At Sitter Pals, we believe one of the best ways to find a great sitter is to ask your friends whom they know and trust.  91% of people will make a purchasing decision off of a friends’ recommendation.  We believe this to be absolutely true when choosing a sitter as well.  Start with one of your close friends who has children around the same age as your children, similar values and safety concerns, and someone who treats people as you would prefer to treat someone.  You are likely to find a great sitter who is already familiar with you and your family through your close friend.

How much should you pay this referred sitter?  Start by asking your friend if she minds sharing what she pays the sitter.  You can also ask the sitter when you introduce her to your children and your home, while discussing your expectations.  The national range for hourly rates can range from $5 to $15 for one child.  Wonder who is paying the most?  New York City, NY at $10 - $17 per hour for one child.  For general babysitting rates for your area visit

What are your expectations for the sitter to do while you are away?  This is closely related to how much you are paying and the sitter’s experience.  If you are hiring a relatively young sitter (15-18 years old),  for a few hours, keep the expectations to playing with the children, helping with easy meals and clean up, and possibly bedtime if the children are easy to put to bed.  As you increase in the sitter’s experience level and pay, consider adding more expectations like bathing the children, cleaning up play areas, and preparing meals.  It is best to communicate your expectations clearly and ask what the sitter’s level of comfort is with these expectations.

How often you hire a sitter is also relative to their experience, but also their availability.  If you are looking for a sitter for recurring jobs (i.e., every Monday and Wednesday from 4-7pm), you need to find a sitter who babysits full time.  If you are looking for a sitter you can book for weekend evenings out for a movie or dinner, hiring a student or neighbor is a good fit.

You may be thinking, all of this sounds great, but there’s one condition: friends don’t share sitters, right?  That is the premise behind  the launch of Sitter Pals later this month!  You will see how sharing sitters with your close friends will allow you to Share and Take Care!  For more information email


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