Tuesday, March 25, 2014

M&B's Babysitting Club Part 3

Ok, I have figured some of the things out from my last post. First being, we decided to change the name slightly, so we won't have copyright issues. M&B's Babysitting Club has arrived. There were a lot of ideas to process, and normally I wouldn't have started, due to being overwhelmed with the idea of what this could become. It has helped that I have had the opportunity to not only talk with families that would hire a babysitter, but I have also been able to talk to the mom’s of the babysitters themselves. It has been a very intriguing process, and a challenge to know how to care for both sides. 

So far I have been dealing with both families I already know and girls I know and trust. I am starting to see this grow, and am being very cautious with it. I don’t want to make a bad recommendation, and have it blow up in my face. I am already seeing that there are guidelines I want in place to help everyone use their best judgment in specific cases.

 Anyways, here are some of the decisions I made about the club itself, after deliberation and input. I will address each thought that I had in my last post, so you can see what I decided on each one:

 1) Application Process: I did a very vague application process with the girls I am using as of right now, because I know and trust each of them. However, I have asked them to feel free to invite friends to the club, and with these gals I will be putting them through a more thorough application, which will include a place to put references (I will post the application when it is finished).

 2) Introductions of the girls: I am still unsure how I am going to introduce each girl to the parent group, but will come up with that soon. I originally wanted to do a video with their mom’s introducing them, but that could get very time consuming, so I’m thinking about a way to allow them to put together some kind of a profile that I could keep in my Dropbox, which I could send out to parents as needed.

 3) Facebook Group: I did set up a separate Facebook group, where the girls can get information, ask questions, and just get overall communication from me. I am also glad I set this up, because last night in our first meeting, we were unable to cover everything, this way I can include additional training throughout the month, and I can post videos I would like them to watch, such as the Super Nanny Time Out Technique, etc.

 4) I am switching 4 & 5: 5) Monthly Meetings: I am definitely doing monthly meetings. In fact, I did my first one last night, and it was a blast!! This will be my typical format for it: a. Time for the girls to share babysitting stories b. Teaching about monthly topic c. Activity d. Questions & Comments time It is my goal to provide an environment where the girls can share with one another, get input, care, mentorship from older and more experienced girls, as well as receive continual training so they are on the cutting edge of the babysitting world.

 5) 4) Logistics: I created tiers of babysitters, because every girl is different in their babysitting experience, and with what they are comfortable with. This is good for both sides; it doesn’t put the babysitter in a position that she doesn’t know how to handle, and families can be assured that they get the best babysitter for the job with the best rates. I think I will probably put a tier rating on the babysitting jobs themselves as well, so the girls can accept a job, and know that this job requires a lesser rate. I will have to relook at that. In fact, I may completely change it to just a job rating system, and know which girls can handle which situations.

The process for hiring will be: I get the request for a babysitter, I send out a text to all qualified girls, they answer back as quickly as possible with their availability, I call the available babysitter with details to make sure the job is a good fit, then I call parent for same reason, and give parent the girl's phone number. They deal with it from there.

 6) Dues: The girls are paying monthly dues. But I am keeping it very cost effective, just having it pay for the cost of material in buying craft kit items, and refreshments. Obviously, the price for the CPR class will be a bit more, but I will be trying to keep that within reason as well.

There you have it. I can't wait to tell you how I have moved forward. I will try to get to it ASAP, but I have been busy actually implementing what I am talking about, so I haven't been as consistent with writing about it :-)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Babysitter's Club Part 2

Well, we made our official announcement; the Babysitter’s Club is a go!! We’ll have to come up with a name for it, so we’re not getting hit with any kind of copyright infringement.

We are starting from the ground up, so make sure to stay tuned to see how we build it. I have yet to figure out all the nuts and bolts of how we are going to run our babysitter’s club, but I definitely have some ideas.

First, we started with a series of videos that my daughter and I made both for the families and the babysitters. Here is the first one. I also have a form I created specifically with the Family Information, which you can see here, so that babysitters have as much information as possible, hopefully insuring a successful babysitting job, and the kids staying safe in their care. Some thoughts I have:

1) Have an application for both the families and the babysitters. Nothing too crazy, just so that we have as much info as possible. We’re keeping this to our local area, so for the most part, we’ll be dealing with people we know already.

2) Introduce each new babysitter with a video introduction. I think having the girl’s mom introduce her would be really cool. Something I really want to do is show that these girls are kids too, so that hopefully parents that are looking for babysitters can hopefully realize that this could one day be their little girl.

3) I will probably set up a separate page for the girls, where they can get information about our once/month meeting, post questions, concerns, etc, but I will have all the girls and perhaps even their moms in the parent group.

4) Logistics: I think I will have parents put their requests on the parent group page, and then I will send that off to the girls’ page, where they can respond if they are available. I am still trying to decide if this should be a first come, first serve scenario, but I will have to see how that goes.

5) Monthly meetings: I am contemplating having monthly dues to help cover materials. I want to create a monthly craft, offer training, I am even looking to set-up a CPR class for the girls (this would be at a separate cost though), and probably even mentorship through this meeting time. The only way I can think to cover those costs is to have monthly dues.

6) I am also contemplating a monthly dues or subscription for the parents. I haven’t decided here though. I know I am offering a very important service, and I could keep the fee very low, but I’m not sure that I want to take it that way for now. I suppose if I start doing more, and it grows, I may need to. I guess we’ll see.

Anyways, like I said, I don’t have everything figured out yet. I will cross that bridge when I get there.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Babysitter's Club Part 1

Here is a video to go with my blog post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl_74tXmfww

I am feeling quite nostalgic right now. I remember reading the Babysitter’s Club books and thinking how smart, organized and fun those girls were; wishing that I could start my own club like that. Well, I finally get to do it.

This stemmed from a need; the ability to feel comfortable referring a babysitter to a family, and vice versa, feeling equally comfortable with recommending a family to a babysitter. Now that I have the babysitter, and am not just looking for one for my own children, it has brought a completely different side of the coin to light. I don’t want to refer anyone, on either side-babysitter or family without knowing that it is going to be a good situation. There’s just too much at stake!!

So, I am going to keep this pretty simple. I will let you guys know how I’m going to run it soon. But I do know a couple of things that me and B are going to do: 1) We’re going to plan a once a month meeting with training, crafts that they can do with kids, and a chance to talk with their friends specifically about what did and didn’t work; 2) B and I are going to do a video series both to families and to babysitters with information and tips for both sides.

I am sharing this, to communicate what we are doing with B’s clients, so they can feel very comfortable with whom I refer, but also for my viewers. Perhaps you can start one as well. If you have noticed that there is a need in your area, this could be a great outreach and opportunity for fellowship and networking. Whether you have a teenager in your life you are trying to help, or you have children you need a good list of babysitters for, this could be a great option for either scenario.

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