The Ultimate in Parent Multitasking: Main Line Early Education Fairs and Sitter Speed Dating
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The Ultimate in Parent Multitasking: Main Line Early Education Fairs and Sitter Speed Dating

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Finding the perfect educational setting and childcare option just got easier for Philadelphia area families thanks to Main Line Parent and UrbanSitter, two of the regions top resources for parents.

Finding the perfect educational setting and childcare option just got easier for Philadelphia area families thanks to Main Line Parent and UrbanSitter, two of the regions top resources for parents.

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    The Ultimate in Parent Multitasking: Main Line Early Education Fairs and Sitter Speed Dating The Ultimate in Parent Multitasking: Main Line Early Education Fairs and Sitter Speed Dating Document Transcript

    • Main  Line  Parent  and  UrbanSitter  take  multitasking  to  a  whole  new  level  with  Sitter  Speed  Dating,  one  of  the  highlights  of  this  weekends  Early  Childhood  Education  Fairs.  The  next  generation  of  speed  dating,  this  informal  networking  opportunity  is  a  quick  and  easy  way  for  parents  and  sitters  to  connect  and  explore  a  potential  childcare  relationship.  The  event  is  perfect  for  nannies  and  sitters  looking  to  fill  their  spring  and  summer  schedules  (or  simply  pick  up  a  few  hours  here  and  there),  and  for  families  that  have  changing  childcare  needs  or  are  new  to  the  area.  Sitters  and  families  will  have  a  chance  to  speak  with  remembers  of  the  UrbanSitter  team,  and  learn  how  to  keep  the  recommendations  and  referrals  coming  via  urbansitter.com.      If  you  havent  yet  heard  about  the  online  resource  that  moms  everywhere  are  swooning  over,  well,  you  can  thank  us—and  them—for  passing  along  this  virtual  Little  Black  Book  of  babysitters.  Theres  a  lot  of  handy  information  on  the  web  about  how  UrbanSitter.com  works,  but  we’ve  got  some  great  information  for  you  right  here  (scroll  down),  thanks  to  an  informal  chat  with  Philadelphia’s  community  manager,  Sarah  Peppal.  The  sound  bite  we’ve  been  hearing  from  moms  though,  is  that  it’s  a  lot  like  OpenTable.  (Brilliant,  right?)      Now  back  to  that  Sitter  Speed  Dating…  just  think  of  how  much  time  you  will  save  by  popping  into  either  the  Wayne  or  Wynnewood  Ed  Fairs  and  getting  to  know  a  dozen  or  more  potential  sitters  AND  getting  the  scoop  on  myriad  Early  Ed  and  summer  camp  options  all  in  one  fell  swoop.  Like  we  said,  that  is  the  ultimate  in  multitasking.      This  family  friendly  meet-­‐and-­‐greet  is  just  one  of  the  ways  Main  Line  Parent  is  helping  families  resolve  every  day  issues.  Bringing  the  leading  schools,  camps,  and  childcare   providers  TO  parents,  under  one  roof,  is  another.  The   Main  Line  Early  Childhood  Education  Fairs  are  the  easiest   way  to  learn  about  the  best  preschool  and  kindergarten   programs,  camps,  and  childcare  options  in  our  area  and   to  discover  the  best  fit  to  help  your  child  excel.  For  more   information  visit  mainlineparent.com  and  join  our   Facebook  community.      And,  to  glean  a  little  inside  scoop  about  urbansitter.com  …    What  factors  do  you  think  are  most  important  to  parents  in  choosing  a  sitter?    Experience:  Previous  childcare  experience  is  incredibly  important.  Beyond  the  number  of  years  a  candidate  has  been  babysitting  or  nannying,  its  important  to  ask  if  he/she  has  experience  with  children  your  child’s  age.  If  you  have  an  infant,  youll  need  a  sitter  that  is  comfortable  changing  diapers.  If  you  have  a  toddler,  youll  be  on  the  lookout  for  active  sitters  who  like  to  take  the  kids  to  the  park.  If  you  have  multiples,  its  important  the  sitter  has  cared  for  more  than  one  child  at  once.  
    • Qualifications:    Ask  your  sitter  questions  to  dig  deeper  into  their  qualifications—questions  you  might  not  think  to  ask  like,  “do  you  speak  another  language,”  “do  you  know  how  to  cook,”  “are  you  willing  to  help  with  errands  and  household  chores.”  Also,  remember  to  ask  if  they  have  their  current  child  and  infant  CPR  certification  and  first  aid  training  certification.  If  you  find  a  great  sitter  who  isnt  CPR  trained,  you  could  always  offer  to  pay  for  a  class  -­‐  or  better  yet,  take  one  with  her.    Itd  be  a  great  excuse  for  you  to  brush  up  on  your  CPR  too.      Availability:    Be  sure  to  ask  the  sitter  if  they  will  be  available  on  the  days  and  times  youll  need  her/him.  Some  sitters  are  only  looking  for  occasional  work  on  the  weekends,  while  others  may  be  up  for  consistent  part  time  work.  Set  expectations  up  front,  so  neither  you,  nor  the  sitter  is  disappointed  when  a  job  is  declined.    Reliability:    Lets  face  it;  most  babysitters  are  young  adults  who  are  still  learning  to  be  responsible.  Look  for  a  sitter  who  responds  quickly  to  your  emails  or  phone  calls.  Its  a  good  indication  that  they  will  show  up  to  your  babysitting  job  on  time.  Also,  be  sure  to  confirm  the  sitters  transportation  situation  -­‐-­‐  will  you  need  to  pick  them  up,  or  do  they  have  a  reliable  way  to  get  to  your  home?      