We used sittercity.com to find our sitter. We paid for one months subscription (which was discounted for first time users at the time.. I think it still might be), posted a job description and got dozens of applicants. In the job description, just make sure you note that the sitter must be pet friendly and be able to handle a big dog if she/he will be around/handling the dog too. We pay our sitter $15/hr. She said she normally goes for $16/hr though. I think as far as going rate, it depends on the experience of the sitter. We had some high school/college kids apply who were going as low as $12/hr. But my husband wanted to get someone who had a ton of experience with kids so we reviewed the applicants, sent follow up questions to our top 5... then narrowed down to interview 3 sitters in person. You don’t have to pay for the interview if it’s just a short interview. However I believe if you are doing a trial run where they will actually be doing some work, then you will have to pay. 1 of our top 3 actually refused to come interview. And then the other two were really great so we asked one to be our “go-to sitter” and the other if we could keep her contact information if our other sitter was unavailable. Our son is usually nervous around strangers (and certain family members) but during the interview he warmed up to both the sitters we met with. I think kids can be pretty good judge of characters. Background checks can be run through the site. Some sitters already have had background checks ran and they can provide a copy of that. You can ask for references... Hope this helps!
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