"I work 12-hour shifts early, so I need someone to be here really early and stay really late." says Beaje Mayo in an interview aired at a local TV news station.
Mayo is a full-time nurse and a local military wife with one big problem: finding a nanny for her two young boys.
"It was extremely difficult. The first time my husband was deployed, I went about five or six different either day care centers or providers."
That's when she found out about Sittercity.com.
Sittercity.com is the biggest online provider of babysitters and nannies in the US today. It has an estimated 2 million caregiver profiles across the nation that offers babysitting, pet care, housekeeping, senior care, and even tutoring services. The site helps match these caregivers to the right families, and the family that hires them will negotiate the salary.
The site al so has a corporate program that ties with companies and organizations, such as Fox, Avon, and MasterCard.
Sittercity has been mentioned by well-known media sources, such as FOX, Today, ABC, and CBS, getting glowing reviews. Even the US President recognized their site and gave them a big thumbs up. Apparently, it was a really big one, because today, the US Department of Defense pays for the annual memberships (worth $140) of all its active soldiers and their families to the site.
Beaje Mayo’s family was one of them.
This is quite a feat for someone who started out as a college sitter. Genevieve Thiers, the founder of Sittercity, was a babysitter when she saw a pregnant woman walking almost 200 steps at Boston College to post ads for a sitter. Thiers took the flyer from the woman and posted it for her, and the idea for Sittercity was born.
Child nannies are the most popular of their services. Parents can choose from 40 criteria, such as whether the babysitters can be available on holidays, or they know certain languages. Parents can even add smokers or non-smokers in their list. The site also offers information, references, and feedback from other clients about the sitter’s quality of service.
Most of the caregivers who find work at Sittercity are university students, stay-in moms and retirees. When asked what they think about the site, many say they couldn’t have been happier.
K.J., a Chicago-based nanny agrees. "I have used Sitter City for a few years and am pretty pleased. With my last job posting for an occasional sitter I received almost 40 applicants! You can really get your pick of the litter with response rates like that!"
Sittercity has three payment options: a yearly plan ($140), a 3-month membership ($70), and a monthly plan ($35). There is also an additional $9.99 fee for each background check of your candidates -- something that a lot of parents find a bit expensive. Others, however, take it all in stride.
"It's well worth it. I've wasted a lot of time on Craigslist, getting zero response to my ad, and never hearing back from most of the people I reached out to,” wrote a parent in TimeMom.
So does Sittercity.com live up to all its hype? Mary from parentplaza.com believes so. "SitterCity is like an Amazon.com for finding babysitters. Not only are you likely to find what you're looking for, you're likely to find more than you'll ever need.”