Personal  Recommendations:    Beyond  your  interview  with  the  sitter,  youll  want  to  ask  for  personal  references  to  hear  first-­‐hand  from  families  they  have  worked  for  previously.  Theres  nothing  more  comforting  to  hear  than  another  parents  personal  recommendation.  Better  yet,  ask  your  friends  and  parents  you  know  from  your  child’s  school  if  they  can  recommend  any  sitters.  By  doing  your  due  diligence  upfront,  youll  find  someone  you  feel  you  can  really  trust.  …What’s  great  about  our  UrbanSitter.com  is  that  we  take  this  process  of  finding  personally  recommended  sitters  online,  so  you  can  quickly  and  efficiently  find  sitters  through  your  personal  networks.  Once  I  log  in,  I  can  instantly  see  sitters  my  Facebook  friends  have  used  and  reviewed—and  also  sitters  that  parents  from  my  child’s  school,  swim  team,  or  my  local  mommy  group  have  used  and  recommend.  In  addition  to  reviews  from  parents,  each  sitter’s  profile  page  includes  information  about  their  childcare  experience,  qualifications,  on-­‐time  ratings,  and  even  a  calendar  they  keep  up  to  date  with  their  availability,  so  you  can  book  them  for  an  interview  or  job  at  the  click  of  a  button!    What  criteria  must  sitters  meet  to  join?  Who  does  the  vetting?    UrbanSitter  is  an  online  marketplace,  where  any  babysitter  may  join  so  long  as  they  agree  to  the  Terms  of  Service.  Vetting  happens  via  the  power  of  social  recommendation,  i.e.,  parents  give  positive  recommendations  and  reviews  of  sitters,  which  in  turn  fuels  the  popularity  of  the  sitter  among  the  parent  community.  Babysitters  also  post  their  own  credentials  (childcare  experience,  CPR/First  Aid  training,  coursework),  and  can  apply  for  a  background  check.              
    • How  much  does  it  cost  to  sign  up/use?  Do  both  parents  and  sitters  pay?    UrbanSitter  is  free  for  both  parents  and  sitters  to  sign  up  and  use.  Sitters  set  their  own  rates  and  parents  pay  them  directly  in  cash  or  via  credit  card.  Parents  who  opt  for  the  convenience  of  paying  a  sitter  with  their  credit  card  are  charged  a  $7.50  convenience  fee  per  job.          How  many  sitters  are  in  the  system  here  in  Philadelphia?    100  sitters    Are  there  mingling  events  for  sitters  and  parents  hosted  by  urbansitter.com?  Yes,  UrbanSitter  hosts  Meet  &  Greet  events,  where  parents  can  meet  sitters.  Specifically,  there  are  two  events  coming  up  in  the  Philadelphia  area.  We  also  host  Speed  Sitting  events,  where  parents  interview  sitters  in  a  fast-­‐paced  round  robin  similar  to  speed  dating.  You  can  find  out  more  on  our  Facebook  events  page:  https://www.facebook.com/urbansitter/events    Are  there  privacy  issues  in  connecting  via  Facebook?    When  you  register,  you  are  only  sharing  your  basic  Facebook  information,  which  includes  your  name,  photo,  location,  and  “friends”  list.  In  addition,  we  never  post  anything  to  your  Facebook  wall  or  timeline  without  expressed  permission.  The  Facebook  social  network  is  an  important  part  of  UrbanSitter.  The  magic  of  the  service  comes  into  play  when  you  can  use  social  recommendations  to  make  hiring  a  sitter  easier  than  you  thought  it  could  ever  be.  Registering  with  a  Facebook  account  enables  you  to:   • Log  in  securely  with  just  one  click   • Find  trusted  babysitters  through  your  friends   • Share  and  recommend  sitters  easily    Parents  know  what  questions  to  ask  sitters,  but  what  should  sitters  ask  them?    During  an  interview  it’s  always  a  good  idea  to  ask  questions  to  determine  if  youre  a  match.  Examples  are:   • What  are  your  expectations  of  me  as  a  babysitter  (watching  kids,  driving  kids,  errands,   laundry)?   • What  should  I  know  about  your  child?   • What  is  your  discipline  style?   • Is  there  anything  a  sitter  has  done  that  really  impressed  you?  Or  something  you  really   didnt  like?  And,  while  you  are  “on  the  job,”  it  is  also  helpful  to  know  the  expectations:   • What  is  the  kids  schedule  for  today/tonight?   • How  often  would  you  like  me  to  check  in  with  you?   • Do  you  have  an  emergency  contact  list?   • Can  you  provide  me  transportation  (or  cab  fare)  if  youll  be  home  late?  
    • If  I’m  a  sitter,  how  can  I  make  sure  my  rates  arent  too  low  or  too  high?    On  UrbanSitter,  sitters  can  change  their  rates  as  frequently  as  they  would  like.  By  starting  at  a  higher  rate,  sitters  can  lower  their  rates  until  they  see  job  requests  from  parents  increase.  Sitters  may  also  consult  the  Job  Board  to  see  rates  parents  are  currently  offering  for  different  types  of  jobs.    How  can  both  families  and  individuals  seeking  childcare  employment  improve  their  chances  of  finding  the  best  match?  We  designed  UrbanSitter  with  this  purpose  in  mind.  Sitters  can  customize  their  profile  with  a  multitude  of  credentials  including  background  check,  certifications,  languages  spoken,  experience  with  various  age  groups  and  special  needs,  and  willingness  to  do  errands,  cook,  or  drive  the  kids.  Parents  can  then  use  our  search  filters  to  find  a  perfect  match-­‐-­‐who  is  also  available  at  the  date  and  time  they  need  them.  Parents  have  the  option  to  interview  their  sitters  before  scheduling  an  official  job.  We  offer  three  types  of  interviews:  over  the  phone,  in-­‐person,  or  working  interview.