The year is almost over and you’re ready to ring in the new year with your partner and/or friends. But what to do with the kids on New Year’s Eve? You’ve brought them to parties in the past, but that’s not relaxing. You’ve also stayed home with them for a quiet celebration — which is fun — but this year you want to need a break. In fact, according to experts, mental health breaks for parents are nonnegotiable, which means … you deserve a night out.
So pick up a noisemaker and a champagne glass and get ready: This year you’re hiring a babysitter! Yes, there’s still plenty of time. Check out common questions and answers about finding a New Year’s Eve babysitter.
1. When should I book a New Year’s Eve babysitter?
The short answer: You can never book a New Year’s Eve sitter too early.
The longer answer: Start looking for a reliable sitter at least a few weeks ahead of time, if at all possible. Finding the right sitter for your children can be tough on a regular day, and New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year. In fact, regular babysitters are making plans ahead of time, too.
But if you didn’t book a sitter in advance (because kids! work! holidays!), the good news is you probably still have time. According to 2022 Care data, the most popular day nationally to post a job for a NYE sitter on Care was on December 31 (yes, on New Year’s Eve!) with the day before (December 30) coming in right behind that. We anticipate similar trends for ringing in 2024.
And of course, that’s fantastic news since most of us haven’t even remotely thought about booking a New Year’s Eve sitter just yet.
2. Is it too late to find a New Year’s Eve sitter?
If it’s December 31 and you haven’t been able to find a sitter, don’t worry. Call your list of usual babysitters or post a last-minute job online to see if anyone is available. People’s plans do change and you may luck out. (Just make sure you screen a new sitter carefully.)
3. Where should I look for a New Year’s Eve sitter?
Start with the people around you. If you have a regular babysitter or nanny, ask if they are looking to earn some extra money working New Year’s Eve. If they already have plans, ask a family member or friend. Spread the word through your family’s network that you’re looking for someone. Perhaps your sister, cousin or book club buddy is staying home with her own kids and can host a slumber party. Offer to reciprocate and take the entire crew next year as a thank you.
4. Where can I post a babysitter job online?
To post a babysitter job, you can use various platforms (including Care), like online job boards, community boards or child care websites.
5. What should I include in a New Year’s Eve babysitter job description?
First things first: In your job title, specify that you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve sitter. You want to catch the attention of sitters looking for work on the holiday evening.
Your job description for a New Year’s Eve sitter should also include:
- The time you want a sitter to arrive and the time you should be home (it’s common for parents to hire a NYE sitter from about 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.). In some cases, parents pay their sitters to stay overnight.
- Your child or children’s ages and any specific care needs.
- The location where they will be babysitting and if transportation is needed.
- Any desired qualifications.
- Any specific job requirements or activities involved. For example: Did you tell your younger kids they can watch the ball drop on TV at 9 p.m. Or, are your older kids expecting to stay up (and be entertained) until midnight?
- Your pay rate. For information, read: What should a New Year’s Eve babysitter cost?
6. What can I expect from a NYE sitter? What should my sitter expect from me?
Many babysitters working New Year’s Eve understand it can mean longer hours of kid care and entertainment, as many parents allow looser bedtimes on this special night. That said, it’s always a good idea to run through your expectations before hiring a sitter to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
If you plan to have a sitter stay overnight, communicate this outright. If you’re going out for dinner and dancing and don’t expect to be back until the wee hours of the morning, be sure your sitter is comfortable in the house, with a space to sleep.
Also a nice treat? Ordering a special dinner for the kids and sitter to enjoy while they play and celebrate at home. Also wonderful? Lots of fun snacks and maybe even some NYE hats and noisemakers.
7. How can I ensure a safe New Year’s Eve babysitting experience?
Just like you do before hiring any sitter, check references and carefully interview candidates in person. Then, when your babysitter arrives, make sure to provide an emergency contact list and adequate safety instructions about how to handle any situation.
8. Any suggested activities for the babysitter and my child on New Year’s Eve?
Of course, you can leave the fun planning to your babysitter (most pros have lots of cool ideas for kids activities). Still need some inspiration? Check out these activities:
- 17 party ideas for New Year’s Eve babysitters.
- 17 ideas to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids at home.
- 15 winter movies for kids.
- 101 trivia questions for kids (with answers!).
9. Should I have a backup plan for unexpected circumstances on New Year’s Eve?
It’s always good to have a backup for those just-in-case situations. If your sitter suddenly gets the flu (or gets invited to a last-minute, once-in-a-lifetime party), you can rely on someone else — either family or another sitter. If you know someone who will be home that night, ask them if they’d be willing to take the kids if your original plans fall through.
Another last-minute option? Share a babysitter. Did your friends score a sitter? Ask them if they (and their sitter) would be willing to do a babysitter share. Bring all of the kids to one house, stock up on snacks and movies and split the cost of the babysitter (since they’ll be watching more kids, you’ll need to increase the pay).
When it comes to New Year’s Eve sitters, advance planning (or so we’ve heard … ) is always the goal but not generally the reality for many busy families. Do start looking for a babysitter as early as you can. But if you didn’t, don’t automatically give up a much-deserved night out. There’s time to book a reliable sitter — even at the last minute!