There are a lot of sitter services out there in New York. One nice thing about writing a parenting blog is that I get offers to try them. I have never used them…until now. I was nervous to try a sitter that had been vetted by an agency, not a friend. But, two things were different about Sitters Studio: one- their agency is staffed with artists who have a childcare background (being from a family of artists- that appeals to me) and two– they bring a tote of artistic toys in their area of expertise. Musicians might bring instruments, actors might bring scarves, masks and puppets and painters might bring art supplies. You get a sitter and an art/theater/music class at the same time. It was intriguing enough to give it a whirl.
Here’s how it works: After you set up your date and time, you tell them a bit about your family and they match you up with a sitter. Sitters Studio then emails you the sitter’s bio. Our sitter-to-be was named Allison. We found out where she was from, what she wants to do as a career (acting), where she has acted, gone to school, her teaching and babysitting experience, that she was certified in CPR and a fun facts about her: “Allison’s favorite children book collection is the Amelia Badelia books”. I love the slapstick humor of those books too- she sounded like my perfect match.
Allison came on time, brought her tote of tricks and her skill of animated reading that thrilled my son. Her smile and gentleness appealed to my daughter. They did some dancing, laughed and generally got along well. After watching them interact for a while, we left, but not before filling out the Sitter Studio “Info Sheet”. (See top photo).
Six hours later, we returned. Allison reported that all had gone fine and handed us her “Studio Scoop” report. (See photo below). It told us what the kids had done, said, eaten and what time they had gone to bed. We even saw a smiley face circled to indicate our kids’ moods. (They were happy).
Sitters Studio feels like a small operation because of the type of detailed information you know beforehand about the sitters….. and they about your family. It felt like we were connected to our sitter in advance. Babysitting agencies are more expensive than hiring a local sitter (in general $2-4 more an hour). But, with this service, I felt like a few extra dollars was worth it. Our kids had a dynamic story time, a disco session with scarves and a “real” actor who could tell them about theater. It’s a cool idea: your kids get to meet working professional artists, develop their own creativity, and the sitters get some money in their pocket while they try to “make it” as an artist. And we got to have a night out. It’s a cool exchange.
646.246.6024 New York
*Rates vary by city
*Be advised there is a 4-hour minimum charge for all appointments
*After 4 hours, all booking charges will be rounded to the nearest half hour
*Sitters Studio has a 24-hour cancellation fee of $35