For most parents getting the right babysitter or nanny, and personally vetting them thoroughly before trusting them to look after your kids, is something you do face-to-face, and it seems Meet-a-Sitter has done that successfully with its so-called speed-dating events.
Meet-A-Sitter was originally launched in response to founder Mei Koon’s need for a more effective and affordable way to find childcare options for her son when she was first looking to return to work. ``Like many others, we lacked family support, couldn’t afford high agency fees and were on multiple daycare waiting lists. More importantly, we just didn’t have the time to spend reviewing CVs online and setting up one-on-one interviews.”
That’s when Koon transferred the speed-dating concept to the childcare scenario, and according to Koon, since then her team has interviewed more than 1400 nanny and babysitter candidates and has helped more than 700 families from across Sydney and Melbourne find carers for their children via live matchmaking events.
“We understand how busy parents are, that’s why they seek us out in the first place,’’ Koon says, but she also explains that the virtual initiative has come about after receiving feedback that “many parents were in a ‘catch 22’ situation.” “They needed a carer for their children, but had no one to care for them while they came to our events.”
So, Koon announced the launch of Meet-a-Sitter’s online service using Skype virtual attendance which she says “seemed like a natural solution.”
Acknowledging that meeting carers face-to-face will always be the most effective option for parents, Koon says, however, that for those without that choice, Meet-a-Sitter has used wifi technology “to enable parents to virtually attend our events and fully participate as if they were there.” “They can interview all the same candidates in the room and over an hour, they meet a number of locally matched carers and finish with a portfolio of resumes they can follow up with later.
“We are passionate about being part of a happy working relationship for families and candidates, knowing in the end, it’s the children that win out of these successful matches. With a 98-100% success rate and so many happy matches made, it’s a concept that we know works,” Koon concludes.