We’ve all been there—all dressed up with no place to go, thanks to a babysitter canceling at the last minute. But now, some Broadway theatergoers don’t have to stress about babysitting, as multiple initiatives have teamed up to provide complimentary childcare to matinee attendees on specific dates for the Broadway show “Here Lies Love.” 

As of now, only 48% of moms are able to spend time away from their kids regularly, but up to 61% say they would if they were able to find childcare, Care.com reports. Increased access to the arts for parents is why the Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL), Broadway Babysitters, and Open Jar Studios are working together to give parents a break, in a kid-friendly space just a few blocks from the Broadway theater. 

“After years of partnering with Off-Broadway and regional theaters to offer caregiver support, the historical significance of ‘Here Lies Love’ being the first Broadway show to offer ethical, accessible childcare to their caregiver theater patrons is not only incredibly exciting, but long awaited by our team,” a Broadway Babysitters spokesperson said in a statement to Broadway News. “Broadway Babysitters was founded by creative professionals with a passion to offer accessible childcare to everyone, and we are thrilled to be a part of bringing this kind of visibility to compassionate theatermaking.”

Broadway Babysitters, the arts-focused childcare company, provides both long-term and full-care sitters, as well as occasional date night sitters usually, but in this case is providing babysitters for the 3:30 pm matinee show of “Here Lies Love” on Sept. 23, with future dates to be announced. Sitters have been vetted and trained by the organization.

But the too-good-to-be-true vibe of this setup doesn’t end there—the babysitters are also creatives themselves, so the children in their care have the benefit of learning voice, dance, acting, yoga, or many other activities while their parents are off enjoying the show. The sitters are only hired through a referral system, so there are no ways for outside sitters to apply, and they have full background checks and CPR and special needs certifications/training.

One of the cast members in the production, Carol Angeli, commented as well in the Broadway News report that she knows just how hard it can be finding reliable childcare as a parent, and hopes this type of program will continue to grow.

The excitement around the program speaks to a greater issue across the U.S.—inability to access childcare, especially for families who are struggling financially, or have additional barriers to access. For some, date night (or afternoon) is the least of their worries, and getting regular childcare is difficult enough. In a 2023 report, the U.S. Department of Labor published a document entitled “New Childcare Data Shows Prices are Untenable for Families.” They point to childcare prices ranging from $5,357 for home based care in small counties to $17,171 for infant center based care in large counties, as of 2022’s adjusted prices for inflation. This represents up to almost 20% of the median family income per child. Needless to say, there might not be much leftover for buying a babysitter to head to a Broadway show—an issue with access to the arts that these programs are on a mission to improve.

Those not attending the show, which is about the rise of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos, can lust over this perfect afternoon date set up from afar. Those who are a bit closer and have tickets can reach out to [email protected] to sign up for the complimentary babysitting. But around the country, parents can find events supporting a wide variety of initiatives through PAAL, from pregnancy and infant loss support, to additional off-Broadway performances with childcare.