SMU alumna founds babysitting company, looks to hire babysitters
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
When it comes to finding a babysitter, a database of 415 CPR-trained sitters may sound like a lot. However, Sitter Central Dallas, a local babysitting recruitment service, wants more.
“We need sitters right now,” SMU alumna and founder Rachel Logan said.
Sitter Central Dallas is a sitter-finding resource that primarily serves the community near SMU in areas such as Highland Park, Preston Hollow and University Park. Since 2006, Sitter Central’s website, www.sittercentraldallas.com, has provided a platform for families to find babysitters that fit their schedule and price-point. Logan collaborated with Erica Shaw to launch the site, and, years later, Logan now hopes to hire more sitters as the demand for sitters on the website has grown stronger.
The majority of sitters are either SMU alumni, such as Logan, or current SMU students. Katie Tumminello, a senior English major, has worked at Sitter Central since her sophomore year. Tumminello sought employment at the company to earn money part-time and to find babysitting jobs. “It’s really hard to find families on your own,” Tumminello said.
Sitters at the company can commit as few or as many hours as they’d like to work, and as far in advance as they prefer as well. Tumminello said she enjoys the fact that she has the choice to stay home on the weekends when she needs to study.
All of Sitter Central’s babysitters are interviewed in person, receive background checks and are CPR certified. Parents also undergo background checks. To use the website and become members, parents pay a fee of $30 a month. Sitter Central’s babysitters do not have to pay to use the website and can make anywhere ranging from $200 to $1500 a week.
Logan graduated from SMU with a dual degree in business administration and psychology in 2003 and has been babysitting since the age of 12. She had college students in mind when she founded Sitter Central. Logan wanted to devise a win-win situation where parents could find sitters and where sitters could work on their terms.
Sitter Central is primarily targeted toward parents near the SMU area so that the majority of its sitters, who are SMU students, do not have to travel far for jobs.
The company’s name is not only found in Dallas. Logan sold franchise rights of the company to Timothy Carrell, an SMU alumnus, for use in Miami.
Laura McCoy, mother of 7-year-old twin girls, has been a member for two and a half years and typically uses the website three or four times a month.
She has had emergencies with a babysitter hours before an event or encountering a last minute need to go out, but the service was able to find replacement sitters within a few hours.
“They could probably do it quicker if they had to,” McCoy said.
Martha Jackson, mother of a 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, was one of Sitter Central Dallas’ first customers.
Jackson’s favorite part of website is its search capabilities. The site offers the ability for parents to specify dates, times and preferred hourly rates to help narrow choices down.
“I can now decide in the afternoon that I want to go out that evening,” Jackson said.