There was some discussion earlier in this thread about male babysitters I meant to respond to.
I have hired a male sitter for my dd when she was a toddler , a decade ago. It was more a mother's helper thing, as I was working in a home office. It worked out ok. I don't know if I would now, as I live a much more suburban life and don't have the close friendships with men besides my dh that I used to have. Now it is all moms and the men all work outside the home and having an adult male sitter just would seem weird. Though there are a couple of home childcares I know of run on the "daddy daycare" principle by sahds. One is a friend of mine, and he never has open spaces. Families love him.
I've hired male-female sibs to babysit my children on occasion, too. One a set of 12 yr old m/f twins who did everything together, and one a 13 yr old girl who had to bring her 10 yr old brother along on babysitting jobs. In both situations, my dd was there and older (8 plus), so I felt better about leaving my children with younger sitters than I otherwise would have.
I do home childcare (with an agency, references, police and child welfare checks in place, and frequent surprise visits from agency staff). My dh has always worked flexible hours and has helped out with the daycare a lot -- he took several months of parental leave when each of my sons were born, for example.
I am very open when interviewing prospective clients about my husband's role in covering for me when I have dr appnts, etc. If they are not comfortable with that, then my home is probably not the right fit for their family. I do always give a few days warning when I have an appointment and parents have the choice of bringing a child to be cared for by my dh, or finding alternate care for the day. Often parents of the youngest children will keep their children out when I have an appointment the first time or two, then relax a little and bring them as they become more comfortable.
My agency supervisor has done a couple of visits when dh was on his own with the kids, and has raved about his care of them. I think it is very good for all the children, especially our own sons, to see a dad take over the nurturing role every once in a while.
We've had a couple of single moms of sons who chose my daycare BECAUSE there was a male presence in the home and their sons didn't have dad in their lives.
I've also had a mom who didn't want my dh- or any male- to change her dd's diaper or help her with the potty under any circumstances. We always respected and supported that rule, but it made things a little awkward and dh didn't like not feeling trusted in his own home. I don't think we would take on another family with that concern.
My dd is almost of babysitting age and because she is so wonderful with the children in my home and whereever she goes, she has lots of inquiries already about babysitting jobs. I want to hold out for a few years before having her sit outside the home, except maybe for family members.
My sons are getting the same experience, but they are very young yet (4 and 2). It makes me a little sad to know that should they want to babysit when they are older, they will likely have many fewer opportunities than their sister, just because of their gender.
I am already finding myself being far more careful to teach them about respecting privacy, and modesty/touching limits than I was with their sister at the same age. I don't much like them changing into and out of dress-up clothes in the same room with other children or hanging around when I am changing diapers, for example.
Speaking of worry, anyone else worry about protecting their sons from someday being in a position where they might be falsely accused of perpetrating sexual abuse?
I'm ready for ch. 4