Who Better Than a Mom (or Dad) to Care for Your Kids?

Call Emmy launches new features to match parents who need care with parents who can help provide it.

DENVER, Colorado — Call Emmy, the on-demand app that connects parents with high-quality local babysitters and nannies nationwide, announced today the launch of a new feature that lets parents book babysitters and nannies who are parents too. 

Throughout the pandemic, parents across the country have been tackling the child care shortage by swapping care. A stay-at-home mom (or dad) agrees to take care of another family of kids, allowing the parent(s) in that family to go to work outside the home. 

The logic is simple: The stay-at-home parent gets employment while the working parents get great care for their kids. 

The problem is, most of these arrangements are made through Facebook groups, email lists or other informal channels. Neither the care providers nor the care recipients are background checked or vetted, so the arrangement lacks even the basic safety protections. And payment has to be made in cash, making it hard to keep records for employer reimbursement or to claim dependent or child care tax credits.

“When a friend recently discovered their nanny had a criminal record for prostitution,” said one parent, “we knew we needed a better system of background checks.”

Call Emmy’s new features help parents make these connections safely and conveniently. Using Call Emmy, when a parent books a sitter they are now given the choice to open their booking to sitters who would bring their own children on the engagement. 

“My son is an only child,” said one Call Emmy user. “I love the idea of him having some social interaction with other kids his age.”

Sitters on Call Emmy always provide care in the family’s home, not the sitter’s home. Studies have shown that care provided in the provider’s own home — especially when they are not a licensed home day care provider — can be dangerous. From dangerous property features to hygiene issues, these dangers may not be obvious when parents initially visit the sitter’s home. To avoid these risks, Call Emmy sitters come to the family’s home, where the booking family has control over the environment and their children are comfortable and aware of their surroundings.

By helping stay-at-home parents get compensated for work they are already doing, Call Emmy’s CEO and founder, Arezou Zarafshan, hopes the new “mom-matching” feature will bring more high-quality babysitters and nannies onto the Call Emmy platform.

“We’re always looking for ways to help connect people who are amazing at providing child care with the families who need them,” said Oertle. “I’m so excited to expand that to include stay-at-home parents.”

Oertle, a mother of two and former attorney, expects that the child care crisis already wreaking havoc on the labor market will only get worse this fall, as more people start to reenter the workforce.

“One of the main things preventing parents — especially women — from getting back to work is the lack of available child care,” she said. “We want to be part of solving that problem.”

Parents, whether they’re interested in signing up as sitters on Call Emmy or are looking for care (or both!), have plenty of choices. Call Emmy has iOS and Android mobile apps, and also a web app that can be used on any device. Call Emmy is free for both parents and sitters to join.

“Our crowning achievement is our background checking and vetting process,” said Oertle. 

As part of their onboarding process, Call Emmy runs a full background check on each sitter on the platform, checking criminal records from the national level all the way down to the county level in every place a sitter has lived. They also test for other things, including a skills test to show that sitters know what they’re doing, and a behavioral profiling test to make sure sitters have the right personality to take care of other people’s children.

“When it comes to child care,” said Oertle, “safety is the most important thing. Period.”

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