New Year's Eve is the busiest day of the year for babysitters, and when they're in the highest demand. Even more so than other holidays like Valentine's day! So if you're going to manage to get a babysitter to watch your kids this New Year's Eve, especially at the last minute, you're going to need to know some tricks of the trade!
How do you hire a babysitter for New Year's Eve? Start by locking-in your babysitter at least a month or two before New Year’s Eve because babysitters usually book up for special occasions quite quickly, make sure your sitter has the correct qualifications and skills, and create an optional backup plan just in case they don’t show up.
In this article, you'll learn how to hire a babysitter for New Year's Eve, what the requirements are, and how much it will cost you!
Why Is New Year's Eve Such A Big Deal?
For many parents, New Year's Eve might be one of the few nights of the year they have a chance to get out of the house, let loose, and have some fun.
There's a longstanding tradition of celebrating the end of a calendar year across most cultures. It's time to look back on the previous year. To reminisce about all the great memories you made, and to remember both the good times and the bad. And it's also an opportunity to look forward to the coming year and set some goals for yourself.
Between eating, dancing, drinking, watching fireworks, or just getting together with old friends and family, there are plenty of good reasons to leave the kids at home with a babysitter and have some last-minute fun before the year is over.
How Do You Hire A Babysitter For New Year's Eve?
Maybe you've taken your kid to New Year's Eve parties in the past or had a quiet celebration at home with just your close family. That can be great, but sometimes you just want to leave your child at home so you can have a real night out on New Year's Eve like you used to, complete with lots of drinking! So it's time to get yourself a babysitter. But finding an NYE sitter isn't always easy.
Hiring a babysitter for New Year's Eve requires some important extra things to keep in mind when compared to just hiring a babysitter for any random day of the year.
If you want to hire a babysitter for New Year's Eve, you'll need to start asking around early. You should also expect to pay more for their services since they'll be in high demand. You might even want to have a backup sitter, just in case. Because it would be hate to miss a night that happens only once a year, just because your sitter fell through at the last minute.
Start Looking For Your New Year's Eve Babysitter Early!
When it comes to getting a babysitter for New Year's Eve, looking early is one of the most important tips I could give you. It will make the difference between easily finding a babysitter for New Year's Eve, versus really struggling to find one.
If you want to have a babysitter for New Year's Eve, you can't wait to ask a week or two beforehand. Even if you ask early in December, you may still struggle to find a babysitter who isn't already booked. So if you have a big New Year's Eve bash booked for this year, I'd start looking for your sitter in November or even earlier. It might sound crazy, but get your sitter booked in September or October, or even earlier if you want to be sure someone will be available! Otherwise, you leave it up to chance.
Are your kids old enough to be left alone without a babysitter? Find out about age and maturity requirements here - What Age Do You Stop Needing A Babysitter?.
How Much You Should Expect To Pay A Babysitter For New Year's Eve?
Even outside of the holiday time, babysitter pay can vary widely depending on where you live, how many kids they'll be caring for, how long you'll be gone, what you're asking the babysitter to do, and other factors. So it's hard to really provide an estimate of how much you should expect to pay.
If you're lucky, your regular babysitter might be willing to work for you on New Year's Eve for their regular rate. But that isn't really the norm.
Expect most babysitters to charge time and a half, or even double their regular rate. So if your sitter normally charges $15 per hour, it's not unreasonable to end up paying $30 per hour on New Year's Eve. It's very unlikely you'll be able to find many sitters who are charging $20 per hour or less.
That might seem like a crazy amount. But plenty of workers in other positions who get paid hourly also receive time and a half when they're working on holidays, so why should babysitters be any different?
Even if your babysitter says they're willing to work for their normal hourly rate on New Year's Eve, I'd recommend offering to pay them time and a half or double their regular rate anyway. Especially if you're booking them months out in advance. Otherwise, there's always the chance that they could cancel on you if they receive a better offer from another family.
Where Should You Look For A Sitter for New Year's Eve?
If you already have a regular babysitter, it usually makes the most sense to ask them if they're going to be available. But some sitters might have New Year's Eve plans of their own, or be babysitting for one of their own family members. In which case you'll need to find an alternative.
Asking people you know is usually a good place to start. See if your family members or friends have any babysitters they'd recommend. Or you might even get your regular sitter or nanny to recommend another babysitter they know. Ask on your social media, at parent groups, or anyone else that might be able to point you in the right direction.
If any of your friends have kids of their own and they're planning to stay in this year, ask if maybe they'd be willing to host a slumber party and have your child stay over with theirs for the night. You can offer to return the favor next year so they can go out themselves!
If your in-person connections don't yield any results, it's time to start looking online. Post a job description on a babysitting website, and be sure to specify that it's a New Year's Eve gig. Be sure to note that you'll need someone who can stay later. Most parents who go out on New Year's Eve will want someone to watch their kids from at least 7 pm until 1 am. If you're going to be extra late, you might want to think about having the sitter stay overnight and just get yourself a hotel for the night.
