Once parents decide they need someone to look after their kids, they can browse through sitters in their area and narrow down search results based on the sitter’s age, education level, and if they have any specialty experience or training, such as CPR or working with disabled kids. Each sitter’s profile includes a brief description about themselves, their age and years of experience working with kids, a photo, and their hourly rate. Most profiles include the sitter’s average response time, how many families have hired the sitter more than once, and if they have other Facebook friends who babysit as well.
Inspired by OpenTable’s approach for restaurant reservations, Perkins decided to make online booking a key feature of UrbanSitter. If you find a sitter you like, you can send a booking request for a specific time and date. That sitter will get an e-mail or notification in UrbanSitter’s app about the request. If he or she is available and interested, they can accept the job and you’ll have someone to watch your kids.