When you go with a babysitting agency to find your babysitters there are a lot of things you should consider; but the most important is: what do I get for my money and is it of value to my family.
There is usually an agency fee, administrative fee, or a mark up from what the hourly rate an agency will charge you and pay the babysitters. In any case those fees go to so many things, and it is up to you if you want to be bothered doing it or pay to have someone else do it for you. It’s like; can I bake a pie myself and save $7 or make it myself and spend 3 hours making it? For some they don’t mind having to bake the pie and will save the money for others it’s well worth buying the pie and saving the time. It’s all an individual decision.
When it comes to babysitting agencies the fees you pay go towards recruiting, the time it takes for on-boarding you and the babysitters, recruiting, reference checking, background checks, organizing schedules both yours and the babysitters, conflict management (if necessary), keeping up with what you pay so a statement can be sent to you for your end-of-year taxes, organizing the babysitter taxes, invoicing, paying the babysitters, credit card fees so payment is hassle free. It takes hours a day to get a pool of babysitters that you, the client, will have access too. All of this is going on behind the wonderful person that shows up at your door ready to take care of your family; sometimes in a moments notice.
What an agency does may seem effortless, and it should seem that way but there is a lot of time invested behind the scenes for you to have a qualified babysitter seamlessly show up when you need them.
On the other hand, you can do all of this yourself and save, to be honest, probably up to $5 or more an hour. You might belong to a church, have access to neighborhood kids, friends or relatives, and in those cases you probably don’t need an agency, and you can save a lot of money. If you have the time to compile a team of babysitters that, when one says no there is another to fall back on, or the kids are sick and can’t go to school and you can stay home with them then you may not need an agency.