‘Speed-Sitting’: Searching For A Good Babysitter

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PORTAGE, Mich.,–As a parent you may know how hard it is to find a good, reliable babysitter and while there are dozens of online sites out there, they can be time-consuming and not always the safest.

That’s where 23-year-old Jessica Turner, a student at Western Michigan University, comes in. Turner is a family and development major by night and a full-time nanny by day. But she says when she moved from Detroit to Kalamazoo not knowing anyone, it was hard to find families.

She has tried using online databases to connect with parents, but didn’t always find it the safest. That’s when she came up with ‘Superstar Sitters.’  Speed dating to find a babysitter, parents are given a five-minute interview with each sitter and a book of resumes to review.

“The concept is all about making chemistry and making chemistry with the baby-sitter. A lot of parents work off their intuition, so this gives them the opportunity to use that intuition without having to go through all the list of people and spending hours when in the first five minutes you probably know if you like a person or not.”

Turner finds the sitters through job boards at school and word of mouth at Western.  Then, she has them apply and says they must meet a list of expectations.

At the end of the day it is the parents hiring the babysitters, and of course they can do any additional screening as they feel necessary.

The first Superstar Sitters event is Thursday, Nov. 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It’s at ‘Just Move Fitness’ in Portage.

Parents do have to pre-register, for more information on how to do that or find out about other events: http://www.superstarsitters.com

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  • Amie

    You are (or were) RIGHT ON! My husband and I had limited options and turned to an online sitter-finder several years ago. After a terrible experience (just believe me here, I’ll spare you the details), we made lemonade out of lemons. My husband and I founded http://www.solidsitters.com – a safe, innovative, private space where sitters and families BOTH are vetted for CHARACTER and QUALITY, then matched up. We create a summarized report called a SoildSitters Report on both Sitters and Seekers (i.e., for Sitters includes mandatory teacher and coach references and more – so that parents can ditch the reference-calling process and feel “solid” they’re getting a sitter with integrity, intelligence and experience). We WERE those parents desperate for a sitter. Now we are “those parents” zealous to get the word out about an ANSWER to the problems with existing online sites.