Finding the Best Babysitter in the Bay Area

November 8, 2011 3:26 PM

Whether it’s just for an afternoon or an entire weekend away, these resources will make finding the ideal caregiver in the Bay Area simple, quick, and safe. Depending on where you live and the sitter’s age, experience, and background, the average hourly rate for sitters in the Bay Area ranges from $12 to $17 for one child and upwards to $20 to $30 for two or more children. Be sure to discuss if there is a minimum number of hours as this is standard for most agencies.

While not listed below, keep in mind that many area moms’ groups offer babysitting co-ops. Churches and preschools are another great resource to tap. There are many ways to find great childcare in the Bay Area, but the most important thing is to check references, do a background check, and trust your instincts.



This national parent-sitter online matching service is by far the most economical choice when it comes to finding reliable care to suit your specific needs and preferences. Not only offering babysitters and nannies, SitterCity also provides help in finding elderly care, tutors, housekeepers, and even pet sitters. An annual or monthly fee grants you access to background checks, hours, references, and parent reviews. These are the same vetting criteria used by the professional agencies. However, on SitterCity, all of this information is available 24 hours a day. Perfect for the busy parent!


Unlike other online subscriber-caregiver matching sites, has two unique categories of sitters: special needs and care gig provider. A “care gig provider” assists with running various “gigs” from parties & events, shopping, and moving services to general errands and even vacation services. offers background checks for free and a money back guarantee. If a subscriber posts a job and doesn’t hear back from one of the hundreds of thousands of caregivers listed on their site within three days, then the subscriber can close their account and receive a full refund of any fees paid.

Bay Area 2nd Mom

In Palo Alto:
860 San Antonio Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 858-2469 or (650) 787-6518
Bay Area 2nd Mom

In Emeryville:
6400 Hollis St., Suite 8
Emeryville, CA 94608
(888) 926-3666 or (888) 9-2ND-MOM
Bay Area 2nd Mom

Serving the Bay Area since 1983, with offices in Emerville and Palo Alto, 2nd Mom offers screened and experienced nannies and baby nurses, including long-term, short-term, or on-call nanny care, mother’s helpers, and special event or larger group care. For parents visiting the Bay Area, they can also arrange for a nanny to come to your hotel room or conference location to provide childcare.

Bay SuperSitters

1621 Haight St., PMB23
San Francisco, CA
(650) 576-3296
Bay SuperSitters

This sitter/nanny referral service specializes in on-call, occasional, and part-time child care. For a flat fee, this service provides member families with a list of fully screened sitters and nannies in their area, whom they can contact directly as needed and as often as they like. Bay SuperSitters takes the hassle out of your childcare search!

Stanford Park Nannies

1050 Chestnut St.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 462-4580
Stanford Park Nannies

Stanford Park Nannies refers qualified, experienced nannies and baby nurses on a short-term and long-term basis for full- and part-time jobs. Established in 1990, Stanford Park Nannies has a reputation for quality and has earned the honor of being named the Bay Area Parents Family Favorite Winner for Best Nanny Agency for the past 5 years.

On Call Nanny

111 North Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(866) 776-2669
On Call Nanny

Focused on finding temporary and short-term nanny placement for families who need care on short notice, this agency offers on-call service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all your childcare needs. Parents can contact the toll free number and On Call Nanny will dispatch a referenced and background-checked nanny to fit any family’s needs. On Call Nanny also offers corporate sponsorship programs for companies looking to provide back-up childcare to suit their employees’ needs.

Quality Respite and Home Care

841 Washington St. #B
Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 244-5600 or (408) 568-3279
Quality Respite and Home Care

Serving Santa Clara County, this family-run agency offers help with finding babysitters and nannies, as well as caring for the elderly and children with disabilities.

Grace Duffy is a married, mother of two living in Silicon Valley. She blogs at Formerly Gracie and Mama Manifesto.

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