As that rare date night approaches, my husband and I usually find ourselves nervously looking out the front window, or checking my phone for texts. Is she really going to make it? We wonder. And on time?

Because every parent knows that a good babysitter is hard to find. One that will have a Friday or Saturday night free in the first place. One that won't call or text - last minute - to say she's sick, can't make it, is still waiting for the  bus and won't be there for at least another half hour. One experienced enough to handle a baby and keep an older kid in check. Then if he or she does come, I find myself kissing the kids goodbye and hoping, just hoping, that they won't burn down the home while we're out. And then, while we're out, I'm stuck checking my cell phone for missed calls and answering texts with such statements as, "Yes, 6 ounces of formula" or "No, he does have a bedtime, 9pm," and hoping that they're not watching another movie like Snakes on A Plane like he did once with one particular babysitter. Sigh.

Enter Sitters Studio, a relatively new babysitting service that is expanding from New York into Chicago. Pick the babysitter that best matches your children's ages, activity levels and interests and Sitters Studio will send them your way. For out of town guests, they'll be happy to send a sitter to your hotel!

All sitters are artists-in-training by profession (a.k.a. in local art college students), have childcare experience and have undergone a rigorous qualification process; some sitters even specialize in multiples and early infant care. Best of all, each sitter arrives with a tote full of artistic toys and craft supplies - especially useful for out of town guest staying in hotels who haven't brought along a toy chest.

Studio Sitters can be booked at 312.890.8194 or online via email at bookchicago@sittersstudio.com