The Question: We're travelling to Paris in April. "We" includes an almost five year old. We're renting an apartment and I would love to find a babysitter for a few evenings. How do we find someone who is reputable, even if it means paying more for peace of mind?
Google babysitting and Paris and you get a lot of hits. But who wants to leave their child in the care of a stranger sans recommendation, even in the land of Madeline?
You can inquire with high-end hotels, many of which offer babysitting, to see if they will share their sitter's number. Or you could call Unique Paris ( myguideinparis.com), an upscale concierge service, says Elodie Berta from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The company often arranges sitters, says co-founder Alexandre Besombes. "We have two options: first, we have an internal database of around 30 trusted babysitters that we met, were recommend by another client, and for which we controlled the profile/cv and the diplomas. Secondly, we also work with a high-end babysitter agency, which provides us with the secured profile [of the sitter]"
The company charges about $82 a day for its "Escape Key" membership, so to make the most of the investment, why not tack on some extra inside planning? Unique Paris creates in-the-know experiences, such as booking a private tour of the Louvre after it's closed to the public or reserving a table at a hot restaurant. Now that would be some date!
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Karan Smith is a former Globe Travel editor. Special to The Globe and Mail