sitEinander

I babysit for you. You babysit for me

SitEinander is an organization that aims to make the life of parents and their children easier by helping them to connect with other families in their neighborhood and giving them the digital tools to simply exchange free babysitting with their trusted support-network.

Project Details

Project

Social problem

"It takes a village to raise a child” is an old proverb that emphasizes the importance of a community interacting with children to experience and grow in a safe environment. In Germany there are about eight million families with children, most of them not in a village community, but in an anonymous big city, away from the grandparents and mostly with a small social support network. With trends such as the increasing employment of mothers, the flexibility and mobility demand of the labor market and the growing number of single-parent households new and more complex challenges arise for the young generation of parents. Everyday things like e.g. buying groceries alone, taking a spontaneous doctor appointment or just getting a little bit of “me time” becomes a challenge or a rare luxury when having small children. Studies show that nowadays half of all families suffer from feeling stressed, tired, rushed and being short on time

Project

Problems that parents face when searching a private childcare Because of the above-mentioned problem, the demand for care services is increasing. When searching a private childcare, parents currently must face 4 problems:

Time: Especially when it comes to spontaneous, unpredictable need of a babysitter, e.g. if the existing babysitter isn’t available, it is not easy to find new trusted caregiver. Other family members and friends often need to be called one by one.

Trust: For families who don’t have a sufficient support network a babysitter is often the only solution. Finding a reliable trustworthy babysitter, especially on short-notice is often difficult.

Cost: On average, parents pay 10 € / hour for a babysitter in Germany, additional fees are added for the service when using babysitting agencies and online platforms. Many young families can’t afford the prize for the babysitting service.

Feeling of guilt: Due to the pressure to meet all expectations - and to reconcile everything - especially modern parents (in most cases women) often suffer from feelings of guilt. If they leave their child with someone else, they often feel guilty about the child. But also asking friends for a favor makes them feel uncomfortable. The feeling of guilt is the main reason that keeps parents from asking friends and neighbors for help.

The lack of access to sufficient flexible and affordable childcare can have a serious impact on the ability of parents to work, study and progress their careers. It also contributes to family stress. When parents suffer, children suffer too and so does society as a result.

Project

Solution

With our organization SitEinander we want to take advantage of today's technical progress and bring the "village", that it takes to raise a child, to our cities with the help of digital tools.

To do so we organize local network-events, create online opportunities to find and search for other families, help with advices and tips related to child care and our most important service: we develop an SitEinander Babysitting- Exchange-App. The app allows parents to discover other families and family-groups in the neighborhood very easily to extend and strengthen their support network. Furthermore, they can create their individual babysitting network in the app with families they know and trust in real life to exchange free babysitting. A cash-free currency called “sitPoints” within this app ensures a fair exchange and creates a win-win situation.

That’s how the SitEinander App works for the families:
1. Parents register and make a profile for themselves and their kids.
2. They invite friends (with kids) they know and trust.
3. They post a babysitting request when they need help.
4. The friends who have time and want to earn sitPoints accept the request. The parents choose the most convenient offer.
5. One parent can enjoy free time and the other one feels good for helping their friend and earn sitPoints. And on top of that: the kids win as well, because they get playdates with other children.

That’s how the point system works: each user starts with 10 points. The app automatically calculates the number of points depending on how the request was setup. 1 point = 1 hour of babysitting. There are additional bonus points depending on the number of children, time of day or the location of the sit.

With our app parents not only have the option to create and answer requests, they can also announce their availability on the app to their friends, so they know that they are willing and able to sit and they can earn sitPoints. Another feature parents have through the app is to announce playdates and activities. Their friends can join these events, parents can take care of the kids together and the kids – again – have other children to play with.

USP and Innovation

The concept of babysitting groups and circles in which families help each other has been around for generations. Especially in America and England exist so-called “Babysitting Coops” where members “pay” each other for the babysitting services with points (“coupons” and “tokens”) instead of money. Keeping track of everyone’s points and sending out requests to all the members of the group can be very time-consuming. SitEinander not only brings the idea of parent’s circles helping each other to Germany but also digitalizes the idea and thus makes finding a sitter easier, faster, guilt-free and only with parents who trust each other – all for free-. Everybody wins and the best thing about it: even the kids have fun because they get play dates with other kids.

Moreover, sitEinander finally includes a target group, which has so far been ignored from the market of private childcare: low-income families. SitEinander helps to make babysitting not a privilege anymore but accessible to all families.