On-demand system connects parents with vetted sitters to simplify childcare process
Imagine this: it’s date night, or you’re working late, or you’re meeting up with friends. At this point, it might be too late to get a reliable, trusted babysitter, so your plans are put on hold. Around 64 percent of parents find themselves in this situation in households across America, claiming it’s too difficult to find someone they know and trust. Through their website and mobile web app connecting parents to vetted potential sitters, Cincinnati-based SaferSit is working to simplify how parents find childcare.
“We’re the only babysitting platform in the country that’s run by a mom and a sitter,” said Francie Ruppert, co-founder of SaferSit and student at the University of Cincinnati. “My co-founder Laura Borsky understands the parent side and I understand the sitter side. This means we can see concerns about both areas of the business—how high school or college students make money and how parents have access to reliable services.”
The platform streamlines the hiring process from start to finish. Parents using the SaferSit solution no longer need to scroll through their contacts and phone their friends to see who might be available, they can simply log on to the site and book a sitter. To address safety concerns, SaferSit’s web app will guarantee a background check for all applicants.
“The mobile web app means parents don’t have to download another standalone app that takes up space on their phone,” said Borsky “And with other platforms, you have to pay a premium to see a background check, or a background check isn’t required.”
Like so many great solutions, SaferSit started with an idea. In high school, Ruppert organized a babysitting club to service parents in her area. She recruited families with fliers posted around the neighborhood and connected her friends to potential clients. Before she left for college, Borsky, who was one of Ruppert’s former clients, approached her with the idea to make her business mobile.
Once SaferSit had expanded beyond Ruppert’s early model, the co-founders then participated in gBeta, a free seven-week accelerator in partnership with The Brandery, a partner of Ohio Third Frontier in Cincinnati. During the program, Ruppert and Brosky were connected with different mentors every week and were given the confidence to start planning their expansion to Louisville and Lexington.
“Cincinnati is such a great place to start a business because everyone tells their friends about things that they like and use,” said Ruppert. “All of our growth has been word-of-mouth, and I think that has a lot to do with gBeta and the culture in Cincinnati.”