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The SitterTree web app was developed by Oglethorpe graduate Jody Stephenson. The service connects parents with coordinators who recruit, screen and manage a community of sitters. Pictured is a SitterTree sitter with a client.

A local business is connecting children, parents and caretakers by modernizing the babysitter request and scheduling process.

SitterTree is a web app which connects parents with coordinators who recruit, screen and manage a community of sitters and the work of scheduling and interviewing to find the right candidate. Users also get access to a personal online dashboard to allow for requesting sitters and changing requests at any hour.

Although there are more than 600 sitters who work for SitterTree today, the company had much smaller beginnings at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven, when company founder Jody Stephenson was a student who saw a need in her community.

“While I was a student at Oglethorpe University, I’d see flyers requesting babysitters and I accumulated more babysitting jobs than I could actually work, so I recruited other students,” said Stephenson, who lives in Atlanta's Berkley Park community. “Families would call into my landline phone in my dorm room and then I would share those jobs with others students. At one point about 10 percent of students on the campus were getting babysitting jobs.”

In 2013, Stephenson expanded her idea by creating a business and the demand has not slowed down since that time. SitterTree will reach the 20,000 job mark this month and sitters will make about $1 million in babysitter wages this year.

SitterTree coordinators fill 99 percent of all sitter requests using the most rigorous interviewing and vetting process in the industry. “They do everything and more a mom would do when searching for a sitter, which is why they only approve one in five applicants, and which is why their sitters currently average 97 percent 5-star ratings from Atlanta moms,” said Bre Taylor, a SitterTree team member who started as a sitter with the company and completed an internship program before being hired on full time.

Currently SitterTree has sitters working from Oglethorpe, Kennesaw State University, Spelman College, Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, and Georgia State University and plans to expand in the future to the University of Georgia in Athens. The company also plans to launch a native app next year.

For more information, visit www.sittertree.com.

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