Virtual babysitting helping families take a break

Posted at 6:51 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 06:54:46-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — "Parents are stressed, kids are stressed. We all need these little breaks."

You can now take little breaks, thanks to a virtual babysitter via FaceTime or Zoom call.

"The babysitters are trained, they know what is age-appropriate and they know what is fun," Stephanie Africk, founder of SitterStream said. "They have the session planned out before it happens"

SitterStream is an on-demand virtual babysitting service. Africk is a mother of four from Massachusetts. She took her years of experience of hiring nannies, babysitters, and other helpers to create this platform just a month ago.

Africk says she's already received hundreds of applications. Her staff includes babysitters from a wide range of backgrounds – from teachers and scientists to college students.

Every babysitter must be verified and Africk says, her team is the one to assign a family a sitter, not a computer. She says there are weekly training sessions for sitters to brainstorm activities and talk about different practices.

"We have so many things that the babysitters are trained to do," Africk said. "We have moments where we have a child on the floor doing yoga, and then we play Simon says or create the alphabet with their bodies."

SitterStream charges $15 for a half-hour session and $22 for an hour.

The idea is growing. Other sites offering similar services include Sittercity and The Babysitting Club.

As for sitter-stream, Africk says her service is here to stay, because even when this pandemic is over, mom and dad will always need a little break.

You can apply to be a sitter here or hire one for anytime you need it.