What started as a group project in an Emory entrepreneurial class has become Atlanta newest babysitting resource. With a user-friendly app and a network of students from Emory, Georgia Tech, Agnes Scott, Oglethorpe, and Spellman, Usit—for University Sitters—makes finding a babysitter a breeze. And, there’s no membership or subscription fee. Instead, parents pay a flat 9% rate each time they complete a job and make payment through the app. It’s that easy.

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How It Works

Parents download the app and complete a preliminary questionnaire, providing name, address, children’s names, and payment information. When a parent posts a babysitting job, they specify date, time, which children need care, and offered rate. Sitters in the network are able to apply to the job through the app, making a bio and prior sitting experience visible to parents. Parents then select a sitter, confirm the job (all through the app), and wait for the magic to happen. Payment information is already stored in the app but isn’t used until a babysitting job is booked and completed, and the fee is automatically calculated based on the agreed-upon rate and hours worked (all tracked by the app), plus the additional 9% user fee. Following a job, parents rate the sitter (ratings are visible to future parent employers), and the sitter rates the experience (also available to future sitters).

Whoa, That’s Cool

When a job has been booked, parents are able to geo-locate their sitters beginning 20 minutes prior to the start of the job and then track them until the job is completed—perfect for babysitting jobs that might require pick-ups of drop-offs. Parents also have the ability to FaceTime and text with sitters at any point during the job, all through the app.

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A Little Background

Originally started as the brainchild of roommates whose sorority babysitting list was a prime source of college income (oh, but don’t we love college sorority babysitting lists, Atlanta?), the two saw the need for a more user-friendly platform to create, apply for, pay for, and rate a job. Fast forward two years, note an Emory entrepreneurial course in the mix, mentorship by business professors and grad students, and a well-planned technology partnership, and voila! You’ve got Usit, which debuted in Atlanta early 2017.

Whoa, Even Cooler

While 75% of all sitters in the Usit network are Emory students, the news is traveling quickly. However, to be a verified Usitter, each student must be a student of good standing at their Atlanta university (verified by Usit), and is given the option to complete a third-party background check. Sitters who have completed the background check are noted by a blue circle around their names when they apply to a job, so parents can easily discern who has and has not undergone the check. Parents can also see how many jobs each applicant has completed through Usit, and what his or her rating is.

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Getting Specific

Perhaps you need a sitter several days a week for a standing job. Perhaps you’re looking for someone with reliable transportation to drive the kiddos to practices and pick up from playdates. Whatever your special need, you’re able to specify it in a comments section of the job profile that you create. Sitters who are unable to meet your need won’t apply.

Whoa, Just Whoa

On average, job posts get a response rate of 7-11 applicants. So how do you choose? Since each sitter has been rated by previous families, you could start by checking out their ratings, or by eliminating anyone from the applicant pool who hasn’t undergone an official background check. Otherwise, you are able to scan the applicant’s bio—including an image, year in school, major, and relevant childcare experience—and then decide. Referrals are also often available from families who’ve previously employed each sitter.

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How to Get It

Since the concept of on-demand babysitting is steeped in real-time needs and rapid response, downloading the Usit app to your smart phone is the most important step on your way to babysitter nirvana. For more information, visit the website, or check out the Usit Facebook page.

How do you find sitters in Atlanta? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey