BOSTON, MA — For millions of parents, the ever-present stress of finding and scheduling a sitter is about to become a thing of the past.
SittingAround is launching a first-of-its-kind marketplace for vetting, booking, and sharing babysitters. SittingAround’s Sitter Marketplace takes a modern approach to childcare, leveraging existing social networks to create trust. Parents can build their own robust networks of babysitters and book those babysitters directly on the site.
“As soon as you become a parent, finding a babysitter completely controls your social calendar,” says Erica Zidel, SittingAround Founder and CEO. “Our goal at SittingAround is to end that. By revolutionizing the way parents both find and schedule sitters, we are going to remove the phrase “if I can find a babysitter” from the parenting experience.”
The SittingAround Sitter Marketplace is the first online sitter tool that utilizes parents’ and sitters’ existing relationships (e.g. friends on Facebook, connections on LinkedIn) to pass trust along the social graph. Gone are the days of picking up the phone and asking your neighbor for a referral. Now, you can see who she would recommend just by logging in.
The Sitter Marketplace also removes the need to hunt down individual babysitters to check their schedules. A unique and easy-to-use calendar allows sitters to post real-time availability.
“Until now, babysitting technology hasn’t caught up with how we live the rest of our lives,” says Zidel. “SittingAround is giving babysitting a much-needed modernization.”
Part of that modernization means making it easy and affordable for sitters and parents to make sure others are who they claim to be. SittingAround has partnered with leading employment screening provider, TalentWise, to provide initial background checks to all users free of charge.
The SittingAround Sitter Marketplace officially launched this week in six cities: New York, Boston, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle. Sitters in the six launch cities have been quietly allowed to request an account since December, and SittingAround boasts a waitlist of over 1,000 sitters in these markets. While not officially launched in other locations yet, the Sitter Marketplace is open for anyone to sign up.
SittingAround, founded in 2011, is a provider of network-based babysitting solutions with a presence across the United States, Canada, UK, and Australia. SittingAround was honored by the White House in 2011 as a company that is “winning the future through innovation” and was featured on the December cover of Entrepreneur Magazine.
Erica Zidel, Founder and CEO