Q&A with Sittercity .. oh, and it's FREE for military folks!
You've just PCS'd to a new 'hood and whammo ... there's a spouse meeting or Hail/Bail and you need a sitter. What to do ... what to do? How about sittercity? Here are a few quick questions/answers with Lauren Tarasewicz about the program that's FREE to military folks. What a smokin deal.
What are the biggest challenges for military families when finding a sitter?
One of the biggest problems they face when relocating away from friends and family, is finding flexible childcare options they can count on. To help these families navigate the unique challenges of military life, the US Department of Defense has paid for memberships to Sittercity for Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force families including, active duty, Reserve, and Guard.
Sittercity helps military families find the care they need whether it is full-time, part-time, after-school, hourly, or for school holidays.
One of the reasons the Department of Defense chose Sittercity is for its population of sitters located on base, off base, and in remote areas. In some instances, these caregivers are other military spouses who are available to help their fellow servicemen and women.
What prompted Sittercity to provide the free membership?
Sittercity memberships are funded by the US Department of Defense to provide military families the resources they need to care for their families. We at Sittercity are so honored to support military families and spouses. We have unique services available that are able to meet their changing needs and be their go-to option for backup care.
Tell a little about the background information/checks that you do on the sitters
Sittercity has a pre-screening process that includes identity verification, checks against National databases and registries, as well as human and electronic review of caregiver profiles. In addition, parents can run background checks, through the Nation’s leading provider, LexisNexis, at no cost. Background checks are included in the Department of Defense paid memberships provided to military families. Parents are also given a number of additional tools to help them determine the best fit for their family including caregiver reviews, ratings, and references.
Can you provide some pointers/advice for people who are reluctant to use Sittercity? (for instance: new mommies/daddies who are leery about leaving their children with a sitter)
One great advantage of the Sittercity Military Program is that a parent can go on the site at no cost, browse local caregivers and review their profiles until they become comfortable with the quality of care available on the site. Profiles are equipped with lots of great information including a photo, bio, parent reviews, references, and certifications and education level.
Once they are a bit more familiar with the options available and how the site works, they can find the perfect caregiver for their family by posting a job with the specific criteria that they require. Our model offers a pre-screening process, background checks, references, and a number of tools to help families through the hiring and interviewing process. Ultimately, one comfort with the Sittercity model is that the parents make the decision on which caregiver to hire.
For new parents, who have never left their child with someone else before, we suggest doing a sort of meet and greet prior to leaving the child with the sitter. The sitter can come over while you're home and have a play date with your child. This can make the new parent much more comfortable with leaving their little ones those first times.
Why is now a good time to forge a relationship with a sitter (or two)?
Back-to-School season is not only the busiest time at work and home, but it’s also the peak season for childcare. As the new school year begins, family schedules change creating new types of childcare needs. Now is the best time to start searching for the caregiver that best suites the needs of your family for the upcoming school year.
Check out their site and get your freebie now! www.sittercity.com/dod