UrbanSitter Platform Basics for Sitters

Learn how UrbanSitter works, tips for landing your first job, and how to maximize your opportunities on the site!

Read on, then take an optional short quiz afterward.

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How Parents Use Urbansitter 

Parents can either post a job or search by specific date and time to find sitters.  To boost your chances of getting a job, you should apply to job postings and make sure that you have availability on your calendar so that you show up in search results.

How to land your first job, as shared with us from busy sitters on UrbanSitter 

1. Apply to lots of jobs! 

💚 Applying to jobs is easy. You simply click “Express Interest” on the Job Board, answer a parent’s screening questions (if they added any) and send an optional personal introduction message. 

💚 Answer screening questions if a parent includes them.  Many parents will automatically screen you out if you don’t answer their questions.

💚 Add a personal message. Stand out amongst other sitters by adding a personal introduction message when you apply.

💚 Stay optimistic! Getting the first job is the hardest. Often sitters need to apply to dozens of jobs their first month before landing one. Once you land a job, you are automatically connected to that parent’s network and your second and third jobs should come much faster.

2. Make your profile stand out.

💚 Add a video. Many parents only hire sitters with videos.  Some show the videos to their kids, so they know who is coming to babysit and will be excited to meet you!

💚 Complete all sections of your profile, even the optional ones.  While only a few fields are required for profile approval, many parents search based on ages of kids you’re willing to babysit, languages spoken, special experience with children, willingness to drive children or help with extra tasks.  If you have not filled in these sections of your profile you won’t show up in as many searches!

💚 Get reviews from families you’ve worked for in the past or those who can speak to your professionalism, previous experience, and personality.

💚 Review average rates in your areaSitters often land jobs faster when they start with slightly lower than average rates.  You can always raise your rates as you land jobs and reviews.

💚 Purchase a background check.  When you clear a background check, a badge will be displayed on your profile for up to 3 years. It’s a great way to build trust with parents.

3. Add availability to your Calendar and update your Job Seeking Status.

💚 Your Job Seeking Status on your profile lets parents know the type of jobs you’re looking for (full-time, part-time, or occasional) and when you’re generally available.

💚 If you’re looking for occasional babysitting jobs, it is critical that you add availability to your Calendar to be featured in parent search results.

• Parents search by date and time, so if you don’t have availability on your calendar, you won’t show up in their search results.

• Working one-time babysitting jobs is a fantastic way to get reviews and build up your reputation on UrbanSitter, even if your goal is to land a part-time or full-time job!

4. Download the UrbanSitter app (iOS or Android)

💚 Check the Job Board any time, anywhere and be the first to apply to jobs.

💚 Reply to messages and booking requests from parents quickly to earn a “replies within an hour” badge.

Reliability Expectations 

On UrbanSitter, both parents and sitters expect each other to follow through on every accepted booking – jobs AND interviews. 

UrbanSitter reserves the right to hide or deactivate your profile at any time.  Depending on circumstances, your profile can be reinstated. Reasons our Member Services team might hide your profile:

1. Reliability concerns (read the full Reliability Policy here).

• No-showing for an interview or job

• Canceling a job within 24 hours

• Negotiating the terms of a booking after accepting.  (It’s always okay to decline a booking if it’s not the right fit!)

2. Violations of our Community Guidelines and Terms of ServiceOur team reviews concerns on a case-by-case basis.

Payment 

1. Parents choose to pay you via cash or credit card.

💰 You must have direct deposit on your account to accept credit card payments.  Many parents only book sitters who accept credit cards.

💰 Direct deposits take up to 3-5 business days after a job to process and land in your account.

💰 Please do not ask parents to change the payment method. Many parents prefer the easy of paying through the system and often specifically choose sitters who accept credit cards over those who don’t. Negotiating the payment method after accepting a booking is a Reliability concern.

Member Behavior Expectations 

 

Do !

Don’t

Keep your calendar up to date.

Don’t decline jobs because you forgot to update your calendar. This is very frustrating for parents and could affect your placement in search results!

Keep your Job Seeking Status up to date.

Don’t say you’re interested in part- or full-time work if you’re really not.

Answer all messages, interview requests and job requests.  

Don’t ghost parents! Leaving messages and requests unanswered will hurt your Sitter Stats and reputation. (Note: Declining jobs is always better than leaving messages and booking requests unanswered.  If there are parents you don’t want to work for, you can “hide” them so they can not request bookings from you.)

Only accept jobs that are right for you. Decline jobs that are not the right fit (it won’t hurt your rankings!)

Negotiating booking terms or rates after accepting a job is not allowed.

*View the Sitters Stats on your Dashboard to see how you are doing.

What Parents Are Looking For In A Great Babysitter! 

We surveyed 1,000 parents to describe their ideal sitter and here’s what they love.

💚 Top 10 Things Parents Love 💚

1Engage the kids and have fun! Limit phone use and screen time, according to the parent’s guidelines/instructions

2. Clean up the kitchen when you feed kids and tidy up toys you played with. Rule of thumb: leave the house in the same (or better!) condition than when you arrived.

3. Text updates or cute pictures, but please ask whether or not it’s okay to take pictures of the kids first!

4. Stick to the bedtime routine and schedule. Every family is different, so they appreciate when you follow their instructions/family rules!

5. Reconfirm the job the night before or morning of for peace of mind.  Also, text when you’re on your way!

6. Arrive 5 minutes early. Definitely don’t be late!

7. Ask about the routine, house rules, and allergies when you arrive.

8. Offer to take off shoes and wash your hands when you arrive.

9. Give a quick recap of your time with the kids and don’t linger when it’s time to leave.

10. Bonus: Go above and beyond.

“My favorite sitter always leaves little notes for the kids to read in the morning.”

“My favorite sitter comes with a craft.”

“My favorite sitter asks if there’s anything around the house that she can do after the kids go to bed.”

💚 Sitter Brittney M says “Be creative and find what makes you unique – and be the best sitter you can be.” 

Now take the quiz!