Best babysitting agencies in NYC

By Clare Lambe, Copyright TIME OUT KIDS 2012

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, 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, $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, 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, 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, $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, $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 


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