A few weeks ago our very reliable nanny got the flu. It happens, but since she is so professional I was thrown off. I still had to work as did my husband, so I had to figure out a solution for the quick very quickly.
During an event a few weeks ago, I remembered meeting with Daisy Downs, co-founder of UrbanSitter, an online resource where parents find & book babysitters recommended by people they know. Started in the San Francisco Bay Area, Urban Sitter has expanded to New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, San Diego, Denver/Boulder and St. Louis, the company also has a mobile app - making it even easier for parents to locate sitters that fit their very specific needs.
To get started, I choose the 'parents sign in' module through Facebook. From there I filled out a personal profile with the ages of my kids, languages spoken, emergency contact information and my picture. I could also add in payment options or even post my own jobs, which I think would be ideal for a new mom who needs a nanny or someone seeking a local sitter. From there I could search for a new sitters by the date and the time that I needed. I could then browse through sitters in my area and read their mini-bios, see their rates, and even arrange a phone interview or a paid or unpaid in-person interview. I loved that I could easily navigate through the site to learn more about these potential sitters and determine those that I wanted to meet my daughters. This included information about what other services the sitter can do (cooking, cleaning, etc), the ages of the children that they have worked with, their general availability, what areas they work in, whether they are willing to drive, etc. They also conduct background checks, which is noted in their profile.
After much research and reading through various bios, I decided on two sitters for an interview. The first one responded very quickly to me through the UrbanSitter system, which went to my email, and said that she was booked. The other sitter and I arranged to meet the next day where our information was then exchanged via UrbanSitter. We meet and I really loved her energy that on top of her experience and complcability with my daughter made her a good fit for us. I then booked her via the UrbanSitter website for two hours. After that I received a detailed email from UrbanSitter about payment and what to expect where after the job was over the money was charged to my credit card (you can also pay via cash).
Another bonus of this service is that you can see who your friends have booked. I really like this model since parents are so apt to looking for friends for recommendations. For me, I also really appreciated how quick and simple it was.
Having only used one sitter in the past, I appreciated how painless the process was on UrbanSitter and how it helped me connect and a book a professional sitter efficiently and very quickly.
Check out this video to learn more about how the service works:
Momtrends was not paid for this post.
We were given a sitter credit for our review.