New Year’s Eve is still more than a month away, but if you plan on going out December 31, today’s hint is to book your babysitter now.
Why? The secret to “securing a commitment on one of the most competitive nights of the year for a babysitter is to book one month in advance,” says Lynn Perkins, chief executive officer of UrbanSitter.com. “Not only are parents competing against other parents eager to nail down childcare, they’re also competing against sitters’ social calendars.”
In addition, she says, to increase the odds you’ll find a sitter, you’ll also want to make it clear you’ll pay well. According to Ms. Perkins, sitters on New Year’s Eve often charge 1.5 times the normal-night babysitting rate.
And she says you can sweeten the deal even more by letting your sitter bring a friend (that you approve of); by promising extras like takeout or a cab ride home; and by coming home early (i.e. only going out for an early dinner) so your sitter still can go enjoy the midnight festivities. “Let’s face it, parents and sitters generally operate on different schedules,” Ms. Perkins says.
Don’t have the budget to pay a sitter extra? Consider a family sleepover party instead, like the one my husband and I hosted last year. After the little ones go to sleep, the adults can celebrate the ball drop without having to worry about driving home.
What are your tips for celebrating New Year’s Eve when you have young kids?