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Working Parents Take the Panic Out of Flu Pandemic

CHICAGO, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- With Swine Flu (H1N1 influenza) outbreaks already resulting in more than 600 school closings this fall and daycares quickly reaching maximum capacity, an increasing number of parents are finding themselves without child care options; but not parents. On, the nation's largest and most trusted online source for qualified babysitters and nannies, the number of parents finding sitters to cover last-minute care needs before the need arises has increased by 37% over the same period last year.

Sittercity has over a million on-line sitter profiles across the country that provides detailed information on each caregiver, including experience, pictures, background checks, references and parent reviews. has also briefed its sitters on the current flu situation, and has specifically equipped them with flu preparedness information from the American Red Cross. offers tips on you can develop a swine flu contingency caregiving plan:

Tip #1 - Know What You Want in a Sitter. Parents need to determine their sitter requirements before they begin their search. For example, is it important that the caregiver has been vaccinated for the H1N1 flu? Sittercity has begun to see parents of children with infants routinely including this criteria in their Sittercity job post. If this or other criteria is important to you, include it in your job posting or make it a question during the interview process.

Tip #2 -Start Early. Plan ahead and make sure you have an alternative child care plan in place before your child's school or day care center closes its doors due to an outbreak. gives parents instant access to hundreds, if not thousands, of the best local caregivers in their area.

Tip #3 Make Sure You Have Multiple Choices - During the process of vetting potential sitters, make sure to find a few sitters that you can go to if you have an unplanned need. Often, sitter's schedules can change and having a stable of sitters increases your chances of having a back-up even if it's at the very last minute.

Preparing a swine flu plan beforehand and making sure everybody in the family is aware of this plan will help your family in the case of an outbreak.

About®, the inventor of online caregiving, is America's largest and most trusted online source for child care, pet care, senior care, housesitting, housekeeping and tutoring. Sittercity has a network of more than a million caregiver profiles nationwide, and helps families and individuals across America find the perfect in-home care provider quickly, easily and safely. Sittercity's care seekers can use the company's four-step screening process, which includes checking references, reading caregiver reviews, conducting interviews and utilizing free access to background checks. Sitter profiles also come with photos, experience, training, safety skills, availability calendars, reviews and more. Our Corporate Program now serves a number of marquee clients, including Avon, MasterCard, FOX Networks, Pitney Bowes and Monster Worldwide. For more information, visit the company Web site at


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