All moms want the best for their babies. The question is where to start your online babysitter search? UrbanSitter, an online service for parents and sitters to connect through people they know, recently expanded to the New York City area, giving moms and dads throughout the ability to book a qualified babysitter with the click of a mouse. Founded by a small group of parents who wanted to use technology to power a faster, more personal babysitting service, UrbanSitter leverages members' trusted networks to match families with caregivers.
UrbanSitter enables parents to view sitters they know—as well as sitters their friends know—and book them in real-time. Launched in the Bay-area in September 2011, the site’s membership has quickly grown to include thousands of parent and sitter members in just a few short months.
The site is now rapidly gaining members throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, with a high concentration of sitters from area college campuses, including New York University (NYU), Columbia University, Barnard College and Hunter College. A majority of sitter members are certified teachers or are studying to become teachers, with a large number of others in the social work and psychology fields.
Parents sign up at UrbanSitter.com and can view sitters known through friends or affiliations—including schools, sports teams and parents groups—and can view each sitter’s availability in order to select a sitter for a specific date and time, or plan an outing when they know their favorite sitter is available. Jobs or interviews can be booked in minutes and parents can contribute written reviews, ratings and Facebook “Likes” to sitter profiles.
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“UrbanSitter allows for simple and efficient communication between sitters and families. As a sitter, I can clearly see who wants to speak with me and when, and responding is fast and easy,” said Cristina Nolasco, sitter member and NYU student. “The site has introduced me to new families in New York and created great relationships that work for everyone.”
UrbanSitter babysitters post their credentials, as well as availability, hourly rates and location preferences. The ability to see who parents are connected to fosters trust and familiarity and helps sitters decide which jobs to accept. To protect privacy, contact information is exchanged only after the booking is confirmed. Unlike other childcare agencies, which require a percentage of wages, sitters keep all the money they earn and positive reviews posted to the site help them gain more work.
“Until now, there just hasn’'t been an easy way to find and book a trusted sitter – either online or offline. Not only are we helping parents discover great, qualified sitters, we’re helping them book those sitters in real-time, with just a few clicks,” said Lynn Perkins, co-founder, UrbanSitter. “We think that UrbanSitter is to babysitting what OpenTable is to restaurant reservations.”
For more information, or to sign up, please visit: www.urbansitter.com
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