About Sitting Around

Founded in 2010, Sitting Around makes it easy to create, manage, and grow a babysitting cooperative. Babysitting coops already save thousands of families a great deal of time and money each year. Our goal is to make coops so easy and so well known that every parent joins one. We automate many of the tasks required to effectively manage a coop so our users can focus on what's really important - building and enjoying childcare communities.

The Inspiration

Co-founders and Co-Parents Erica Zidel and Ted Tieken were first introduced to the concept of babysitting coops in 2008. While lamenting the high cost of babysitters over dinner, friends shared their secret to no cost childcare - they were in a babysitting coop. Flabbergasted that they had never heard about a a way to get free high quality babysitting, they started investigating coops. Why weren't parents everywhere starting babysitting coops, and more importantly is there one in my neighborhood?

It turns out that most babysitting coops haven't really caught up with the internet age – sits are scheduled by phone tree or an email list, points are tracked by a secretary using a ledger book, contact information has to be constantly updated by the membership chair, and there is generally a lot of time spent on paperwork and logistics. Erica and Ted saw an opportunity to simplify and automate the process of creating and running a babysitting coop and, in doing so, introduce babysitting coops to millions of new families. And thus, Sitting Around was born.

The Team

Erica Zidel

The mother of a young child herself, Erica knows all too well the challenges parents today face, especially when it comes to finding great babysitters. A born communicator, Erica is passionate about finding and sharing ways to make life easier. Erica grew up in a small town outside of Boston and has fuzzy memories of neighborhood camaraderie. Ever the entrepreneur, Erica launched her first business at age 7, a moderately successful jewelry stand that employed all her friends (and sold exclusively to said friends' parents). Prior to founding Sitting Around, Erica worked as a management consultant advising Fortune 500 companies on eCommerce and business strategy. Erica holds a B.A. in English from Harvard College.

Ted Tieken

Ted is a natural problem-solver, with a gift for identifying inefficiencies and fixing broken processes. He is fascinated by systems of all kinds, and loves simple, elegant designs. Ted received his B.A. from Harvard College where he studied economic development. As a management consultant he has worked for companies around the world. The economist in Ted likes to think of babysitting coops as miniature monetary economies and latent inventory exchanges.

Gavin and Sasa

A little boy and his trusty stuffed dog. Gavin met Sasa while crying inconsolably at 2 days of age. Soft, fluffy Sasa immediately calmed him down when nothing else could and they have been inseparable ever since. We live in such fear that Sasa may some day get lost that we bought 3 alternates, all of which Gavin considers severely inferior to the original. Without Gavin, also affectionately called Munchkin, we would never have seen the need for coops, and SittingAround wouldn't exist.

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