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Wanted: The Perfect Babysitter

Sure, eating Mallomars and moldy cheese (hey, just scrape it off!) for dinner and watching Top Chef in your pajamas is fun, but couldn't you and your guy use a real date? Like, one that's actually outside your home? If only you had a responsible, loving sitter you could trust to leave your little peanut with. Help is here. In her new book, Love at First Sit, the founder and CEO of Sittercity.com tells how to get and keep a great babysitter.

How to find her
Eager sitters are living all around you -- the key is identifying the best one for your needs. You can ask family and friends for recommendations, use a paper or electronic posting, or go online to Sittercity.com. Here's how to write a successful ad that will entice worthy candidates:

Start with specifics about job. We are looking for a sitter to work Saturday nights in Newton, MA. Must be reliable and have experience with babies and toddlers. Our two active boys are ages 3 and 9 months.
Add in personality. Love of pizza and dinosaurs a plus!
Make your requirements reasonable. Please have two excellent references, two years' paid babysitting experience, and your own transportation to our house. No smokers, please.
Weed out potential conflicts, like allergies. We have a dog. Will pay $12 an hour.
Don't forget contact info. If interested, please contact Brenda at 555-555-4567 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, or e-mail Brenda@youraddress.com.

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