It’s hard to believe, but the New Year is almost upon us.

new years eveNew Year’s Eve is one of those rare evenings where the options to get out and enjoy an adults only night out are plentiful.

The only problem:

WHO will watch the kids?

Finding a babysitter for New Year’s Eve can be challenging; there are not only lots of parents looking to snag a sitter for the evening, but many babysitters already have their own plans.

Here are some tips to help you land a fun sitter for your kids on New Year’s Eve.

  • See if your regular sitter is free. If you have a regular sitter you employ, you may be one of the lucky parents who doesn’t have to do a lot of searching to find someone to watch the kids on New Year’s Eve. Before you start frantically looking for someone to watch the kids, ask your regular sitter if she’s available for the evening. Many regular sitters plan on working the unofficial holiday because the rates are usually higher and the hours are almost always longer. It’s a good time for them to make a lot of money in a fairly short amount of time.
  • Ask your regular sitter for referrals. If your regular sitter is already booked with another family, or if she’s going out to celebrate herself, ask if any of her babysitter friends might be interested in working for you. The babysitter word-of-mouth network is alive and well, and it can be the quickest path to finding a great sitter.
  • Call a temp nanny agency. In almost every major metropolitan area, there is a nanny placement agency that specializes in placing pre-screened nannies and babysitters in temporary childcare positions. Many of the sitters work in hotels for out-of town guests, but local parents can also find an experienced and reliable sitter through these agencies too. One of the advantages of working with an agency is that they do all the legwork for you. Each caregiver has been fully screened by the agency before she’s presented to you, so you only need to make sure the sitter connects with you and your kids. Most agencies charge a fee on top of the sitter’s rate, so you should expect to pay a little more for a sitter through an agency.
  • Use an online childcare site. Most of the nanny job sites, like and, have plenty of caregivers looking for babysitting gigs. Those sites are a great way to connect with sitters who are in your local area, are available when you need childcare, and fall within your budget. Of course, before you invite any new caregiver into your home it’s essential that you fully screen her. Online sites offer lots of helpful and inexpensive tools to help you navigate through the screening process.
  • Consider sharing a sitter with friends. If you’re spending New Year’s Eve with another couple that has children, think about sharing their sitter. This is a great option if your children are school-aged and require more supervision than hands-on care. A relaxed, engaging sitter can come up with lots of ways to entertain and manage a small group of older children. Board games, a karaoke dance party, or a hot movie release can provide hours of entertainment. Add pizza and some snacks and you’ve got a fun New Year’s Eve slumber party for the kids to enjoy. Of course, if the sitter is responsible for additional children, you should make sure to pay her accordingly.
  • Spread the word at church. Religious communities often have an untapped pool of occasional sitters. These people are usually young adults and older members who don’t babysit regularly, but who would welcome the opportunity to make some cash right after the holiday season. Your church’s bulletin board or online discussion group is an easy way to get the word out.
  • Think outside the box. If you’re unable to find a sitter to come to your home to care for your kids, consider sending them to someone else’s home. Remember, not everyone goes out on New Year’s Eve. Maybe Grandma and Grandpa would love to have an overnight visitor to kick off the New Year. Maybe a friend down the street is planning to stay home with her kids and would welcome your child for an evening play date.

Often, the best babysitter can be found in the most unexpected places.

Whether you’re getting dressed up and going out on the town or simply having a quiet dinner at a favorite restaurant, going out for New Year’s Eve is a great way to ring in the New Year. Find your babysitter now so you can enjoy yourself then.
PHOTO CREDIT: Visit London


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