Most expats in Sofia will hire local domestic workers to help babysit their children. Nannies often provide several services in addition to child minding such as cleaning and cooking. Experience is preferred, but the childcare workers do not have to have children themselves. Child-minders must be registered and certified, but babysitters do not have to be.
Most childcare workers are Bulgarian and are found through expat word-of-mouth and recommendations. Many expats find childcare workers through their embassy's newsletter or online forums.
If you are looking for a babysitter, the following tips can help facilitate the process:
Prices can range depending on the experience of the childcare giver and their duties. The best way to determine a price is to discuss it with the childcare giver and pick a price that works best for the both of you. Most are paid by hour. You can also get an idea of prices by asking other expats about their experiences with nannies and babysitters.
In general, expect to pay 12 lev (about 6 euro) per hour. Cost goes up for multiple children or overnight care.
For formal childcare, such as full-day preschool, expect to pay 600 lev (307 euro) for a month.
Nurseries, kindergartens, and private childcare are the options available in Sofia. Some of the locations are state-owned and free, but some private locations such as international schools come with a price. Please refer to the Sofia education section of the expat guide.
Babysitter's are generally employed for temporary work. Often a friend or relative is chosen to look after the children. Some child-minders also offer to babysit after hours.
How to Find a Sitter
Most families find a babysitter by word-of-mouth or looking online. Some communities have a “baby-sitters club,” which is a group of men and women who are called to babysit and whoever is available will watch the children.
For more frequent childcare, you may consider an au pair. Consult the section on "Au Pair" under "Find a Job".