on choosing the right child care provider. Here's what she had to say during our Q&A session.

Lucky Lil' Darlings' Lindsay Bell with Allison

Q: What gave you the idea for Lucky Lil Darlings (LLD)?

A: Back in 2005 I met a friend who asked me to start babysitting with her. I had one family I babysat in NYC and wanted to have more. This friend and I started helping each other with our respective families and the families told all their friends about us.  As the number of families who wanted us to sit for them grew, we started recruiting friends as sitters. Our networks of both families and sitters grew and grew, and we eventually formed the business in response to the demand.

Q: How is LLD different from other child care services?

A: LLD is a family. We meet with each sitter directly and each of them comes highly referred by someone we know. All of our families are also referred from member families or partners that we trust. Our service is close-knit, our sitters become an extension of the family, and we have open communication making everyone feel as comfortable as possible and our service is easy to use. Our goal is to create a positive environment to efficiently and effectively help out busy families and match them with the best possible sitter for their children.

Q: How do you chose your sitters?

A: Our sitters are the cream of the crop. They come from all corners of the US, but they are carefully selected through direct referrals and high recommendations.  We currently have a 200 person wait list in NYC. We are very selective of who we add to our troupe. Our families know what kind of sitter they are getting when they go with LLD, and we work hard to stay true
to our brand.

Q: What advice do you have for families when choosing their sitters or nannies?

A: Securing childcare for the first time is frightening. Be sure to do your research. You want to find a service that works best for your needs. At LLD, we do our best to guide new families through a process that makes them feel safe and secure that they are leaving their child in only the best of hands. Our families first will have a consultation with me or my city coordinator
to discuss our services and from there we review their registration and set the up with an interview or meet & greet with a few sitter candidates we feel will work best with their family.

Q: What is it about some families that make sitters want to work for them?

A: Families that make our sitters feel like part of the family is what gets them hooked. I still babysit for families I met over 5 years ago.  I'm their big sis!  And many of my girls feel this same way.  You get connected and serve as a role model and it becomes much more than just babysitting.

Q: What advice do you have for parents on being good clients?

A: I love our referral system. I always know that I'm getting great families from my current member families and partners I trust.  Working with people you care for, trust and respect always makes it easier and more enjoyable.  My families know that I care so much about their families as do my sitters know I care for them. That mutual loyalty, respect and trust goes a long way in making a successful relationship.