We have a wonderful teenage (17 or 18) girl who has watched Abigail for us once when my parents were not able to. I would use her again in a heart beat if the need arose. We pay her $10 an hour to watch Abby. She normally charges 8 or 9 and hour, and we offered to pay her 10. As we explained, we are leaving her with our most valuable posession, and we want it to be a job she takes very seriously. We gladly will pay her more than she thinks she is worth so she understands the importance of the job she is doing.
I have known her family through church for almost 9 years, she has been sitting since she was in Jr High. She is loving, and enjoys playing with Abigail. We trust her 100% and that is the only reason we feel comfotable leaving Abigail in her care.
We had her come 45 minutes before we needed to leave, and allowed Abigail and her to play while we were still home. It also allowed me to show her around, go over the bedtime routine, and give other instrusctions.
I have a folder by the kitchen phone that has CPR instructions, basic first aid info, heymlich remover info, emergency numbers, our address, Abigails importnant info, where stuff is located in the house, friends and families phone numbers etc etc etc.
We also told her she could call us for any reason at any time, even if it was just for a silly question.
Like I said, I would be happy to use her again if my parents were unavailable. When she goes away to college next year I will be asking around at church to find another sitter to have available in case the need arises, and I will do the "mothers helper" bit untill I feel confident in leaving them alone.
I babysat as a teeth, from the age of 10 till I was teaching and married. I also feel there are many responsible and loving teenagers who make wonderful sitters, you just have to find the perfect one for your family!