It seems our December calendars fill up earlier and earlier each year. Not surprising with all the wonderful Holiday events around the Triangle. (Click here for Jenne’s favorites!) And while most Holiday traditions include the kids, many require a babysitter. Thus begins the arduous task of contacting your arsenal of sitters only to learn they too have busy December calendars, or worse, are already booked by another family for the same event. (Even grandparents have lives during the Holidays!) Enter Platinum Sitters, a Raleigh-based sitter service servicing the Triangle. They’re prepared to make your life easier this holiday season.
I was curious about Platinum Sitters ever since reading a Go Ask Mom article in 2016, but had little need to try them outside our network of teenage neighbors and near-by family. When company came into town with a wee little one and we needed a more experienced sitter, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to put them On The List.
Platinum Sitter’s philosophy is “modernizing and simplifying childcare in a complex world,” so let’s examine.
Sign-up: Unlike other sitter services, Platinum Sitters has no membership fee–a HUGE win for families needing occasional or last-minute services. It took me ten minutes to create a family profile and add my two children. This process could take longer depending on the level of detail you choose to provide. Platinum Sitters offers ample opportunities to detail each child’s every need with questions ranging from tantrum triggers, to household cleaning expectations, to screen time habits/rules. My children require few instructions these days, but boy would I have taken full advantage when they were infants/toddlers. You can update your family profile at anytime, and your sitter will have access to this information so she/he arrives informed and ready.
Find Your Sitter: Does it feel bizarre booking a stranger online to watch your children? Absolutely. However, I felt at ease after reading Platinum Sitters strict vetting process, which involves a personal interview, background checks, reference checks, etc. Quite frankly, that is more than I do on my own so why shouldn’t I trust their sitters? You simply enter the date and time needed and all available sitters pop-up. Each sitter has a picture and a profile outlining their credentials and experience so you can choose the best person for your family’s needs.
The Experience: Our first experience was impressive. Our sitter, Myreall, was prompt, energetic, attentive, adaptive to our return time, and left our house in better condition than she found it. She arrived 20 minutes early (at no additional charge) so that we could be on our way at our original start time. Most importantly, my children loved her and asked for her again. We love our usual neighborhood sitters, but Myreall added a professional touch that was above the norm.
I needed a sitter for an event the following week. Myreall was unavailable, but I had another sitter booked within minutes. Oh, the efficiency! The unfortunate happened when our sitter became ill and cancelled several hours before her designated arrival time. Now what? Here is the response I received from Chief Operations Officer, Abigail Schneider, “Regarding our policy/procedure on Sitter Cancellations, our sitters are instructed in the event of emergency or sickness to let us/and the family know with as much notice as possible to increase the odds of Platinum Sitters being able to find a replacement.” The odds were low that particular evening as there were no available replacement sitters, but I was able to figure out a plan B and life went on as planned. After my initial disappointment (and freak out about said Plan B), I came to the conclusion that cancellations happen, and at least I had assistance in trying to find a replacement. I also received outstanding customer service from the Platinum Sitters team after the cancellation.
Note: I have friends using Platinum Sitters all reporting glowing experiences–and zero cancellations.
Is it Expensive? I find babysitting rates to be broad and completely subjective based on the discretion of each family, so I would rank Platinum Sitters as reasonable. Their rates were more than I usually pay, but I also received more from my sitter. I appreciated no money needed to exchange hands at the end of the evening, as I was charged online (credit card fees may apply) and the final fee was prorated to the exact time our sitter was at our home (in 15 minutes increments). In full disclosure, Platinum Sitters does charge a $10 surcharge for bookings made less than 24 hours, as well as a surcharge for calendar holidays- Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, NYE, and New Years Day, etc. You will be alerted of any price changes automatically during the booking process so there are no surprises.
Bottom Line: I will definitely add Platinum Sitters to my babysitter arsenal this Holiday season. In fact, they may be my first line of defense. Oh, and if your chosen date shows no available sitters, check back! Their sitters are always updating their availability.