UrbanSitter logoContributed by Erika, an UrbanSitter babysitter and author of blog, Sunshine & Sparkles.

Albeit a bit strange to some, I choose to babysit for ‘fun’. I see it as a hobby–I love playing with kids and see no harm in making a few extra dollars. Thanks to my dual immersion in San Francisco start-up culture and the babysitting world, I met the founder of and now use UrbanSitter, a child friendly San Francisco start-up.

UrbanSitter is a “linked in” version of babysitting, a way to see who both you and your friends know in the babysitting world. Its aim is to provide a network of sitters so that parents do not have to go to unnecessary lengths to find a trusted someone.

In a culture receptive to and alive with social media, this site has done very well for itself, just having received $1.75 million in funding. Word has spread like wildfire and the site has become extremely user friendly. It is slowly growing its user base which is subsequently increasing its credibility.

I only babysit on occasion, but have still been able to make good use of the site. I find it slightly exciting to be contacted by a random someone, to then meet them for a casual introduction and finally to babysit their children. I spent the past six months babysitting for a family who has since moved back to London–it can be said that we met by chance and with no expectation, but the relationship built and fun had became surprisingly worthwhile.