How much would you pay for peace of mind? When it comes to your children, it seems the going rate is around $20 an hour.
At least that’s how much Park Slope parents tend to pay for access to New York’s finest nannies– the “super sitters,” as the New York Post calls them. They are a league of caretakers who embody a specific ideal: they have bachelor’s degrees, and often maintain other careers, and they’ve had experience both in CPR training and international travel. It seems that when Park Slope parents are looking for someone to watch their children on date night, cultural fluency is as high of a priority as safety. One parent paid a sitter “$20 an hour to watch a pair of toddlers and speak only French to them.”
When standards are so high, it’s difficult to find the right match. As for most needs, there’s an app to fill it. UrbanSitter uses social media and mobile technology to make the hunt a little quicker and easier, offering ratings and recommendations of sitters, and allowing all booking and paying to be done online. Their interface covers both sides of the market, creating one digital space for sitters to search for jobs and parents to search for sitters, and all free of charge.
The company doesn’t deal solely in online interaction, however; they also coordinate meet-and-greet events akin to speed-style dating. Here, sitters wait at tables and are given three minutes to impress cycling parents. Most recently, UrbanSitter organized a speed-sitter event at Park Slope wine bar Brook-Vin on November 8.
The parents are appreciative, if the tweets are any indication:
We left our baby home with a stranger for the first time tonight. Thanks, @urbansitter, for making it a great experience!
— Jennifer Spencer (@jennalyns) November 16, 2012
— Charlene (@CharChronicles) November 13, 2012
But still, is an hourly pay that is sometimes more than three times the minimum wage just too much?
“We pay between $15 and $17 per hour, and it starts to add up,” Park Slope mom Michelle Kaye tells the Post. “Handing over $90, plus the cost of a cab, pushes an already expensive night out right over the top.”
How do the parents out there feel? Have you booked through UrbanSitter (or others of its kind, like Lucky Lil Darlings)? What do you look for in your babysitters?
Photo via youngdoo