Thursday, November 12, 2015

An App for Booking Babysitters

            Although it is something we are not used to, there is a new way of booking babysitters today–through a mobile application called Chime. The company that created this app called SitterCity promises a, “special rigor,” (Bromwich) concerning which babysitters they hire.
            While reading the article, I found a few points to be rather interesting. First, I liked how much time and effort they put into deciding which babysitter to hire and make available on Chime. Vice President of Operations Andrew Conrad stated that they do an in-person interview, a video profile, and later on parents are able to rate and write reviews on the babysitter. It gives other parents a sense of security.
            A second point I found to be rather interesting was how the article mentioned that parents may feel a bit uneasy about booking a babysitter over a mobile app. If I needed to hire a babysitter, I would do it the old-school way and want to meet that person face to face, not just read reviews and hope for the best. These uneasy, skeptical parents (like I would be), may drive Chime’s sales and profits down, but honestly, who can blame them? I like the idea of booking a babysitter with a couple of taps, but I want to personally know the person that is watching my child.
            Another point I found to be interesting was when the article mentioned that, “Chime is strongly reminiscent of a homegrown service, the Barnard Babysitting Agency, which dates back to 1965” (Bromwich). This agency chose babysitters among women who attended the Barnard School in New York City. Reading this made me realize how far technology has come in the past years. In the late 1960s and on, people would either call or attend the agency to find a babysitter, but now with a couple of taps on their mobile device, they have a babysitter for the night. Although I may feel skeptical about booking someone I do not know, this application makes it very quick and easy.
            Although article was very informative about the app, there were a few things I feel as though it left out. First, how does the company find these babysitters? Or do the babysitters put themselves out there? It sounds like a simple question, but I am not sure. A second thing I wonder is how much money was spent creating the app. I remember in class we discussed things such as buying storage space during the development of an application, and I would like to know what their costs were. A third thing I would have liked to know that the article left out is where I will be able to use this app–basically, can it find babysitters wherever I am? For example, if I am in Fargo, ND and I am in need of a babysitter for the night, will the app let me search in that random area? 

Below is a link to their website:

Works Cited:
BROMWICH, JONAH. "An App for Booking Babysitters." The New York Times 6 Nov. 2015: n. pag.
            Web. 9 Nov. 2015. 


  1. The first thing that definitely comes to mind is that this is be something that I could see being either heavily regulated or banned all together by the government at some point in the future. Recently in California, Proposition F, although voted down, would have placed heavy regulations on AirBnB, which although based on temporary housing, has a similar business model. Even the popular Uber has had to deal with the politics of cab unions and threats of being banned in major cities like New York. I side with skeptical parents that actually getting to know someone needs to be done in person. However, if this were to really take off, I could see this majorly benefiting younger people and parents alike. Many high school or college aged people who are looking to make a little extra money look to babysitting, but can have a tough time entering into the market. By applying for Chime, students, and really anyone looking for work, can get their name out easier instead of the traditional hanging flyers and hoping someone calls. Contrary to my belief, I will also admit that there are those who may feel comfortable knowing that the people registered for this app have been looked into. It is still tough to say if majority will lean one way or the other, but if this app can survive this qualm some may hold, I can see this taking off. It would be like Craig's list, but solely for babysitting. I also feel that this app would need to be location based that way if parents want to go out on a vacation or if they have recently moved, they can easily search their new location. The only other issue I would like to see is if Chime would have any policy on if their employees can work from home. I would not feel comfortable if someone I did not know was caring for my child in a location or home I knew nothing about.

  2. Seeing as I'm not a parent (as far as I know), I can only speak on the experience of how my parents hired babysitters for my brothers and I. Usually it was a family friend or neighbor who would come look after us. Traditionally it is a difficult market to get a foot in because these are people's children we're talking about and parents want to have some sort of relationship with this person. I think a stigma exists against male sitters that is not the case for female sitters. However, I agree that this app would be a good place to start and build a reputation no matter what gender you are. As far as the location technology goes, simple GPS. I want to know if the company behind the app has had any problems as far as technology goes, like a failure in the app that may for example tell a family they have a sitter coming but no one shows up, or if there have been any legal cases against the company for any reason.

  3. The babysitting industry is one that has been around forever. Anyone with kids knows the struggle of finding a babysitter on short notice, and chime could revolutionize this entire industry. The one glaring concern with this app is the security issue, the issue of hiring a babysitter to watch your kids over an app, and to trust them with your entire house. The author of this blog post did a great job of talking about how the app addresses this concern. As they point out: “in-person interview, a video profile, and later on parents are able to rate and write reviews on the babysitter.” This peer review system and the baby sitter selection process seem very sound, but not entirely foolproof. Unfortunately this is an app I feel wont be that successful with the current parental generation, but instead will have to wait for our generation to mature a little. Uber underwent much of the same scrutiny when they first came out, but they are now growing exponentially, but not with the older generation. As people become more accustomed to this app I feel it will become the new norm and skyrocket in popularity. You will now be able to see all available baby sitters near you at a moments notice, and have to ability to review all of them and view what others have said. The excuse “I couldn’t find a sitter” could become entirely irrelevant. The only major drawback I can see from this app is that there is a lot of unknown in bring an unknown person into your home and asking them to watch your kids. Even with all the reviews in the world, some bad people will still be able to get their way onto the app and exploit it. As this app grows in popularity I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple bad stories comes from it, and it is something Chime needs to be thinking about constantly. Overall I think this is an amazing app with an enormous amount of potential to change how we think about babysitting all together.

