By KyAnn Lewis, GalTime.com
Perhaps you're still stuffed from Thanksgiving or too wrapped up with Christmas shopping to be planning for New Year's Eve, but if you need a babysitter, you better get on it. Finding a sitter on New Year's Eve can be a huge challenge. Starting now is your best shot of securing a grown-up night out.
Mary Schwartz, the PR Director for, Sittercity, told me, "New Year's Eve is hands-down the most difficult day of the year to get a babysitter." Her advice is to book a sitter early to get both a good sitter and a good rate. She says that parents who wait until the last minute tend to pay more for a sitter than those who book early.
New Year's Eve is obviously a big night out for a lot of people. So much so, that some people started searching Sittercity way back in June for a New Year's Eve sitter. Procrastinators don't feel bad, though, because the majority of jobs tend to be posted on the site on December 29 th .
It can be expensive to hire a New Year's Eve sitter. I did a quick search online and found that some sitters advertise that they charge double for this busy night. Some are asking for $20-40 per hour.
Sittercity shared some secrets with me that may help you snag a New Year's Eve babysitter.
Book someone now!
It's never too early to start looking for a sitter. Sittercity recommends that you book someone by the first week in December (that's right now!) Competition will get fierce and the longer you wait and the more desperate you become, the more you'll end up paying.
Be willing to pay extra.
Give your favorite babysitter an incentive to stay in with your kids - instead of going out with their friends. Also, if someone is offering a higher rate, they might take the better offer even if they like your kids better. After all, money talks! Sittercity says that a 50-percent increase should do the trick. Paying double is even more likely to seal the deal. Here's a rate calculator to help you do the math.
Consider hiring an overnight sitter.
Hiring an overnight sitter lets the parents stay out later (or maybe even stay at a hotel) and it means more money for the babysitter.
Share a babysitter.
If you're going out with a group of other parents, maybe you could pool your resources and hire one sitter for multiple families. Of course, you'll need to pay this sitter more. You can pay by hour or by a flat rate. Sittercity says that $25-30 an hour is a good rate. Of course, the cost would be divided among the families so even though you'll have to pay the sitter more, it may end up costing less if you split the tab.
Think outside the box.
Hiring someone to come to your house isn't the only way to go. For example, my neighborhood Jewish Community Center (and many others around the country) offers monthly "Kids Night Out" events and has one on New Years Eve. Young kids can stay late and the older ones can sleep over. Their services are open to the community and aren't just for members.
Get your plan together now so your 2011 starts with a bang! You have plenty of things on your to-do-list already so check this one off the list. What do you have planned for New Year's Eve and do you include the kids or is it an adults only night?
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