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.
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).
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.
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.
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.