Talking Entrepreneurship with YFE

Last night, I had the pleasure of being the featured guest on the Young Female Entrepreneurs (YFE) weekly show. I always enjoy talking entrepreneurship, but especially when it’s with young women who, like me, are looking for ways to balance running a company with raising kids. YFE Director, Jenn, asked some great questions, touching on all aspects of entrepreneurial life from funding your company to working with your co-founder(s) and even to dating.

You can catch the full interview here:

SittingAround Honored at the White House

Recently, SittingAround had the distinct honor of being selected by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for the work we’re doing to bring better babysitting to families across America.

I went down to DC last month and participated in a panel discussion at the White House, giving advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. I shared my experiences starting SittingAround and why I am so passionate about building community and improving childcare.

Despite miserably small shoes (you have no idea…) and no Barack sightings (though I did catch a glimpse of Bo), it was an amazing time. Here’s the video from our panel discussion on entrepreneurship:

SittingAround is Open (and Free Before 6/30!)

I’m happy to announce that SittingAround is now open to everyone! We opened the site up earlier this month (we had been invitation-only for a while) and are so excited to have so many new coops using our service! To celebrate our launch, all accounts created before June 30, 2011 will be free for life!

Here’s our recent press release:

For Immediate Release
June 2, 2011 Launches Innovative Babysitting Site

SEATTLE, WA — June 2, 2011 —, an innovative new option for childcare, launched to the public on Wednesday, June 1st. By making a well-run babysitting cooperative accessible to anyone with an internet connection, SittingAround will dramatically improve the way Americans consume childcare and save the average family $500 per year.

To celebrate its launch, SittingAround is waiving its $15 annual subscription fee for everyone who signs up prior to June 30th and giving those users free site access for the life of their account.

What’s A Coop?
Babysitting coops (pronounced co-ops) are small groups of parents in a neighborhood who trade babysitting, taking turns watching each other’s children. Often, coops are comprised of parents whose children go to the same daycare or school. Because each coop chooses who may join, parents only trade sitting with other parents they know and trust.

“For most parents, this is a brand-new concept,” says Erica Zidel, Founder and CEO. “Less than a quarter of parents are familiar with coops, 1 but when you tell them that there is a way to get free, easy to coordinate, high quality babysitting, their eyes light up. We want to tell as many parents as possible that coops are a great option for childcare.”

A Website that Make Coops Easy
While the basic concept of coops is simple, there is a lot of administrative work required to run a coop successfully: tracking points, scheduling sits and meetings, vetting new members,
maintaining current member contact info, etc. “When you manage a coop on, our software automates the administrative tasks for you,” says Zidel. “Our site lets parents enjoy the benefits of a well-run cooperative without the hassle.” makes it easy to start, manage, and grow babysitting cooperatives.

Survey Release: Trends in Babysitting 2010

We’re so excited to release the results of our first annual “Trends in Babysitting” survey! This survey explores how parents across the United States consume babysitting and what their attitudes are on the topic.

What we learned was fascinating! The average American family spends approximately $462 a year on paid babysitters alone (this doesn’t include preschool, daycare or nannies). Despite shelling out so much each year for paid sitters, the majority of parents we spoke to were much happier with the quality of care they get from free sitters than from paid ones.

Quality of Babysitters

Only a quarter of parents we surveyed knew about babysitting coops; yet over two-thirds said they would like to trade babysitting with other parents. This tells me we have an education problem — coops are great and families would eagerly join them… if only they knew about them. We need to spread the word.

Co-op Familiarity

Feel free to share the survey results with others and use them in your own blog (but please link back to us if you do!). If you do write about the survey findings, let us know! We’ll include a trackback at the bottom of this post.

We’ll be conducting the survey annually, so that we can measure how babysitting habits change over time.

The full Trends in Babysitting 2010 can be downloaded here.

Are you a journalist, researcher, or blogger and want to answer a particular question that isn’t covered in the released data? Contact Us and we’ll see if we can cut the data in a way that answers your question.

Sitting Around in the New York Times

We were honored to be mentioned in a Fashion & Style piece in this Sunday’s New York Times!

Entrepreneurial culture requires a certain level of lackadaisical dress. As the article chides, “You can’t get VC funding if someone isn’t wearing sweat pants.”

Well, ladies and gents, I’ve got the sweat pants covered: Sitting Around in the NYT