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If you’re like some parents, you get so preoccupied worrying about Valentine’s cards and treats for your children and their friends, you forgot to plan your own Valentine’s Day night out. The truth is, finding a last-minute babysitter for Valentine’s Day is no easy feat. Most have already been reserved by those parents with the foresight to plan ahead. Don’t worry. Finding a safe, reliable sitter for the holiday isn’t impossible, and these suggestions might help. Worst case scenario – you’ll just have to postpone your Valentine’s Day date night for another day, which really isn’t so terrible. Here are three tips for finding a sitter for the big night.

Start your search now!

Every day matters, and you never know. Your favorite sitter might have had a cancellation. Start calling the sitters you’ve used (and liked) in the past. Ask your trusted friends and family for recommendations. You’ll need time to call and check the sitter’s references to make sure they are dependable.

Try drop-in hourly childcare

Greenville has two drop-in childcare companies with three locations, and they’ll all be open until 10 p.m. Feb. 14. Giggles Drop-In Childcare has locations on Augusta Street and Pelham Road in Greenville, and KidsZone is located on Orchard Park Drive in Greenville. Plus, they’re each certified by the Department of Social Services and have fully trained staff.

KidsZone accepts children ages 12 weeks to 12 years old and encourages reservations to guarantee a spot. Rates start at $10 an hour. Co-owner Brock Quinn said the minimum number of hours parents need to purchase to make a reservation is four, but these hours don’t expire and can be used again. He said fun Valentine’s Day-themed activities are plannedfor children that night. Additionally, KidsZone offers Parents Night Out packages for $30 that can be used the weekend before or after Valentine’s Day, and the center is open until midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Call KidsZone at 864-263-3895 or visit kidszoneupstate.com.

At Giggles Drop-In Childcare, reservations are required for children ages 12 to 24 months. Reservations are not required for kids ages 2 to 12 but are recommended. Rates start at $11 an hour. Co-owner Brandon Kimball said both centers will have extra staff for the holiday and are prepared for higher demand. Call Giggles Drop-In Childcare on Augusta Street at 864-991-8561 864-991-8561‬ and Pelham Road at 864-252-4252 or visit www.gigglesdaycareinc.com.

Use a trusted app

Childhelp.org warns against doing an online search unless no other options are available, but apps such as Bambino feature babysitters in Greenville and Spartanburg who have already been vetted and rated by local parents. Users download the Bambino app for free through their app store, allowing them to search for babysitters that have been recommended by their friends. Each babysitter is rated after each job, and their profiles list their rate per hour. Users contact the babysitter through the app to arrange appointments, usually receiving a reply within hours.

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