Home > Services > How to find a needle in a haystack (special needs babysitting in NYC)

How to find a needle in a haystack (special needs babysitting in NYC)

When we lived in Ohio James had a network of college students to work with him at all times. I never felt bad about leaving him with a sitter because they were all trained in ABA, or studying to be PTs, OTs or speech therapists. I could send an email to a dozen people with dates I needed and they would get filled up in 24 hours. Sometimes he was probably better off with a sitter than with me, because they were fresh and getting paid to be awesome with him, whereas I just wanted a nap after working two jobs and getting home from school.

In Virginia we went from a ton of sitters to none. My husband being in law school and me working full time made it really hard to take the time to find people, and we lived too far from the college campus to entice college students to come to us. We almost never went out, and when we did we left James at a friend’s house in town.

My parents and sister live less than 2 hours away now, so I am lucky to have people who not only know James and all of his little (and not so little) quirks but who love him to death despite all of them. However, as generous as they are with hopping on a train to babysit anytime we are in a jam, it would be lovely to have a sitter or two in the city that we could leave James (and the rest of our kids) with from time to time.

NYC is like an enormous haystack and good sitters who are also equipped to deal with a special needs child who might cry if the music is sad on a movie, wet his pants if he isn’t told to go to the bathroom and the video game is just too good, and who needs half a dozen medications before bedtime – those sitters are the itty bitty needles. It’s not your standard 3 kids package.

But, NYC never fails to amaze me. Click here and be amazed too: http://www.care.com/special-needs-new-york-ny-p1049-q1940985.html There are actually whole sections for regular babysitting, housecleaning and other things, but of course I am impressed with the whole Special Needs section that you can narrow down by zip code and on a map! Each potential sitter has a profile with their experience, what disabilities they are familiar with, a picture and even a background check. The map kind of reminds me of apartment searching, or looking for a zipcar. You can do almost anything online in this city!

So, I am not endorsing the site yet but I do plan to try it out, and would love to hear from anyone who does use it or has used it before. Just to be thorough, JCC Manhattan also provides a special needs babysitter training course – http://www.jccmanhattan.org. You can contact them for a list of people who have completed the course, but they don’t come with their own online profile and a cool interactive map!

  1. Sandy
    March 26, 2013 at 1:14 am
    • March 26, 2013 at 7:15 am

      I just heard about them in the last month – have you had a chance to use them yet?

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