In movies like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, a parent’s very real nightmare of inadequate child care is at the crux of the film’s storyline. So the promise of a new website with intentions to revolutionize babysitting offered new hope at the party recently held at Melville’s Jewel Restaurant to celebrate its launch.
Babysitting Barter has roughly 1,000 babysitters and 2,700 parents connected to its website nationwide, according to CEO and founder Brian Mannix.
“This has been a long time coming, about four years in the works,” said Mannix. “We have built our website and I think it’s very different and innovative. It is something that I really think will make a national difference for parents, babysitters, and for businesses as well.”
The way this business sets itself apart from other babysitting websites is its “Babysitting Barter bonus”, according to Communications Director Michelle Pagado. When the parents pay the sitters, Babysitting Barter also pays the sitters in bonus points that they can redeem for either gift cards or cash.
In addition to providing gift cards, businesses can profit from this site through advertising local events where parents can sign up for the event and instantly book a babysitter.
This launch party was organized in order to celebrate the hard work that the staff at Babysitting Barter put into their website, and to network casually with sitters, parents, and businesses. The Babysitting Barter team is made up of Mannix, Pagado, Co-Founder Lauren Conlon, and Babysitter Evangelist Janai Wilson.
Mannix gave a presentation on the workings of his website, and also presented a video interview with an expert in the childhood field, the How Toddlers Thrive author Dr. Tovah P. Klein.
Part-time nanny and Babysitting Barter user Lauren Fitzmartin hopes to find work through the website. Fitzmartin believes that Babysitting Barter will see a great deal of success in the future.
“I think the website is easy to use, and easy to connect with parents and sitters,” she said. “I think it’s easier than other babysitting websites that I have been on.”
Babysitting Barter intends to make it as easy as possible to help parents, babysitters, and businesses to connect with each other, according to Pagado. “We have a board set up of QR codes, and you can go scan the codes and connect with babysitters, villages, and parents,” she said.
These smart phone QR code scanners are intended to make it possible for parents to connect with sitters of their choice almost instantly.
Local businesses Thirty-One, Silpada, and Zumba Fitness had booths set up at the event. These vendors sell goods that cater to the interests of moms and sitters, and they were selling items such as home organizational solutions, bags, and jewelry.
“We had different sitter giveaways and different parent giveaways, as well as goodie bags for everyone,” said Mannix. The prizes were mom- and sitter-related gifts that included Tupperware discounts, book giveaways, dance classes, yoga classes, and gift cards to 16 Handles, and more.
“It’s free promotion for businesses, sitters get an extra incentive, and it helps everybody all around,” said Pagado.
Babysitting Barter intends to reach out to as many people as they can, in order to help build a community.
This article appeared in the Great Neck Record Issue 03.14.14.