(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite AP)

Life is unpredictable. Whether you wake up to a sick child on the day of your big presentation at work or just need a break from caring for your child with disabilities, emergency child care services can be a lifesaver. We have chosen our favorites to cover a wide range of needs. Keep this guide handy for those moments you don’t see coming. By Renee Smith

On Call Sitters NYC


Manhattan, Westchester, Long Island, NY
(917) 374-5414

On Call Sitters NYC offers a full range of babysitting services that include emergency child care where a sitter can be at your door in an hour or less. The sitters are college graduates and students with extensive child care backgrounds and many have experience with special needs children. It is the company’s policy to keep your child safe, engaged in age appropriate activities, and happy, and their rates are very reasonable.

YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities


460 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001
(866) 2-YAI-LINK, (212) 273-6182 or TDD: (212) 290-2787

Among the plethora of services that this amazing organization offers to people with disabilities, are respite services for their families who care for them. There is no way to explain the exhaustion of caring for a child with special needs and luckily YAI understands the necessity for respite care. They offer connections to a variety of respite services for families in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn – many of which are low or no cost.


(Courtesy of johnnyjet.com)

1400 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451

The online Care.com provides a database of New York City caregivers after a free, simple registration. The website is so comprehensive that you can easily be linked with the perfect sitter for your situation in just a few minutes. We love the “My Town” tab where you can refine your search as you look at a map of your neighborhood with tags showing the location, picture and profile of all the sitters in your area! Additionally, care.com employs a “Mom Force”, which is a team of moms who carefully review each caregiver and job posting in the name of safety. With an upgrade priced at $30 per month, you can access Care-on-Call, where background checks have already been performed and references provided to ensure swift service for emergency situations.

Pinch Sitters Agency

275 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 260-6005

In business for 20 years, this agency honors same day care requests. Parents say that that their sitters are fun, experienced and caring. Another plus is the fact that all infant and toddler sitters have first aid/cpr training. The only gripe is the price which is $20/hour. However, price cannot be the main consideration for consideration…especially when you are in a pinch!

Renee Smith is a blogger for Me and George Bailey (www.meandgeorgebailey.blogspot.com)