Website links sitters and parents
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 02:10
For Miami University students who aim to make a little money on the side, Oxford Sitter Supply provides an opportunity to connect with community members who are looking to hire babysitters.
Oxfordsittersupply.com is a website that helps Oxford parents easily find reputable babysitters, according to Shelagh Moul, the site’s creator.
Moul, an Oxford resident, said she created the website when she found herself and friends struggling to find anyone reliable to watch kids in the area.
“When I moved here five years ago, I asked friends for recommendations and they said it was hard to find sitters,” Moul said. “I didn’t understand how that could be with so many students, even education majors, nearby.”
Moul said she recognized that qualified babysitters were out there, but they had to be found. Since its launch in October 2010, Oxford Sitter Supply has built the bridge connecting parents
Moul said she tries to recruit students to join the website.
Sophomore Lily Zuccaro became involved after having Moul’s husband, Miami University assistant economics professor Charles Moul, in class this semester.
Zuccaro said Charles Moul gave her a business card and encouraged her to sign up about a month ago. After submitting her profile information, she received a call and took a babysitting job last weekend. She said she already has another job set up with the
Participant sitters pay a $10 per semester fee, including summer, Moul said. This allows them to create a profile including their name, age, major, experience, references and availability. Membership for parents is free.
When a parent logs onto the site, they enter their needed date and time for a babysitter and a list of options appears, Moul said. One can scroll through available babysitters and make their pick.
Parent of three Dana Lentini said the user-friendly format helps her find a sitter in a pinch.
“We have a very busy schedule, and sometimes when I need a sitter, I need a sitter tonight,” Lentini said. “I can go on [the website] on a Monday, click on ‘Tuesday Night’ and it will list available
sitters’ contact information.”
Lentini often uses the website and will re-use provided sitters once she knows their schedules can accommodate hers.
Moul also said she uses the site to find new babysitters. Because students pay a fee to register, Moul always tries to make it worth their while.
“I try to make sure everyone gets a job,” Moul said. “And then, once I use a sitter, I can recommend them to my friends.”
Moul emphasized she did not want to include a babysitter rating system or comment section on the website. Rather, she said she keeps it simple by allowing parents to read the information provided about students and to make their own decisions.
Though there is no forum for feedback, Lentini said she gives great reviews about the sitters she has used. Aside from looking for someone who can drive her kids to various activities, she said she also seeks confidence in a babysitter.
“I find that with a lot of Miami students, they are self-assured,” Lentini said. “It is great to see that they come in and take charge.”
She even had a sitter who cleaned her kitchen while she
Moul advertises Oxford Sitter Supply to parents at two local preschools: The Christian Co-op and the Tri-Community schools. According to Moul, many people in the area use family members for babysitters. But those who are new to Oxford or do not have family nearby find relief in Oxford Sitter Supply.
Zuccaro said the website is a worthwhile investment.
“You do have to pay ten dollars to register, but if you babysit for about an hour that pays for itself,” Zuccaro said.
She said she also enjoys the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary.
“I get to hang out with little kids and babies,” Zuccaro said.
Zuccaro said she would certainly encourage friends to sign up.
“It’s a good way to get some money and to connect to the community,” Zuccaro said.
With about 190 registered users, Oxford Sitter Supply is growing in popularity, Moul said.
“Parents are very grateful for this,” Moul said. “It really is a joy.”
The only downside to the program, Lentini said, is that occasionally, one gets a great sitter, and then they graduate.