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Best babysitting agencies in NYC

Date night is back thanks to these babysitting agencies.

  • Metropolitan Sitters

  • Sitters Studio

  • Creative Sitters

  • Beyond Care

Metropolitan Sitters

Barnard Babysitting Agency
This on-campus institution acts as a clearinghouse, matching undergrad students with occasional, or regular, part-time sitter gigs. Parents post the job and the wage they are offering, then allow at least a week to review responses. Sitters are not officially trained, so families should arrange interviews and check references themselves. 212-854-2035, eclipse.barnard.columbia.edu/~bbsitter. Registration fee $25, then $7.50--$15 per hour, plus extra for meals, and cab fare after 9pm.

Beyond Care
Based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, this coop is owned and run by the Spanish-speaking women who provide the service (don't worry: the agency's coordinator will find you a sitter with a suitable English-language level). Members have at least three references and are background-checked before taking an eight-week training program covering CPR, nutrition and early education. The coop offers full-time coverage, but its rapid-care and part-time service is the star, with a sitter at your door in as little as two hours. 917-463-0399, beyondcare.coop. $16 per hour; weekly rate for one child $550 (35--40 hours per week).

Creative Sitters
In between feedings, naps and diaper changes, Creative Sitters squeezes in play attuned to your baby's individual learning style. You might see finger puppets, a game of peekaboo with picture books or cushion mountains to crawl over; you also get a written report about how much your baby ate, slept and played—and what artsy activities she enjoyed. 347-436-8357, creativesitters.org. Monthly membership $35, then $20--$24 per hour, depending on number of children. Annual membership $225, then $17--$21 per hour.

Metropolitan Sitters
Owned and run by a former kindergarten teacher, this boutique service covers Manhattan; Astoria, Queens; and Dumbo and Park Slope, Brooklyn, and employs enthusiastic college students and grads, most of whom are CPR-trained. In addition to one-time and last-minute sitting, Metropolitan has full- and part-time nannies and can accommodate overnights and travel. 917-575-7370, metropolitansitters.com. Monthly membership $25, then $20--$22 per hour, depending on number of children.$20 per hour for one or two children, three children $22.

Now Nanny
Although the Brooklyn agency offers full-time nanny placement services, its emphasis is on emergency sitting. The small group of caregivers have undergone extensive background checks, and each has three or more years of child-care experience; Spanish-speaking nannies and sitters with special-needs experience are also available. 718-522-2580, nownannyny.com. $20 per hour with a four-hour minimum covers up to three children, with discounts available for repeat users.

NY Pinch Sitters
As the name implies, Pinch Sitters provides occasional and short-notice care (as little as two hours) in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. 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. 212-260-6005, nypinchsitters.com. $20 per hour for a minimum of four hours, plus $10 travel surcharge after 9pm.

Tender Loving Nannies
Because its clients range from huge corporations to single moms seeking newborn care, this agency has full on-call service, with phones answered 24 hours a day—even on weekends. Caregivers undergo a rigorous background check and, once hired, are trained in all aspects of child care, from what to do in an emergency to safe bathing procedures. 212-400-7157, tenderlovingnannies.com. $20 per hour and up.

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