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UrbanSitter – Parents, Going Out Just Got Easier

by TerriAnn

UPDATE: Discount code for C&C readers listed toward end of post.

UrbanSitter Urban Sitter Babysitting Hub ParentsI 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.

UrbanSitter Urban Sitter Babysitting Hub Parents

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.

UrbanSitter Urban Sitter Babysitting Hub Parents

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.

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Alison May 29, 2012 - 5:22 am

Sounds like a great way to try to find a baby sitter in urban areas! Love the list where you can check your needs! Really helps to find the perfect sitter.

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:08 pm

So true. Instead of just a massive list you can actually sort by specifics!

Brandy May 29, 2012 - 5:37 am

That is really neat. I don’t have family to help so never did date nights, ever. Def need them but just difficult for me to let my young sons stay with just anyone. I will have to check out this site in more detail!

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:09 pm

I think it’s a great starting point at least. I’m sure you could even check into using someone as a mother’s helper or when you need to take a ‘me time’ day.

Beth May 29, 2012 - 8:23 am

This sounds like a great idea! Since moving away from friends and family, we have not had anyone watch our son for a loooong time now! It would be great to have knowledge from an area we are new to.

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:11 pm

I agree. We had that when we were in the Netherlands. Most of the moms there stayed home or brought their kids EVERYwhere so we didn’t really even know who to ask. Even being back in the states we have a hard time connecting with all the various parenting communities/groups so this is a nice way to tap into those resources!

Heidi May 29, 2012 - 8:35 am

Neat idea. I know a lot of people who would benefit from this, including myself:)

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:11 pm

Let me know how it turns out for you!

Andreas Wiedow May 29, 2012 - 8:38 am

Nice idea, trust is key. When will it be available for Germany ?

Cannot complete profile as US state is obligatory.

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:12 pm

It seems they are still in beta and just starting to roll out in other areas of the states. I’ll have to let you know when it goes international!

Warit May 29, 2012 - 8:58 am

I agreed that trust comes first when hiring these babysitter and you are on the right track

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:13 pm

There’s definitely more involved than just reading a bio but I agree that this is a great way to at least compile a list of people to interview.

Tom Gardiner May 29, 2012 - 9:37 am

I wish this was around when mine were little, we never went out because we had no one to watch the kids. I think we had a babysitter 4 times in our lives.

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:15 pm

That’s a pretty common story it seems. I think this could become a wonderful service for so many that don’t have family or friends to lean on. Even then, you don’t want to inconvenience those ones either. Are you getting your fill of getting out now that they are older?

Trevor Cherewka May 29, 2012 - 10:52 am

I think that the safety net on this site would have to be huge. It took over a decade to bring dating sites into the mainstream and now you are talking about peoples children which is a whole other level and babysitters.

I think the idea is fresh and modern but it may be a while to see this mainstream.

Best of luck.

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:18 pm

Very true. I believe that’s why the roll out is being done carefully. I also noticed that they have several meet & greet sessions at various locations in the specific areas. That way parents can really form some repor with their prospective sitters and to feel more comfortable with the system, understanding that it’s a tool to connect people and not just a place placing kids in danger. Plus, this is a different demographic than the dating deals and the sitters are recommended by other parents, not just random people that sign up.

Sarah May 29, 2012 - 2:37 pm

I would definitely have to look into the site more and interview the sitters I would bring in my home. What looks good on paper or in this case the the internet doesn’t always come out so good in real life. I think I would want to talk more with parents who have used the site as well.

Cookies & Clogs May 29, 2012 - 4:19 pm

So true. I like that there’s even an option to have them in the home while you supervise. I’m not sure if you are able to have direct contact with the parents that leave the review or recommendations but there are public meet-ups at places like libraries so it’s all done in person.

Comments are closed.