Urban Sitter Overview and Bad Urban Sitter Sighting!!

UrbanSitter Overview

I haven't seen anyone on this blog write about the new-ish childcare platform UrbanSitter. I have just really began using it, so I thought i might write about my experiences.

I currently work 25 hours a week after school for a family I really like and enjoy that I found off SitterCity, They treat me great, the pay is good, but I live in NYC and the holidays are coming up, so who doesn't need extra money.

There isn't much demand for only morning sitters, unless the child is sick which I avoid like the plague. But they have an option for one-time sitters. A little about this--- This blog used to write about Craigslist add horror stories, but this site does some things that really make doing a one time sitting job for someone you don't know less scary. As a caregiver I can see how much they've used the site, how many nannies they've hired, how many have been repeat caregivers and the caregivers can even review the parents in terms of the child care experience, how safe they felt etc which is something I wish SitterCity and Care.com would offer.

Also people I have sat for can review me, leaving 1-5 star reviews or even written reviews. You can also invite previous employers to write notes of recommendation on the site, which is great because if you're just looking at one time jobs, I would hate to constantly be bothering previous families constantly for one-time jobs. So like, I feel like it helps parents and sitters both feel safe providing one time work for people you have never met before.

I've done about 7 jobs on the site now, and its been mostly very positive. I only 5 star reviews and glowing feedback
There was only one job that really bothered me. It was very last minute and he was only offering $13 an hour whereas my normal rate is between 20-25. Quite frankly I needed extra money for the holidays so I negotiated it up to 15. But when I got to the home I found out two things that I feel I was purposely not informed about.

Bad UrbanSittter Experience

1. The family was going to a party and the kid (10) I was watching was in trouble and his punishment was to stay here with me, and I was encouraged to talk to him about his bad behavior while making sure he didn't sure any of his tv/tablet privileges that had been taken away.

2. It has become very clear that the kid had a very severe case of ADHD (don't get mad at me for assuming the obvious-- at one point he blurted out he had to go to a special school because of it)

Between him being upset about being punished and his ADHD he was a very difficult child. I had to give him CONSTANT SUPERVISION--- which I know everyone is going to say is my job, and yes I agree it is. But when I am watching a 10 year old I expect to be able to spend 2 minutes going to the bathroom without coming back to him turning on all the gas burners on the stove for fun...as one example of the reckless and impulsive things this kid did that night.
This whole experience really rubbed me the wrong way. I feel that the parents should be obligated to inform caregivers about these kinds of things for the welfare of their own children. Not all caretakers are up to the task, some are just not equipped-- the parents we're lucky that I was. Also, quite frankly I would have charged more- not a ton more, but certainly my normal rate.

I understand there is a conflict here. I am not a parent, and I understand that they might not want to disclose this kind of information for privacy or simply being afraid people wouldn't want to babysit their child, or GASP having to pay more. I am sure having a kid with ADHD is hard enough without having to pay more than you can probably afford to have someone watch him, but I feel I was taken advantage of lured over there by not provided the info that I should have been

Another issue I have is with leaving the punishment of your child up to a one-time babysitter. I can certainly understand a part-time or full time sitter being in charge of discipline, but for a one time sitter I think he the only discipline I should be responsible for is reflective of the behavior when I am there. Hiring someone to punish your child so you can go to a party is passing the buck and shitty parenting in my opinion.

I have had a lot of good experiences on UrbanSittter and met great families, great kids, made a little extra money, but I really considered this experience bad more because of the parents communication that their child's dangerous behavior in their home. When UrbanSitter contacted me about leaving a review I said as much.

I just feel bad because despite the child being very difficult I do think he was a nice and caring kid who really did like me. When I left he hugged me and said he hoped I would watch him again soon, and that definitely not going to happen. I just hope this parents realize its worth telling caretakers about their children's behavioral issues, pay them what they deserve, in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children.

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