We’ve all had those moments when we thought we’d be on time to be with our kids but haven’t. Traffic, a chatty colleague, delayed flight, a work meeting that ran late, or an extra-long line at the grocery store can cause us to be late getting home, to school, or day care to pick up our kids and result in a texting frenzy to secure coverage. But what do you do when your neighbor isn’t home, the mom friend you always rely on has to take her child to an after school class, or your spouse is stuck at work?
Meet Chime by SitterCity
Chime is an on-demand babysitting service for parents in Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, New York City and surrounding urban areas. I like to call it the Uber for babysitters because you can use the free service (no subscription or hidden fees!) to book trusted sitters who can be where you need them to be in 30 minutes.
Founded by Genevieve Theirs who also founded SitterCity 15 years ago, Chime directly connects urban parents with top sitters near them. The sitters are hand-picked from the top 1% of SitterCity’s national database. Sitters are highly rated, get glowing reviews from families that they’ve worked with, and have undergone extensive reference and background checks as well as child safety and social media screens. Every Chime sitter has been met in-person to ensure that they’re the kind of sitters company employees would want their own kids to spend time with!
Most parents book their sitters further in advance, and Chime can accommodate requests for any future date. Parents have the greatest access to their favorite sitters when they request childcare as early as possible. However, parents in a pinch can request a sitter to arrive within 30 minutes if they book between the hours of 10AM – 10PM EST.
How Chime Works
Parents select favorites after watching video profiles and reading reviews by fellow parents. Then choose a date and book your sitter- or an interview- instantly through the website or app.
With Chime, 95% of the sitters who come up are available, preventing the frustration of finding one and having them not be available. Plus booking is a sitter is immediate!
Once your sitting is complete, payment is automatically processed by credit card (no cash required!). Sitters are paid a flat hourly rate based on the average cost of babysitting in your area which, in the DC Metro Area is $15/hour. There is no cost for cancellation or transportation and since Chime is subscription-free, there are never any hidden charges.
Special Offer for DC Metro Readers!
From now until Labor Day, Chime has teamed up with Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) to offer DC Metro area parents a night out without their kids. Choose from nearly 20 of NRG’s award-winning restaurants and bars throughout DC and Northern Virginia for your date night or girls’ night out and get 4 hours of free babysitting from Chime. Visit hellochime.com and enter code “NRG” to receive 4 hours of babysitting credits ($60 value).
But Won’t Chime Put My Favorite Neighborhood Babysitter Out of Business?
No. As a mom of a 12 ½ year old who just became Safe Sitter certified and loves babysitting for kids in the neighborhood, I’m not worried about Chime affecting her business because the honest truth is that Emily isn’t always free. As a middle schooler with limited hours that she can babysit, she’s not free to answer on-demand calls from the families she babysits for. Maybe eventually she can become a SitterCity sitter and bubble to the top 1% and get babysitting gigs through Chime but for now, she simply doesn’t have the capacity to serve as an on-demand sitter.
Interview with Chime & SitterCity Founder, Genevieve Theirs
During her trip to Washington, D.C. to share the partnership between Chime and NRG, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chime and SitterCity founder, Genevieve Thiers. As a working mom with twin 4 year old boys, she understands the need for adult time.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer DC parents a respite with the help of Chime so they can reconnect with their partner, loved ones, or their friends,” Genevieve said. See what else we talked about during our Facebook Live interview here!
I was compensated for my Facebook Live interview with Genevieve of Chime and SitterCity but was not obligated to write this post. Images courtesy of Chime.