Sitter Circles

by Jennie on October 5, 2011

We have posted in the past about how important it is to know who you are hiring for your kids. I LOVE the idea of using a nanny referral agency because someone else is doing the hard work for you and then you can choose, from selected candidates, who you prefer.

There is another option that we have come across called Sitter Circles. Sitter Circles “provides parents needing a babysitter an easy way to communicate with their sitters, sending messages to the sitters with the date and time of the sitting job and receiving responses in one location. Parents can connect with friends and neighbors allowing them to reach each other’s sitters in a pinch or a much needed date night.

Sitter Circles

Sitters can easily alert the families they know anytime they are free to sit. It’s a great way to make some extra cash quickly. Sitter Circles also allows parents to quickly contact you whenever they need a sitter. Sitters can easily accept, decline or ask for more information about any job.”

What I do like about this program:

  • You can invite other people you know and TRUST to add their sitters contact info so you can use their sitters if yours is busy
  • It’s FREE :)
  • Easy to navigate and self explanatory
  • You can send a sitter request (via email) to your first choice and then you can pick other sitters (second, third etc. choice) and choose how long before it emails your next choice(s). ie. You need someone to fill a need quick and “Rachel” is your first choice so you can email her and then have the program email your next choices every 15 min until you hear back from someone
  • You can view your scheduled jobs and make changes if needed
  • As a sitter you can put in your info and when you are available so families know what your schedule is
  • Would be great for last minute needs or when you are in a bind
What I think could be potential issues:
  • Although we are in the day and age of computers, not everyone has email access. So your sitter or friends/ neighbors you trust may not have email so they could not participate. I don’t think this would be the case for the most part, but you never know. HOWEVER, they do have a mobile app that you can use so if you don’t have a computer you can still use the website!
  • What I liked about using a nanny referral agency is that I can talk to a trained professional about my exact needs and they get to know my personality etc. and pair someone with me who will meet those needs. I can then interview those potential candidates and see whom I like best. If you are using Sitter Circles, you are relying on your friends and neighbors referral. Although you trust them, your idea of sitter criteria could be different from theirs. HOWEVER, a referral agency does cost you money and Sitter Circles is free to use.
Overall, this boils down to personal preference and your comfort level. I think it is nice that you have different options out there to fulfill your sitter needs!

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