Hiring a Babysitter Over the Holidays


The holidays are coming! For many parents, this means the desperate search to hire an available, qualified babysitter who’s responsible enough to handle things at home while they step out for a party or two.

With so many parents looking for a holiday babysitter — especially for New Year’s Eve — NOW is the time to check out the availability of your favorite sitters. Avoid the sinking feeling of finding out that yours was booked by someone else who made the call first.  During this time of year, it’s not uncommon for sitters to find themselves in the advantageous position of having their pick of jobs.

Keep in mind that holiday jobs can be more stressful for sitters. They may be expected to babysit for longer hours or for an entirely new family.  It may be a time to ring in the new, but for some sitters, it may be a time when they’d prefer to stick with old routines and familiar faces. Some sitters may want to avoid the stress that can result from taking a New Year’s job with a new family. This gives you even more reason to book your regular sitter as soon as you can!

If you do find yourself hiring a sitter who’s never worked for you before, see if they can babysit, or at least visit, with your children prior to a big holiday job. This will be a time for both you and your new sitter to get organized, discuss important details, and make arrangements, including determining your sitter’s hourly rate.

It’s always smart to discuss details with your sitter before the job, instead of as you’re rushing out the door, excited about your holiday plans and prone to forgetting something.

During Longer-Than-Average Holiday Jobs It’s Important To:

  • Let your sitter know how long the job is supposed to last and exactly what time you’ll be home.
  • Talk about transportation arrangements. In the case of a late return, you may want to discuss a back-up plan or make sure your sitter’s parents or another responsible adult can relieve her.
  • Spend time discussing any activities or crafts your sitter has planned for your children in the long hours ahead. (If it’s New Year’s Eve, you might want to make things fun for both your sitter and children by leaving out sparkling juice, party hats, and noisemakers.)
  • Include a reference for emergencies. Get a first aid chart from your local pharmacy or family physician. Post the first aid chart on your fridge or other obvious place.
  • Make sure at least one adult will be available to help your sitter out in case of an emergency. A sitter’s safety matters as much as the safety of the children they’re watching.

Emergencies do happen. Has your sitter taken a babysitting preparation course that includes choking rescue skills and/or CPR to be ready? It’s always best to hire one that has. If not, consider making a New Year’s resolution to only hire sitters who’ve completed a training course. You could also have a discussion with your sitter’s parents about enrolling him or her in a local Safe Sitter® class. It could be a holiday gift to your sitter or a “thank you” for sitting.

Preparation always provides peace of mind. With some worthwhile planning, your sitter can have a fun, confidence-building, and profitable babysitting experience, and you can enjoy worry-free holiday outings!

If you liked this article, you might like:

3 Steps to Determine How Much to Pay Your Babysitter

How to Say Thank You to Your Babysitter

Jennifer Seward

Jennifer Seward

Jennifer has an M.A. in English and years of nonprofit experience. As a writer and former newspaper reporter, she gravitated toward the nonprofit world because she enjoys the vast and inspiring storytelling opportunities found there.
Jennifer Seward