Stop and think about all the times as a parent when childcare (or lack thereof) has impacted your life. When you add it up, it probably has a bigger impact on your life than anything else you encounter in parenthood. It impacts your career, marriage, and personal well-being.

Ever missed work when your kid was sick and you couldn’t find a sitter? For some parents, the consequence can be as devastating as losing their job. If you’re married, you’ve probably canceled or postponed more than a few date nights because of the hassle of getting a sitter. But, each time you do, your relationship with your spouse weakens. In fact, according to the Red Cross, 55% of parents have stayed home because they couldn’t find a babysitter.

No more.

The Secret to Always Getting a Babysitter

The secret to getting a babysitter when you need one is to build a team of babysitters you trust. Seems simple, right? Yet, according to a study conducted by Sitter, 74% of parents rely on only one or two babysitters. This is a huge mistake. The problem is that when your sitter gets sick, gets a boyfriend, or goes off to college, you have no one to call.

The best offense is a good defense. Build a team of trusted sitters and never be left without one.

How to Build a Team of Babysitters

Think it’s too hard to find a single babysitter you trust let alone a team? It’s actually easy. You probably already get recommendations from friends. Take it a step further and partner with friends you trust to create a team of sitters you trust. For example, a group of five friends who have two sitters each, have 10 trusted sitters when they pool them together. Because they’re sitters that either you or your friends have used, they’re not strangers and it’s easier for you to trust them.

Tools to Make it Easy to Share and Manage Babysitters

To manage the team of babysitters, you can use a shared Google doc of contact info, create a Google Group, or use Sitter. Sitter is a free app that lets you create a team of trusted sitters with friends, then book them in seconds. You can also pay them instantly and share critical information like emergency contacts, bedtime routines, and allergies with Sitter’s Premium version.

Are you a sitter hoarder?

Hesitant to share your sitter’s info with friends because you don’t want them to be booked when you need them? This is called “sitter-hoarding”.  It often happens because a parent only has one or two sitters they use. When you hoard your sitters, you’re only hurting yourself. You can’t control your sitter’s schedule. There are other factors that prevent them from being available than just your friend’s needs – their own social life, class schedules, and illnesses to name a few.

Don’t ever risk your job or your marriage just because you couldn’t find someone you trust to watch the kids you love. Be prepared for anything. Build a team of babysitters with friends and always have a trusted sitter on call.

Get Sitter for free and see why tens of thousands of parents across the country rely on Sitter to build their sitter team.