The no-sitter blues. We’ve all been there. The no-sitter blues is a common, opportunity-limiting dilemma, faced by parents, visitors, and business travelers alike. Mary Petiet finds a way to beat these blues in Amsterdam-based Holiday Sitters.

For many of us, moving to Amsterdam means leaving the support of trusted home connections, and thus, trusted sitters. Where do you go? Or perhaps it is when family and friends come to visit you and they have no sitter – where do they go? It might even be when someone travels here on business with kids, and have no idea how to manage meetings and social events without someone to watch the kids. Luckily, Amsterdam-based Holiday Sitters has the cure; they are in the business of trust.

No-Sitter Blues

Galit Bauer and Ela Slutsky, who both came to Amsterdam from Israel, are the two-woman force behind Holiday Sitters.  As mothers, they have both experienced the no-sitter blues. Ela said the idea to link trusted local sitters to families away from home came from a personal situation she experienced on holiday in Mexico with her boyfriend and two children. “The kids were napping – a great time to be on the beach alone! But it wasn’t possible to leave them alone, and I wondered ‘Is there any babysitting service with the same language?’ No, I found nothing like that. So when I got home, so I decided to go for it, and I asked Galit to join in,” she said.

Childcare You Can Trust

Holiday Sitters guarantees childcare you can trust on vacation, a business trip, or as a resident, with direct interaction between sitters and kids. They have been approached by conferences, business meetings and organizations, expats, artists, dancers, and performers to cover the kids while parents work or squeeze in a little down time for themselves. They employ over 200 sitters in 21 languages in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and most recently, Berlin.

“We could roll your kids in bubble wrap, sand off every corner in the house, stop the gas at the pipes, replace all utensils with airline cutlery, rope off the street, declare it a no-fly zone and scare away the neighbors with a rumored radiation leak. But that’s illegal. So instead we find the absolute best babysitters through a network of trusted parents. We then meet each of them personally and put them through rigorous background checks,” states the transparent and user-friendly Holiday Sitters website.

The website forms the basis of a parent/sitter community featuring videos of each sitter, allowing you to chat with and choose one fluent in your own language to ensure the children are comfortable. “Each sitter is required to go through first aid training and their talents are specified. Maybe they work with babies or like to help kids with homework. They are international students over 18 years old, and they bring value. They do not sit around on their phones. We have the reputation of sending perfect sitters. It’s important to maintain quality,” explained Ela.

Top Notch But Affordable

Parents can search the Holiday Sitters website with no strings attached and there are no fees for subscriptions or registration. Holiday Sitters charges €16.99 an hour including VAT, with no additional cost lurking around the corner – no subscription, registration, or any other kind of fee. They offer discounts with bundles of 30, 40 and 50-hours with an average 20% discount. Bundles can bring the price down to as low as €12 an hour, and for obvious reasons are more suitable for locals or visitors who are looking to book more hours. Bundles can be used in any city where Holiday Sitters operates – same as single bookings.

Parents can book easily online up to three hours in advance and sitters are available when needed, for a few hours or a weekend, at a ratio of one sitter to three kids, unless the kids are over 9 years old.

“We 100% guarantee your sitter turns up, and any replacements are agreed upon beforehand,” Galit said.

“We 100% guarantee your sitter turns up, and any replacements are agreed upon beforehand,” Galit said.

A New Way To Look At Babysitting

Holiday Sitters’ emphasis on building community, sharing information, and watching the kids is definitely working to cure the no-sitter blues. “Our 200 sitters all have 5 stars and are in constant interaction with us and with parents to build engagement. It’s really hard work to build, and it’s a new way to look at childcare and babysitting. It’s combining babysitting with work and travel to offer parents the opportunity to go and do what they want while the kids are safe. Our value is letting people take advantage of opportunities and knowing the kids are alright, and not having to think what they can give up to be good parents,” Galit said.

“…it’s a new way to look at childcare and babysitting. It’s combining babysitting with work and travel to offer parents the opportunity to go and do what they want while the kids are safe.”  – Galit Bauer

In the spirit of furthering such community, Holiday Sitters also supports society, giving babysitting hours to single moms and refugees. “We are community oriented and our social agenda supports women to have opportunities,” Galit said.

To learn more about how Holiday Sitters can help you whether you reside in Amsterdam or are only here temporarily, visit their website.

Main banner image from Pixabay
Suitcase and baby image from Pixabay

Mary Petiet
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Mary Petiet is an author, poet, and freelance writer. Her work is inspired by her native Cape Cod and her experiences in the Netherlands. The author of the recently released Moon Tide: Cape Cod Poems, and Owl Magic: Your Guide Through Difficult Times, Mary is also the founder of Sea Crow Press, a small independent imprint curating creative nonfiction and poetry to give her titles a home.