Struggling to line up reliable care, Raleigh mom launches new babysitting service
Posted August 14, 2016
Stephanie Keefer worked in the financial services industry for more than a decade. But, now, as a mom of two young children in Raleigh, Keefer saw a big need for finding babysitters who would show up on time and who she could trust.
So, this year, she launched PlatinumSitters.com, an online childcare service that connects families with reliable babysitters for everything from ongoing care to last-minute date nights.
I checked in with Keefer to learn more about the service. Here's our email conversation:
Go Ask Mom: As a mom, what's been your experience lining up babysitters for your kids?
Stephanie Keefer: The premise of this business is founded on my experience and the belief that I don’t think it is unique just to me and my family. Searching through candidate pools of other babysitting/childcare services is time consuming and often comes with trust issues. I found myself wondering who is actually about to show up at my house to watch my children and was the service’s vetting process to find that person transparent and reliable? I wanted a service where I could screen for the best fit for my childrens’ needs and provide feedback on the experience after a booking. Even if you are fortunate enough to have someone you trust, dealing with last-minute cancelations and your "go to” sitter often being busy with extracurricular activities or their own lives can be frustrating. Not to mention the stress of leaning on family and friends too often or in last-minute emergencies. Hence the idea for an on-demand sitting service was born.
GAM: When did you come up with the idea for PlatinumSitters? When did it open?
SK: I came up with the idea for PlatinumSitters three years ago. With the help of our wonderful web development team, Oddball.io, we were able to Launch PlatinumSitters.com in June 2016.
GAM: How do you go about finding your sitters? What application process do they go through?
SK: At PlatinumSitters, we believe that each and every sitter must establish a true connection to the families, and especially the children, they serve and work for. Our goal is to provide on-demand relief through convenient and exceptional services to families with last minute (and not-so-last-minute) childcare needs. In doing so, we have done the work for you! We have created an extensive screening process for all of our sitters, which involves an application, reference checks, personal interviews, background checks via GoodHire, personality assessment and calendar and availability upkeep.
At the completion of every booking, clients are encouraged to provide a review with our five-star rating system. We constantly monitor our sitters and our service to our families. Our in-depth knowledge of day-to-day performance will allow us to understand the needs of our families and help serve them better.
GAM: What makes you different from other babysitting services in the area?
SK: Have you ever wanted to run an errand alone, have a date night that wasn't planned four weeks in advance, or had something come up last-minute, but couldn’t attend to it because you couldn’t find childcare? Well, with PlatinumSitters you can!
Our online booking tool allows you to to choose a date and time, even if your need occurs on the same day. We've already done the hard work of vetting potential sitters and only the top qualified candidates make it into the pool of sitters you have access to. All you have to do is click, "Book!" Simply rate the sitter after each booking with our five-star rating system and favorite up to five sitters! Whether you are looking for a sitter right away or need someone a few weeks out, we want our clients to know that they have a reliable “go to” with PlatinumSitters.
GAM: How do you hope the business will grow over time?
SK: I hope to maintain a high level of service while growing in stages. Eventually, expanding to other cities and communities across the state. It is our goal to make connections easier between our families and our sitters. This will be done through continued growth of the service, web platform and the development of a custom PlatinumSitters smartphone application.
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