Babysitter needed ASAP?

Written by: Kayme Pumphrey

“I need a babysitter now!” Does that sound familiar to you?  If you dream about date nights or simply a solo trip to the grocery store, the info  below will help you  make the best decision about occasional or part-time childcare for your family.

Know Who You Are Working With

Ensuring the safety of your kiddos is of utmost importance, so babysitters should be screened just as you would a nanny or daycare provider.  Even if they are only responsible for the care of your children for a few hours, you want to be comfortable with their background and fit. Here are some tips:

  • Vet your babysitters – interview candidates, schedule a play date, run a background check (national and county), and call references.
  • Come up with interview questions that are specific to your family.
  • Find out about a potential babysitter’s experience with other families and matters such as lessons they learned, typical activities they engaged the child(ren) with, additional duties, etc.
  • Ask for non-family references.  If they do not have references, move on!
  • Do not rely on database-driven background checks.
  • Check at least one government issued form of identification.

Form Your A Team

Babysitting needs are often unpredictable, so work towards having several qualified and trustworthy sitters at your disposal.  Aim to have several quality babysitters versus working with one person solely because they have a flexible schedule.

Babysitters Aren’t “One Size Fits All”

Before hiring a babysitter, decide what things are most important.  Your family is unique and your best friends’ babysitter may not fit your needs.  Based on your schedule and family dynamic (organized/active/noisy/cheerful/quiet), find a sitter that fits for you.


To have a healthy relationship with your sitter, it is important to demonstrate respect for the work they do on behalf of your family.

  • Consider a payment minimum for each babysitting request.
  • Provide lunch items and inquire as to favorite snacks/beverages.
  • Arrive home on time. If early dismissal is common or if cancellations are frequent, consider compensating for the babysitter’s expected, and then lost, wages.

Babysitters Are Not Nannies

  • Although most babysitters are happy to provide additional help when needed (especially if compensated), their focus is largely the kids.  That said, you should return home to a clean home (at least as clean as you left it) and dry diapers.
  • Babysitters are paid an hourly rate.  In the city, depending on the number of children, expectations, etc., the average hourly rate is between $11 and $16.
  • Babysitters typically are not paid for holidays or sick days, but reimbursement for gas and a ride home/contribution towards cab fare is standard.
  • A contract isn’t necessary, but do provide your babysitter with a list of expectations – from emptying the diaper genie to television guidelines.

Using An Agency

If you decide to use an agency, talk to friends and neighbors and ask lots of questions, particularly for proof of licensing.  Agencies should be licensed to conduct business by the city, but should also be certified as a Private Employment Agency by the State.

Visit K Grace Childcare to learn more! Our NPN Parent Perk expires Sept. 30, 2011.

UPCOMING EVENT: For more info on navigating the world of babysitting, register for one of Kayme Pumphrey’s Babysitting Basics Workshops hosted by Urba BabyRegistration is currently open for July 21 at 10:30 am and 11:30 am.  

Posted on July 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM


15 Replies


    Awesome blog! We love K Grace Childcare and have had such a great experience with our K Grace sitters for our lil guy...Jackie ROCKS. We are excited about the upcoming Babysitting Basics Workshop. Thanks for your support!

    by Urba Baby! on 07/18 at 05:42PM

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  • Neat site for finding babysitters

    Just wanted to point out that searches the big online caregiver companies out there that could help you find sitters near you. May help someone.

    by Jim on 09/26 at 05:18PM

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  • Babysitting

    I just looking for a baby sitter to baby sit me. I love acting like a baby and using baby bottles and pacifiers . I wear both boy and girl goodnite pull ups. I like getting changed. I have inflatable baby toys I like playing with too

    by Boy in goodnites on 05/25 at 12:16PM

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  • Seeking for a baby sitter !!!!

    I am Mrs Margarete Heather, 49 Years Old from United State of America. I work with Private Hospital in Brooklyn USA and I don't usually stay home unless during weekends. My kids are intelligent and nice kid, their name are breland and Jessica they are 2 and 5years old respectively, i want you to be with them and take good care of them for me for about 4 to 6month, all i need from you is trust and honest because i will not be at home with the kids and they will be at home with you alone.You can send me a Mail at : ( ). I will be Much Happy to Read Back from you.

    by Mrs Margarete Heather on 06/17 at 06:44AM

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  • Nanny Available / October 2014

    Our nanny/sitter that has been with us for two years is looking for a new wonderful family to work with each week. Our children (now 4 and 2) are both in school now starting this Sept., and we are sad to not have the hours available for our nanny any longer. I wanted to list her here (all though I am unsure how to do this other than in a reply to topic), as some family would be quite lucky to have her. Her name is Roberta Cruz and I would love to share information with anyone who may inquire. Please do not hesitate to email me. Best, MG

    by Mary Gould Moorhead on 10/21 at 06:24PM

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