How All of You Have Inspired Me to Redefine Babysitting

To all you incredible Moms, Dads, Sitters, and Sittereco much to fill you in on, where do I even begin?!

For starters, it’s been a really busy few months.  What started as a desire for me to help parents and women, two communities I am passionate about, has evolved into Sittereco, an app for babysitting recommendations from parent and sitter friends. Think LinkedIn for babysitting.

While we are targeting the mobile app launch this Fall, there is a whole journey I wanted to fill you in on, particularly because the concept was inspired by all of you..and for all of us...

Let's start from the beginning...

It started with a whole lot of listening.  After 150+ candid conversations over the holidays last year, sifting through personal stories with many of you,  I realized we all had one key struggle that came up again and again: finding a “village of support” we could trust and lean on.  

Hearing from parents, thoughts like...I don't even know where to look for trusted babysitters...I get incredible anxiety when my child care falls through and I cannot be at home...

...and simultaneously hearing from sitters...I am looking for babysitting opportunity, but I want to sit for families I can trust...I want to build relationships with families, and be appreciated for doing something I love...

It was all of these conversations that sparked for me, the need for a stronger connection between parents and sitters.  And, the need to value, support, and empower one another.

I sent a survey out to parents and sitters.  The key question was, could Sittereco address this struggle we had identified?  3 days and almost 300 responses later, I got my answer.  Not only was the interest and engagement across parents and sitters remarkable, I also fortuitously met many more of you.  Thank you for letting me in!

I then rolled up my sleeves as I dove into adult arts and crafts, aka Powerpoint. I created a paper prototype of a mobile app and shared the vision with 25 parents and sitters.  Through this dialogue, it was clear that the greatest value in this concept was in helping parents and sitters find and identify real life connections through personal recommendations within their network; voila! I had narrowed in on the bare bones MVP (an acronym startup nerds reference, meaning minimum viable product).

Finally, we took a trial run.  I invited 13 enthusiastic parents and sitters to participate in a 10 day pilot test consisting of a Facebook Private Group, Google Docs, and Square Cash.  The big question was, 1) did parents and sitters truly find value in babysitting opportunity rooted in connections, recommendations, and trusted communities, and 2) was it really an unmet need as everything prior to this point had shown?  Conclusion and test results - Yes and yes!

My big “a-ha” outside of solving a shared struggle was realizing the emotional excitement across parents, sitters, and women overall.  These women were psyched to be part of a mission focused on empowering and supporting one another through recommendations.  

I suddenly realized Sittereco was not just a major problem solve for parents and sitters.  It was a reason to believe in the power of unity, support and empowerment; it was the ability to recognize that truly, we are stronger together.  

And so here we are.  I have signed on a fantastic, diverse product team to build out a beta this summer.  And we've begun to recruit believers along the way to push this concept forward into reality, on our phones, in our lives, in our communities.  We promise to continue to work hard at bringing Sittereco to life.  

But in the meantime, I wanted to ask for your help in building our Sittereco community of support and empowerment.  

Together, let's spread the word.  Here's how:

  • Sign up for our beta pre-launch 
  • Share our content and follow us on IG, FB, and Twitter (links below)
  • Reach out and join our mission with your talents

Most importantly, know we are stronger with you than we would ever be without you.  

Here's to redefining community, and leaning on one another to bring this system of support and empowerment to life...

Thank you!