Finding a babysitter is tough, but booking a babysitter can be tougher-unless you are finding a babysitter using your iPhone via UrbanSitter.
UrbanSitter is the next generation of babysitting searches. It’s the modern day equivalent of calling up a friend on the phone and asking for names of babysitters she has used. Then calling each of those potential babsitters by phone. Now it can be done by apps, texts, and emails. By harnessing the Facebook platform, you can get that personal ‘friend referral’ too.
Let’s say it’s a Saturday morning, you are at your son’s baseball game. As soon as the game is over, you need to pick up your daughter from ballet, stop at the grocery store, drop off the dog up from the groomers, stop at the post office, swing by the mall, pick up the dog from the groomers, and then head home. As you mentally review your schedule, you get a text message from a friend who says how excited they are to meet up for dinner tonight. As you sit in the bleachers, you realize you forgot to book a babysitter; when will you have time to sit at a computer to search & call different candidates?
Just pull out your smartphone & download the UrbanSitter app. Then login using your Facebook profile and pull up the nearest babysitters. As you get a list of prospects, you realize some of your Facebook friends have used a few of them because the app can see other Facebook users you know, based on your Facebook login.
Your friend Karen has used Nicole and Nicole’s profile has good reviews. You see that Nicole’s profile shows she is available on Saturday night and then looking at her online calendar, that she is available after 5pm. You text Nicole and within a couple of minutes, she has texted you back to confirm. You email her the directions and you are all set. Later that night, as you come home & thank Nicole, you realize in your list of errands earlier in the day, you forgot to add a stop at the bank! No worries, just pull up the app and pay by credit card.
You can also use UrbanSitter on the computer too, as well as post babysitting jobs while seeing what Facebook friends are using UrbanSitter and what sitters they have used.
The iTunes app and website is free, and the service is free for now. If you pay the babysitter by credit card, there is a transaction fee, but you can pay the sitter directly by cash or check. UrbanSitter is available in a variety of cities, but some of the cities are new, so the database may be small. For example, at the time I wrote this post, there are only sitters in the immediate Boston area. There are none that are in, or able to drive, to Metrowest or the South Shore. Yet, hopefully soon, there will be more babysitters from which to chose, and more parents using UrbanSitter for those Facebook-based referrals, as they get the word out about the service.
All in all, UrbanSitter is a simple solution to our modern day lifestyle.
Disclosures: Image is my own. I didn’t receive compensation for this post. However, I did attend a hosted event and received a future UrbanSitter credit if I use the site.
Note that UrbanSitter does not background-check the sitters on the site. However, you can always request a CORI check. Just contact your state on how to purchase one.