There are times when you may need to spend time away from your child. Talk to your child's primary care provider (PCP) about what kind of sitter is best for your child. For some families, a teen-aged neighbor may be fine. For other families, someone with clinical expertise (like a nurse) may be better. Remember that most health insurance plans do not pay for childcare services.

A sitter should be mature and prepared to deal with an emergency. Look for someone who is comfortable with and can handle all of your child's equipment and special care needs.

Tell the sitter about your child's care needs and teach the sitter how to work with your child. A good way is to let the sitter watch you.

Use the Important Information for a Sitter form in Chapter 1. Fill out and give this form and the Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Needs to the sitter every time.

Suggestions on How to Find a Sitter

  • Call a local hospital to find sitters with clinical training. Ask about part-time or retired staff who may wish to care for your child. Ask if you can post a note for a "special" sitter on the hospital's bulletin board.

  • Call a local school or community college with a program that trains nurses, physical therapists, or early childhood education specialists. Students in these programs may be available to care for your child (and might even get course credits for doing so).Most colleges will accept job postings by phone or email.

  • Contact local colleges and post advertisements in their Student Employment offices.Often these postings can be done by phone or email.

  • Friends or other family members may want to care for your child.

  • Put an ad in your local newspaper.

  • Contact parent groups, community centers, churches, and other religious communities in your area. Ask if they have a list of sitters.

  • Other parents may also be willing to care for your child. Some parents form "babysitting co-ops" to exchange childcare services.

Tip: To request a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) report for a sitter you wish to hire, contact the Criminal History Systems Board at 617-660-4600 or 617-660-4606 (TTY) or your local police department. Request or download a Publicly Accessible CORI Form and send it to the Criminal History Systems Board. A fee is charged for each report you request.