What’s In Store

By Katherine Peralta
The Charlotte Observer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Stephanie Keefer is set to launch her on-demand babysitter service called “PlatnumSitters.” Keefer, who lives in Charlotte worked with a friend in Silicon Valley to develop an algorithm to pair local sitters with families in need of child care.

The Charlotte Observer

A new service coming soon to Charlotte is what you might get if you combined Uber, Tinder and the Babysitter’s Club.

The on-demand service is called PlatinumSitters, and it’s set to launch in Charlotte within coming weeks.

It’s the brainchild of Stephanie Keefer, a former financial analyst turned stay-at-home-mom and entrepreneur who first introduced the idea in Raleigh last June.

Keefer said the idea for the child-care service came about five years ago, when she was still new to town and was looking for a babysitter. “As a mom of two, I had just moved into the Raleigh area my husband traveled all the time. I was like, how am I going to find a sitter?”

At the same time, Keefer described a technology transformation, or the “uberization of society,” meaning people are more often turning to on-demand services such as Uber. So she worked with a friend in Silicon Valley to develop an algorithm to pair local sitters with families in need of child care.

Here’s how it works: Prospective babysitters sign up for free on PlatinumSitters’s website and undergo a background check and an hour-long face-to-face interview with a local manager. Care givers must be at least 18 years old, have at least three years of experience and have access to a car, Keefer said.

Sitters can input their preferences — such as caring for more than one child, transporting children and watching very active kids. Families include their own specifications, too — such as how many children they have and the kind of schedules their kids maintain.

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