Fellow parents, how many times have you had to cancel plans because you couldn’t find a babysitter or your sitter canceled last minute? What if I told you that being left without a sitter was a thing of the past, as is scrambling to find cash to pay your sitter? Well, my friends, the Sitterberry app is helping parents and sitters everywhere!
My experience with sitters isn’t great. We live away from family and friends, so our network for finding good sitters is, well, nonexistent. I’m pretty laid back when it comes to parenting, but I have a difficult time trusting a complete stranger to watch my kiddo when I’m not around.
For about nine months before D. began nursery school, my solution to getting work done during the week was to hire a mother’s helper. I really just needed someone to occupy my little guy and make sure that he didn’t climb the bookshelves or draw on the walls while I worked in the next room. Using Care.com, I struggled to find anyone, and the mother’s helpers I did find and hire weren’t especially committed to the job. Womp-womp!
After speaking with Kathleen Malone, founder of the Sitterberry app, I discovered that I was going about things all wrong. Care.com findings show that it’s normal for families to go through 4-5 sitters per year. Here I was, throwing all of my eggs into one basket and then scrambling when my mother’s helpers left. My downfall? According to Malone, “it’s important to have 4-5 babystters on hand at any given time.”
What I was doing right, however, was using a service like Care.com to find and screen sitters, though word of mouth or recommendations from friends are close seconds. If you’re like me, living in an area with little to no connections, Malone suggests asking camp counselors, after school activity teachers or preschool teachers/teacher’s aids. In fact, the summer camp Malone’s children attend provides parents with a sheet of contact information for those camp counselors on staff who are also available for babysitting jobs. Genius!
So, how does the Sitterberry app fit into all of this? Once you have 4-5 sitters in your hopper, or 5+ if you’re really
lucky good, it’s time to use Sitterberry so that you’re never left without a babysitter.
The Sitterberry app allows parents to add their pool of sitters within the app, and in turn, their sitters use Sitterberry to load their calendars of availability. Each sitter’s information is stored, allowing parents to check availability and request them at the touch of a button. No more phone tag, no more phone chains; all of your sitters in one place!
It gets better, my friends. You can pay your babysitter through the Sitterberry app, using Venmo. I can’t tell you how many times I found myself having forgotten to get cash (I never keep cash on hand) and uncomfortably asking my sitter if it was okay if I wrote her a check. Many, many times. With the Sitterberry app, you simply navigate to your sitter’s contact information and select “Pay”. The app will carry over the rate, so you need only enter the number of hours and tip to calculate your payment — brilliant!
As for me, I’m working on gathering together a pool of trusted sitters so that I’m able to use Sitterberry. Anyone have any leads on a great sitter in the Philadelphia area?