RECOMMENDED: Babysitters guide for families in NYC
Finding safe and reliable child care in the city is no easy feat, especially for parents juggling hectic schedules. When obligations come up last-minute or day care centers don't work for your timeframe, it's nice to have some babysitter services in your back pocket. These stellar agencies and websites make it simple to book a qualified sitter whether you want to try out some fun date ideas, need a helping hand at your tot's birthday party or are on the hunt for a long-term nanny.
Babysitter services in NYC
Once a member, parents can craft a job posting with any requirements they might have for watching their little one. Once applicants respond, it’s important to read up on their past experience, background and hourly rate in their profile. Reviews and ratings from other parents help even further in deciding if the caregiver is a good fit. The service adds another level of security by offering third-party background checks for small fee, which some sitters on the site have already paid for themselves. Free, basic membership gives partial views of sitter profiles and limited job postings. Premium membership is $35 per month, $70 for 3 months and $140 for 12 months, not including the sitter's hourly rate.
This user-friendly, nationwide site makes it easy to specify your specific childcare needs, whether for a last-minute sitter, long-term nanny or tutor. The system filters caregivers based on the frequency and time frame you’ll need care, location and pay rate. Moms and dads can “favorite” or “hide” profiles they’ve reviewed, as well as see profile activity of caregivers to help avoid dormant users. Though the site performs background checks, it’s necessary to do your due diligence to weed out less-than-satisfactory applicants. Free, basic membership includes limited profiles and posts. Premium membership runs $35 per month, $70 for 3 months and $140 per year, not including the sitter's hourly rate.
Unlike some sites, which require lots of legwork on the part of parents, this sitting and nanny placement agency—based in Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Hamptons—does a great deal to match families with reliable and experienced caregivers. In addition to performing background checks with references, the service interviews potential sitters in person before matching them with families. Parents also have the option of working with a Sensible Specialist to discuss their particular needs before the search process begins. Annual membership is $150 with $20–$25/hour fees based on location and number of children.
With a special focus on learning, this agency prides itself on finding top-notch sitters and nannys to provide childcare that’s both nurturing and educational. Using an extensive screening process that only welcomes 7% of candidates into the SmartSitting network, the site narrows the field of caregivers to the best of the best. Families seeking full-time nannys, part-time sitters, care for holidays and travel, tutoring or even lessons in athletics, arts and more are assigned a SmartSitting coordinator who assists with scheduling, payments and any other questions. Sitters require an average of $15–$25 per hour, and families can choose to pay month-to-month or up-front booking fees, which are 20% on hourly rate and 15% of the sitter's gross annual compensation, respectively. Last-minute requests require a $25 fee.
This student-run service acts as a clearinghouse, matching families with full-time students at Barnard for sitting gigs. It’s an affordable option, with just a $30 registration fee to cover outside of the sitter’s hourly rate (average $15/hour)—though payment is handled entirely between sitters and parents, so be sure to discuss the details before hiring. Sitters interested in a family’s posting receive the full listing at the agency office, allowing them to contact the family. Parents must apply for regular sitters in advance of the coming semester, but sporadic jobs may be posted at any time.
As the name implies, Pinch Sitters provides occasional and short-notice care (as little as two hours) in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Parents register online and then contact the agency to find an experienced college-educated sitter, who has been background checked and has answered a series of essay questions drawn up by the owner. There are no annual fees, but there’s a four-hour minimum hourly rate of $22, with a $15 surcharge after 10pm. Sitters are paid in cash, directly by families following the job, making the service a great option for guests visiting NYC.