UPDATE: Discount code for C&C readers listed toward end of post.
I admit it – my husband and I have never hired a babysitter. We either had family watch her, set up play-dates/sleepovers with friends, or stayed home. This was mostly because I wasn’t sure how to go about finding a sitter I could trust and afford. I would have loved to tap into a network where other parents could share their recommended sitters and their experiences with them.
That’s why UrbanSitter is becoming a parent’s best resource. The best way to find reliable care for children is by asking a friend. What’s better than word of mouth through a friend? Word of mouth through a friend through social media! UrbanSitter creates a community for local parents to share their favorite sitters and even book them online – all for free.
First of all, you need a Facebook account to sign up. After putting in information about you and your family, you can enter any special notes and any current sitters you use and would recommend. From there you can search the listings. UrbanSitter is more than just a collection of names and faces though. Each sitter has a full bio with where they live, how long they have been babysitting, their experience, and even their asking price. Even better is the fact that these sitters have been recommended by those you know and others in the area. You can even see how many families return to use them again.
Personal reviews are easily accessible, allowing you to read the experiences of local parents with that particular sitter. I would suggest you read these reviews carefully, including the negative ones. Sometimes these can be due to misunderstandings or by those ‘complain about everything’ people. Before you book a sitter, though, you are more than welcome to interview them. You can do this over the phone, by being home to observe, or in person. Want to see if they’re available when you need them? Just check their current schedule using the online calendar.
One feature that really stood out to me was the search function. I was very impressed with the wide range of options to filter the search results. The parents that started UrbanSitter truly understand that the needs of every family, every child even, is different.
The site is still in beta but the service is not. Here’s a little more about the company itself:
UrbanSitter takes the hassle out of searching for babysitters by helping you find sitters through people you know.
Parents log in and identify their local parenting social groups–mother’s groups, child’s school, swim club, etc.
Parents can read reviews on sitters and sort them by a number of categories including background check, pay rate, experience, languages spoken, and even average response time.
Sitters are also students at top universities including Stanford, USF, UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University — many are studying to be teachers or are child development majors.
UrbanSitter’s unique real time booking engine allows sitters to keep their availability calendars online, so parents can search and book jobs online by an exact date and time.
Convenient “pay by credit card” feature allows parents to skip the ATM after a date night and simply pay their sitter with a credit card via the UrbanSitter website.
UrbanSitter was founded by four busy parents, who envisioned a better way to find and book babysitters.
Again, all this is free and based on parents in your community sharing with each other. So the next time you’re ready to have a ‘kid-free’ evening or just need a break, just head over to UrbanSitter and click book now!
Get $20 OFF babysitting services when you enter promotional code: CLOGS2012
Sign up at UrbanSitter.com now and enter your code* on the Credits page under My Account. Use your credit by 08/31/12 to pay any sitter listed as accepting credit cards.
*UrbanSitter promotion code and credit is subject to certain terms & conditions including sitter availability, locations served by UrbanSitter, and sitters who accept online payment. Promotion code use limited to one transaction per member. Promo code valid through 06/30/12. UrbanSitter reserves the right to modify these terms.