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Whether you have a gaggle of munchkins yourself or simply want to make dinner plans with somebody who does, you know how difficult it can be to find a sitter?and how easily a night at Blue Ribbon can turn into a night of Tater Tots and Dora.

Here to save everybody?s social life is UrbanSitter, a new, free service for finding and booking reliable babysitters.

Sort of like OpenTable for child care, UrbanSitter lets you search for sitters in your area who are free the night you need them (yes, there are many last-minute availabilities) and book through the site. You can check references, read reviews other parents have posted and, in most cases, pay directly by credit card afterward.

But the coolest part is the ability to see how you might already be connected to potential child-care workers. Sign in with your Facebook account to search for sitters who have worked for your friends, or list your pediatrician and kid-centric affiliations (JCC, Gymboree, Park Slope Food Coop, etc.) to find sitters recommended by like-minded parents. You can also search for friends of sitters you trust, should one you like be unavailable.

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