More on babysitters: When to part ways

It's ironic that I scheduled Vanessa's piece about working withbabysitters yesterday. Yesterday morning I fired our full-time babysitter who'd been with us for about three weeks. The kids loved her, but she was late to pick them up from school three times in two days, and two of those times she was more than 30 minutes late.

There is more to the story (she appeared to be dodging me and wouldn't answer her phone or call me back while she had my kids so I had no idea where they were or if they were OK), but the latenesses were enough for me. With older kids, the whole point of a babysitter is being there at the right time.

So I'd like to talk today about what's acceptable and what's not. How do you know when you need to fire a babysitter? What's something you'd give a second chance for? (I gave a second chance after the first late pickup, for instance, but no second chances on not telling me they were OK.)

Are there warning signs to look out for? And what's a reasonable expectation?

Please share stories of situations and talk about whether you kept working with the babysitter or not, and what your process was. It'll help me and all of us. Opinions welcome from people in all situations, of course.