I never thought that our current system of hiring babysitters by calling (or texting) and then paying them with cash (or occasionally check) was particularly old school. Annoying at times, maybe, but not outdated. Besides, how could you modernize the process of booking and paying sitters? Turns out there’s an app for that!
The Sitterati app is actually pretty genius because it alleviates two major frustrations that most parents experience when planning a night away from their kids:
- Tracking down an available sitter, and
- Coming up with cash at the end of the night
Here’s what typically happens when JB and I try to schedule a date night. First, I text one of three potential babysitters. Then I wait for a reply. Sometimes I hear back immediately, sometimes I don’t. If she’s unavailable, I text another babysitter. And then the other.
Eventually we find a sitter and are able to enjoy a nice evening out of the house. Pulling into the driveway, JB will ask me if I have enough cash to pay the babysitter. (Admittedly, we should have thought about getting money while we were out and could hit up an ATM if need be. But the problem with going to an ATM is that you only get $20s, and what if you owe the babysitter $35? Do you ask her for change?) Usually we can find enough money between both of our wallets, but occasionally we have to write a check. I’m always so embarrassed when I have to write a check.
Now, here’s where Sitterati can help: Once you create a job in the app, you can blast it to all of your sitters at once rather than sending multiple individual text messages. (Just text your sitters to invite them to join Sitterati!) Your sitter will respond via Sitterati and you can book her right from the app. When the job is done, you can pay her from the app using a credit card that you’ve uploaded; the money goes straight into your sitter’s account!
Pretty cool, huh?
So, the app just went live, and the Sitterati team is looking for feedback from parents and sitters to help build it into a truly useful and beneficial app. Let them know what you think! And I’m curious — do you think you’d try an app like this? Or does it seem too complicated/techie/modern?