As a busy mom trying to balance your career goals with caring for your family (and trying to maintain a social life, to boot), utilizing childcare is pretty much a necessity. But entrusting your little ones to a complete stranger? Talk about unnerving.
Relying on word-of-mouth recommendations is great—until you need a last-minute sitter and none of your go-to connections are answering the phone. Instead of making a million phone calls, UrbanSitter CEO and co-founder Lynn Perkins found a way to leverage technology to make the process way more streamlined.
“I started introducing my mom friends to nannies and sitters I’d met,” she says of her experience as a new mom. “I realized that there had to be a more efficient way for parents to get sitter recommendations from friends and make bookings online. And from that idea, UrbanSitter was born.”
“I realized that there had to be a more efficient way for parents to get sitter recommendations from friends and make bookings online.”
The game-changing app is powered by word-of-mouth recommendations, but by collecting them all into a super sleek app, it makes accessing those recos way easier. “It saves time, which is what moms—especially ones looking for childcare—are short on,” Perkins says. Genius.
Keep reading to learn how the service works—plus how it’s championing women’s empowerment across the board.
A totally streamlined experience
Here’s how it works: When you sign up for UrbanSitter, you have the option to link it to your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts (and equally important: Add in your child’s school, soccer team, and any other mother’s groups or activities you’re a part of) to connect with people in your community who already use the service.
“Although you may not know the parent from your child’s school who hired the sitter personally, there’s a level of trust that comes with a shared school or interest,” Perkins says. “It can be a mind-blowing experience, like a world you didn’t know suddenly opening up with possibilities.”
Once your profile is set up, you can search by date and time to find available sitters, and book jobs and interviews with just a few taps. Sitters are vetted with reviews from the UrbanSitter community—and the sitters reviewed by people you know in real life are highlighted first—so you can easily find one that feels right for you. You can even use the app to pay them, which means no searching your bag for stray bills.
Helping moms practice #balance
As the mom of twins, Perkins experienced firsthand the struggle of finding a trustworthy sitter—and connected with other moms who felt the same.
“From talking with friends, I began to understand how paralyzing it can feel when you don’t know where or how to find decent child care,” she says. “Some were nervous to go back to work for fear of finding a good nanny. Others talked about their personal lives and marriages suffering because they couldn’t find trustworthy help that would allow them to go on a date night, to the dentist, or a solo workout at the gym.”
“There’s an amazing feeling of empowerment that comes with knowing that at any moment, you could get a trusted sitter when you need one.”
With those testimonials in mind, Perkins made it her mission to enable moms to live their most balanced lives. “Life-changing is how many moms describe UrbanSitter after trying it,” she says. “There’s an amazing feeling of empowerment that comes with knowing that at any moment, you could get a trusted sitter when you need one.”
Whether that’s because you need to work late to meet a deadline, or because the opportunity came up for an impromptu date night, knowing your kiddos will be in good hands will bring you huge peace of mind.
Providing jobs for young women
Perkins is a self-described connector (and is famous for setting up her friends with their future spouses!), so with her natural passion for helping others, she knew she wanted her business to benefit both parties—the moms and the sitters.
“[We’re] a business that embodies ‘women helping women.’”
“On one side, solving mom’s child care needs and empowering her to have a career while still maintaining balance and wellness,” she says. “On the other side, pairing sitters with flexible, well-paid work that empowers them with financial freedom and valuable professional skills. I’m so proud and happy to be a part of a business that embodies ‘women helping women.’”
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