  4. Being a babysitter myself, I found this article extremely interesting in showing how the industry is changing with the advancements of technology. It is a product of the company SitterCity, which is an established online babysitting service. There is no doubt that a mobile app can revolutionize hiring a sitter because of how dependent society is on their smartphones. However, Chime definitely has some competition with other babysitting companies who have transitioned onto the internet. One site that I am a subscriber to is, which has grown to be a very popular company which allows both parents and sitters to create profiles. has created their own app and allows sitters to apply to potential jobs and for parents to email potential sitters back and forth before establishing a time to meet. Chime seems to be an app where parents just scroll through a list of approved sitters in their area and they just click on the one they think best suits their family’s needs.
    In the article it mentioned that mother’s who tested the beta version were already users of SitterCity, which is similar to While Chime conducts the interviews for the parents, these sites allow the parents to set up interviews themselves in order to get to know who will be watching their child. Personally, although it may provide parents with peace of mind that the individual had extension background checks and interviews with Chime, they will not personally know the person watching their children. I think something to consider in the future of Chime would be to allow video calling through the app for the parents with the potential sitter.
    Another innovative feature Chime provides is mobile payment. As a babysitter myself, the end of the night can get a little awkward when determining how much the parents owe for your services. Mobile payment makes things easy and convenient with a set rate and no cash needing to exchange hands. Each party has their information preloaded on the app and the money is transferred accordingly.
    Although an app is a phenomenal idea for parents to search for sitters, I think the way Chime is trying to influence their users in choosing their sitters raises a lot of security concerns for the children. Parents should feel at ease with who they leave their children with and even though Chime is attempting to do that with their extension interviewing and background checks, but they should work a little harder to provide a connection between the parents and sitters so they can really determine the perfect fit.

  5. Along with some of the other concerns mentioned in this forum, I have some as well. The main problem I see with this app it how it will profit. This is largely due to the fact that this app is just one amongst many popular apps out there to find babysitters. Demand is quite high for this service. As long as people continue to have children, there is going to be a need for babysitters. Therefore, there is an active potential market for the users of this app. The only problem is, it is just one of many apps that already exist. Some competitors include, Urbansitter, Sittercity, Sittingaround, and Karoo and that is just to name a few. In fact, all a person needs to do is type in babysitter into the App Store search bar and these services are all available at the click of a button. Take for example. As a user, I am quite familiar with the services it provides. Like Chime promises, it allows the option for background checks, and also CPR certification links, videos of the sitter claiming why he or she would be a good potential sitter, direct contact between parent and babysitter with the option to meet in person, and a questionnaire to fill out to try and match the needs of both parties. spends a great deal of advertising on social media, TV, radio commercials, and Pandora. Therefore, as a user, I am much more likely to use that app, one that I know about and feel many other people do as well, increasing the options of potential employers for me. For this reason, I feel that the competition of Chime is currently preventing it from growing and become as successful as those that are doing better advertising. Unless Chime were to add another aspect that helps make it stand out better amongst the list of many babysitting apps, I do not fell it will earn enough profit.

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  7. Although this app creates convenience for parents to find a babysitter, I believe babysitting is not a task that convenience plays a major role in. I am just putting myself in the shoes of a parent when I hear about this app. Even though the app screens the potential babysitters, I would not be comfortable leaving my child with a person that I do not know. I would do it the traditional way and get a babysitter that I personally know or get a babysitter that was recommended by someone that I deeply trust. I feel as if today everyone is trying to create apps to be so convenient even if convenience does not play a major role, and this is the perfect example of that. Parents live vicariously through their children, I hope they would not just allow a stranger that was screened by an app babysit their child. Also, what happens if the app has an issue and a babysitter doesn’t show up? This creates a huge problem. I just feel like the traditional way to find a babysitter is the way to go, getting a babysitter through an app almost feels wrong.

  8. I can see multiple reasons for the creation of this app. Convenience is one of them although a very insignificant reason. It would cut time in finding a babysitter if a family did not already have a regular babysitter. In addition, people today are very busy and it can be hard to locate a person who wants to watch a kid or kids for a few hours. Although these problems might exist, I would personally never use this app. When I was a kid, my brothers and I were watched by a bunch of family friends. There was never a situation where it was really a challenge to find someone. We would also just go to friend's houses while our parents were out so they didn't even need to find anyone. I also agree with concerns about profits they have been mentioned previously. I have never heard of this app and I assume a lot of other people haven't either. As a parent, I would rather just pay my friend's teenager to watch my kids than pay some stranger to do it. Ultimately, I would prefer to have a family friend who I know watch my kids rather than a stranger, even if they have had a background check.

  9. I can see this app being popular further down the road in the near future. It offers a great service to parents who are in need of a child care provider. The Mobil app is great and adds convenience to the parents who at the touch of a button can hire one of these people. Though with this being said I can see some major flags with this app already that need to be further explained/ test. My first major concern would be safety for the children. What kinds of background checks are done on these “babysitters”, do they have a record? Any previous experience caring for children? Would they know what to do in life threating situations? These are the first questions that are going to cause a loss of potential clients. My second concern for this app is that for the Caregivers who are signup to work for this app are being regulated legally with their wages, filling out a tax return sheet and pay taxes on their earnings. Current many full time “nannies” or childcare provides are working under the books tax-free. I am curious if this new app will cut into this market, and if they are successful how will they go about regulating the wages.


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