The wolves are howling, there is a stillness in the air that is palpable, you can feel a terror in your bones that, to your logical mind, seems incongruous and unreasonable with reality. For some reason your hair is rising on your arms and the back of your neck. Why are you feeling this ominous apprehension; afterall, it is the middle of the afternoon? I call this the “Witching Hour”.
You aren’t alone. I have that same feeling. When I get a call from a client that needs after school assistance terror floods my veins! Why, afterall I’m the professional and should have plenty of people to choose from but it is unquestionably the most difficult time slot I have to fill, and unfortunately the most popular requested time slot . The cloud of doom reaches me BECAUSE those hours are short, in the middle of the afternoon when part time babysitters are at their regular full time jobs, and the full time babysitters are at their full time babysitting jobs. When I get those requests I do let out a blood curdling scream to myself (or, to be honest, sometimes right out loud).
I work very hard to place people in this position, and when I’m successful frequently it is temporary because the babysitter needs to work more hours and they find something else. When a person takes an after school
position it is very difficult for them to find work that will let them off at 2:30pm to supplement their income to be able to pick the kids up at school; as well as finding a place where a shift begins at 6pm or later. It’s logistics really. A person that has an after school babysitting/nanny position is limited in what they can do to supplement their income and they will NEED to supplement their income to live in Colorado and the rising costs of living and housing.
As I’ve thought about better helping my families with this time slot I’ve been contemplating hiring responsible high school students that are up to my particular screening processes, and understand the need to be where they are supposed to be, on time, and consistently with “no show” behavior not tolerated! I would charge clients less and pay the high school students fairly but less then I pay my veteran babysitters. I think this is a viable answer to the witching hour of 3-5pm. At this point I think it is my only option unless people want to wait to get babysitters. Stay tuned!