Monday, August 16, 2010

Sittercity Nanny? That's Me!


People are often surprised to find out that I am a Sittercity nanny and that I joined the service back in the company's early days, long before I started blogging. 

Four years ago, when I was a home visitor/parent educator for a Parents as Teachers program, a mom told about a new service that one of her friends started in Boston, MA -- Sittercity!  Mostly out of curiosity, but also because I had enjoyed my previous stint as a nanny, I set up a caregiver profile and signed up for their daily job postings.

I received Sittercity daily e-mails for a full year before before finding my perfect position -- three 10-hour days taking care of a 2-month-old boy.  I was able maintain my income level while working three long days instead of five, allowing me to take full-time classes to finish my B.A. in early childhood education.

That single nanny job was the only one I applied for and Little M and I  have been together for a little over two years! 

Sittercity Details:

Search for a Sitter or Post an Ad?

Parents can search through  profiles of available sitters in a zip code range or post a specific ad.  I always suggest posting a specific ad because many potential sitters can opt to keep their profile invisible (like I did) and only apply to ads that match their own criteria.

For example, in my small zip code, there are 75 visible profiles.  Parents can contact visible sitters directly.  However, when parents place an add, they are able to view the full profile of all responding sitters (even invisible), their pictures, reviews, and background check results (if the sitter has paid for one*). 


Sittercity offers reviews of sitters by parents who have used them and also reviews of parents by sitters.  So far I have seen only positive reviews, as it seems no one wants to leave bad feedback.  The reviews are most commonly placed on profiles of occasional babysitters rather than long-term caregivers.  I suppose no one want to advertise how great their nanny is, lest someone else wants to lure her away!  

No Freebies:

One weird glitch I've noticed is parents trying to post an ad without paying for the service or trying to take advantage during a free trial.  Parents will try to include their personal information, such as an e-mail or phone number, but Sittercity thwarts their plans -- the email or phone number appears incomplete in the job posting, so no one is able to contact them.

All paid Sittercity users and registered Sittercity babysitters and nannies correspond through a "user@sittercity" address that includes their registration sign-in name.

Terms and Payment:

As of this writing, Sittercity has two paid options:

Option One:  one year worth of service for a $119.98 one-time billing charge

Option Two:  monthly billing of $9.99 after paying an initial billing charge of $49.98

I think the one-year option is the best value, as the monthly option costs $60 for only two months of use.  However, if you are looking for a long-term nanny and have only a couple of months before she starts, the monthly option would probably work well for you.

For help with posting your nanny ad, check out my other post:  4 Tips for Finding the Perfect Nanny

Use promo code TAKE15 to receive 15% off a monthly or annual membership to until October 31, 2010.

*It currently appears that families can now opt to pay for a background check on a caregiver they are interested in.
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