Got kids? Tired of hitting up your friends and relatives to babysit so you can have some time off or a night out? The neighbor’s nine year old daughter might not be the perfect sitter and going through agencies can be expensive.
Sittercity hopes to make that process easier by matching babysitters with parents in need. The site works similarly to most freelancer sites, with sitters creating profiles and going through a screening process. They can give video interviews to enhance their profiles and background checks are required, allowing parents some peace of mind.
They even offer video monitoring for parents who want to set up a video camera so they can log in from any Internet-connected computer or smart phone and see how things are going. The site has been featured on a lot of television shows and news stations.
Sitters range from normal babysitters to nannies, tutors, senior caregivers and even petsitters and dog walkers. They also have a corporate program for small businesses to offer babysitting/day care services to their employees. There are sitters available in most major population areas nationally and a few scattered in rural and semi-rural spots as well.
The company was started by Genevieve Thiers (now CEO) and has grown to employ over 25 people. The site was started in 2000 and was entirely bootstrapped by Thiers. She began with grassroots marketing (to the tune of 20,000 fliers initially) in Boston, Mass. Because of her efforts, the site launched with 600 sitters in 2001. Word of mouth took it from there.
The site now boasts over half a million users nationally and appears to be seeing nothing but growth. For the caregiver who needs a match with patient or family or for the parent or pet owner who needs to be matched with a provider, Sittercity can probably help. This is a great concept that has hit a niche that obviously needed fillingâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹and in a big way.