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Child Care: Babysitter Agencies
 

Baby Sitters’ Guild
60 E. 42nd St., near Madison Ave.
212-682-0227
babysittersguild.com
In business for over a half century, the Guild can dispatch a bilingual sitter (sixteen languages are represented), or one with a nursing background, to all five boroughs. Rates start at $20 per hour and vary with age (sitters are 25 and older; parents can request a particular age). There is a minimum of four hours, plus $4.50 for travel costs until midnight, $7 thereafter.

Barnard Babysitting Service
Barnard College; 11 Milbank Hall, 3009 Broadway, at 119th St.
212-854-2035
barnard.edu
Undergraduate students use this babysitting program to make a few extra dollars while they’re in school. Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island families must register before requesting a babysitter, and they should give at least two days’ notice. Rates average $10 to $12 per hour with a two-hour minimum; families are expected to pay for all meals and transportation after 9 p.m.

Baby Proofer
 
All-Star Baby Safety
212-396-1995
allstarbabysafety.com
During a 60-to 90-minute walk-through consultation ($75), owner Tom Treanor thoroughly explains common house hazards and preventive measures. While one anonymous celeb recently had $6,000 worth of babyproofing work done, most city parents are simply looking for toilet locks ($10) and furniture securers ($21).

New York City Explorers
244 Fifth Ave., Suite 2545
212-591-2619
For parents wishing to get their kids off the couch, this activity-based babysitting option is a godsend. The Dinner and Theater program ($130) takes a chaperoned trip to a Broadway show and restaurant, while Sleep-In Saturdays ($15 per hour) for children 2 through 6 include breakfast, lunch, and educational activities with kids their age. Other options: trips to nearby museums, zoos, and parks.

The NYC Babysitters Club
293 E. 73rd St., near Second Ave., Ste. 2E
212-396-4090
nycbabysitters.com
Pay a onetime fee of $99 and get access to a list of pre-screened sitters, ages 22 and up, who charge between $12 and $20 an hour to watch your children after 6 p.m. on weeknights and anytime during weekends (in Manhattan only). They recommend calling at least one week in advance to make arrangements. Transportation fees may be added if the job ends after 9 p.m.

The Parents League of New York
115 E. 82nd St.
212-737-7385
parentsleague.org
For $90 a year, parents gain full access to this community-based organization’s vast resources, which include files of babysitters recommended by other parents in the city. The Parents League also offers information on summer camps, after-school activities, and everything else a Manhattan parent could want—including advisers to help you navigate the public-school system. The office is closed during the summer.

Pinch Sitters
212-260-6005
Sitters who have been subjected to a thorough background check charge $16 an hour (cash only), with a four-hour minimum, plus additional transportation fees when the job runs later than 9 p.m. Two families can prearrange to share one sitter, averaging $20 per hour. Parents are charged $35 for canceling within 24 hours. Services are available only in Manhattan and select areas of Brooklyn and Queens.

Sittercity.com
888-211-9749
For an initial fee of $39.99, and $5 per month thereafter, parents can gain access to the country’s largest babysitting database. The Website offers profiles of college students who are ready to take on the job—in all five boroughs (not to mention throughout the rest of the country). Sitters, ages 17 and up, charge $10 to $15 per hour and have not been prescreened.

Sterling’s Lifestyle Resources, Inc.
23 W. 36th St.
212-947-9792
sterlinglifestyle.com
Aside from babysitters, additional services offered by this company include Celebration Care, in which nannies oversee a group of children at a special event—for example, a wedding ($5,000 for up to thirteen kids for six hours)—and Kid Couriers, who will accompany your child on an airplane flight. Traditional nanny service ranges from $600 to $800 per week.

 
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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide
   
   
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