Meet Katie, a sitter for Helpr
Please briefly introduce yourself!
I grew up in Chicago and have been dancing since I can remember. I started babysitting in high school. It was a great job for me because I could balance it while dancing. I have travelled and lived abroad for dance and during that time I continued to babysit as an extra source of income. I think dance and babysitting have a lot in common because there is a lot of nonverbal communication.
When did you start babysitting with Helpr, and why did you decide it was something you wanted to be apart of?
I started around 9 months ago because I was in New York for a dance-related event. A friend of mine got babysitting jobs with Helpr in New York, and encouraged that I try it. I had babysat through Care.com and wasn’t having luck. With Helpr, I was getting jobs immediately, which was amazing.
Can you tell me a bit about your childcare background?
I have been babysitting for 10 years. The first family I started nannying with was a 6-year-old and 10-year-old, so it was a lot of driving to their events and meal prep. Then I started to work with kids under 2, and it has been something I have really enjoyed. I have had about three long-term nanny jobs with infants and I am always so honored because I have been the first person to be with them aside from their parents. I also teach children’s dance classes which has given me more experience with kids.
What do you like most about being a sitter?
I love being a sitter because the work is so playful and creative. Kids have great imaginations, which makes everything fun. The kids that I work with believe that the little things in life are meaningful. They have such great appreciation for everything, which is always a good reminder for me to apply to my life. I also like that babysitting reminds me to be present. It forces me not to have my phone and I end up enjoying my time much more because I feel connected.
What makes Helpr different from other platforms?
Helpr is different than other platforms I have tried because they truly make you feel like you’re a part of a team. They guarantee that their sitters are screened and high-quality, which is especially important when I’m working in a big city. Parents who use Helpr know right off-the-bat that they’re getting a quality caretaker. I also like that Helpr lets me book jobs via an app, just like Uber. It makes looking for jobs easy because Helpr notifies me when a booking is available and I have the choice to either accept or decline based on my schedule. I have tried other platforms like SitterCity and Care.com, and I didn’t find them as convenient and user friendly as Helpr. I also didn’t have much luck finding jobs because the parents would have to manually choose me, but since all the sitters on Helpr are extensively screened beforehand they trust me to be assigned to any family. It is also great to be working with a company that is led by women!
What is your ‘go-to’ or favorite activity to do with the kids you babysit?
I love to dance and listen to music when I babysit. I love to get the the kids moving through dancing and performing. I also love to play and take the kids outside whenever possible! I think playing games and having picnics outside is so fun and special.
What have you learned about yourself since working alongside children?
I really enjoy the way I operate with children. I feel like I am present and operate from a more grateful and playful state. In “normal life” it’s easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but when I’m around children I don’t want to bring that to the table. From working alongside children, I am learning how to carry this into my outside life. Children are great teachers!
What has been the most rewarding Helpr experience? Can you tell me about a time where you felt like you were really able to help a family in need?
I always feel very rewarded when the child gives you their ‘stamp of approval’. It takes time for the child to start to trust you and when you finally reach that point it's quite rewarding. For example, I babysat two kids for two full days. The first day everyone was unsure and nervous, but by the second day the kids were excited to see me come back. It felt good to earn the kids’ and parents’ trust. This family was also new to the area, so I enjoyed helping them feel more adjusted in the area.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I imagine I will still be dancing and hope I will still be working with kids in some way. It’s crazy to think maybe I will have my own kids by then.