App of the Week: UrbanSitter
May 2, 2013
Any parent knows that a good babysitter is worth his or her weight in gold. And once a good sitter is found, it’s likely their number will move straight to the top of the go-to list when it comes to planning a night out. So, if you don’t have family around and don’t have recommendations for sitters in your area, where do you turn? UrbanSitter is one new option to consider.
UrbanSitter is a web-based service and mobile app for iOS (Android expected this fall) that helps match parents and willing sitters online. Parents can use the app to search for sitters in their area, read recommendations, check availability and even review special skills (like speaks other languages, knows CPR, etc.) that will help them make an informed decision.
Initially, I was put off by both the app and website’s requirement of signing in through Facebook. I have expressed several times in the past that it really detracts from the app when developers only make one option for signing on (there actually are people who don’t use Facebook). That aside, the app can be helpful for finding a sitter in your area in a pinch or in the best case scenario, finding a long-term sitter that you trust and can build a relationship with. Both are possible with UrbanSitter, assuming you live in one of the metropolitan areas it services. Right now, the app caters to the following major metropolitan areas: San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Boulder, Seattle, Reno, Lake Tahoe, St. Louis and Seattle.
Because I don’t live right in the city, my search yielded 13 matches, and of those, only one lived in my town. But the information provided in each sitter’s profile was helpful for getting a better feel for her personality and experience. I’m sure that if I lived closer to the city, the matches would increase exponentially, so again, anyone who lives directly in an area where UrbanSitter is available will likely have good luck finding a match.
And once you do find that match, hold on tight.
UrbanSitter is currently a free service and is available on the web or as a free iOS app in iTunes.
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