Even if you're just looking for a one-time New Year's Eve sitter, that doesn't mean you can scrimp on any of your usual babysitter hiring processes. You'll still want to interview any candidates, follow up with their references (see what questions to ask), and do a background check to make sure they're someone you want to look after your child (here is our guide to background checks).
If you get invited to a party only a few days before the big event, don't stress. Try calling all your regular babysitters and see if any of them have availability, or try posting a job online and see if anyone responds. People do get sick or have plans fall through, which means several previously booked babysitters might still be available at the last minute.
What Should You Expect From A Babysitter On New Year's Eve? What you expect out of your babysitter will be a bit different on New Year's Eve, and likewise, they might expect something a bit different from you.
The big thing with New Year's Eve is that it usually runs a lot later than a normal night out that you'd book with a babysitter. So be sure to clearly communicate when you need them to show up at your house, and when they should expect you to return.
If you're looking for a babysitter to stay the entire night, you should communicate that when you offer them the job. In that case, you'll want to give them somewhere to sleep. Ideally, put clean sheets on your own bed and allow them to sleep there, rather than having to try to get comfortable on the couch.
If your children are old enough to understand what New Year's Eve is and maybe even try to stay up until midnight, you can make it a special night for them. Just because they're at home with the babysitter doesn't mean both them and the sitter can't enjoy themselves and have some fun! Order a special dinner for both your kids and the babysitter. Set them up with a bunch of snacks and some board games, and let them throw a mini party of their own!
Your babysitter might be giving up going to a party of their own to cover for you. So anything you can do to make the night still feel like a special occasion will be much appreciated.
Discuss with your babysitter in advance to make sure they have a safe way to get home. You'll likely be too inebriated to give them a ride home yourself. But taxis and Ubers are extremely busy after midnight on New Year's Eve, so you'll have to either plan well ahead or find an alternative. Often it's best to just let the babysitter sleep at your place until the morning.
Should You Have A Backup Babysitter For New Year's Eve?
If New Year's Eve is something that you've been looking forward to and planning all year long, then it's probably going to be devasting for you if you miss it. If that sounds like you, then you probably want to have a backup just in case.
You don't want to miss New Year's Eve just because your babysitter gets sick, or decides to bail to go to a party of their own at the last moment.
If you have a family member or friend that you know doesn't have any New Year's plans, you can ask them if they're willing to be your backup in case your preferred babysitter has to cancel.
If you feel less strongly about New Year's and don't risk there being a small chance of missing out if your sitter happens to cancel, then you don't necessarily need to start planning a backup early on. You can always wait and try to find a last-minute solution. And if worse comes to worst, you can just cancel your plans and stay home with your kid.
Want to give your kids a way to have a bit of extra fun with the babysitter this New Year's Eve? Check out this article - 37 Babysitter Pranks (Funny, Harmless & Easy to Do!)
What If I Can't Find A Babysitter For New Year's Eve?
If you've tried everything and can't seem to find a babysitter everywhere, that doesn't necessarily mean that your New Year's Eve is ruined!
Lots of people choose to celebrate New Year's Eve a night early or a night late. If New Year's Eve falls on a weekend, this can be a great alternative. Get together with your family or friends and do all the usual New Year's Eve stuff, without the madness of doing it on the actual day. That means restaurants, bars, and anywhere else you want to go will be far less busy. And it will be way easier to get a taxi home at the end of the night as well. Plus it will be far easier to find a babysitter on those days. Then when New Year's Eve comes around, you can just spend a quiet evening in with your family.
If you still want to celebrate on New Year's Eve, you can make the best of it by hosting your own little party at home. Have friends and family and their kids over. Then get some delicious food and snacks and celebrate together from the comfort of your own home. Dress your kids up in brand new holiday pajamas to make it extra special!
You can also ask your friends if they have a babysitter that they'd be willing to share with you. If both of you have multiple kids this might be a bit tough. But if each of you only has one child, most sitters are willing to take on that challenge. Then you just need to bring all the kids to one home, and you can split the cost of your babysitter.
If you do decide to share a babysitter, I'd recommend not loading any more than two children under age 3, and no more than 5 children total on to even the most experienced babysitter. If you're going to have more kids than that, you'd probably want to book a second babysitter if possible.
For a few more ideas for finding babysitter alternatives, check out this article - What to Do When You Can't Find a Babysitter? (Try Our 13 Sitter Alternatives).
You'll have the best chance at hiring a babysitter for New Year's Eve if you start looking well in advance. By the time mid-December rolls around, most sitters are already starting to get booked up. So try to schedule with your babysitter as soon as you have plans set.
Expect to pay more for a babysitter on holidays, especially on New Year's Eve when they're the most in-demand of any day of the year. If you're using your regular babysitter, offer them one and a half to two times their normal rate. That way they aren't likely to get poached if another family offering a higher rate comes along.
The Perfect Gift For Your Babysitter
My book, Babysitting Business Secrets, is out now as an inexpensive ebook or full-color paperback. If your babysitter is serious about becoming the best sitter they can be, then this book is perfect for them. I reveal all my tricks and tips for first-time babysitters or experienced sitters who just want to up their game. Get your copy today!
- Matthew Taylor, Kidsit Founder