Most Loudoun households include two working parents and active kids, which makes for a county of busy families.
That’s a market local couple Simon and Caitlin Gillett, who have an energetic toddler and demanding jobs of their own, have tapped into.
In 2014, they opened College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors in McLean, and last fall they opened an Ashburn location. They serve roughly 700 families a year and employ 205 nannies, sitters and tutors.
But their latest push is clearly meeting a big need for Loudoun families. The company recently launched a smart phone app that allows families to book their favorite sitter with as little as three hours notice.
The app, My Sitters, is for Apple or Android devices and posts in real-time each babysitter’s schedule, as well as picture, bio and experience. So far, they have 62 Northern Virginia customers and 205 employees using the app.
Simon Gillett said some families still prefer to call in to College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors to schedule their sitter. But most of their Loudoun families have latched on to the app.
“It compliments what we’ve been doing for a long time, which is building stronger families,” he said, noting that those last three words are the company’s mission statement. “That’s really our goal, is to be there for families when they need help most.”
Leesburg resident Stephanie Marcus, a customer since the local franchise’s beginning, recently logged on to the app to find a sitter for her 9-year-old daughter. She had a meeting at work, so she needed a sitter to pick Shoshana up from school. She scrolled through the available sitters, and clicked on one of her daughter’s favorites.
“I chose Dominique, who we’ve worked with in the past and my daughter loves,” she said. Within an hour, a family will receive a confirmation notification, and a call from the sitter the day before to hammer out the logistics. “It is extremely easy to use, and all the sitters have been great,” Marcus said.
Even without the app, Marcus raves about College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors. Her family is a typical, busy Northern Virginia family. Her husband travels often for work, she commutes to work in Fairfax, and their daughter balances school, drama classes and piano lessons.
“There’s just a lot going on,” Marcus said. “It’s sometimes a huge relief to know that Caitlin is there ready and willing and able with a whole army of great nannies to help when things come up last minute. It’s a real weight off my shoulders.”
The company hires sitters and nannies with experience, and requires them to undergo a training course and get their CPR and First Aid certification. Plus, if they have questions while on the job, Caitlin Gillett or another manager is always on call.
“They have never let us down,” Marcus said. No last-minute cancellations or late arrivals. “To me that’s what really separates College Nannies and Sitters from just using a neighbor or the teenager down the block.”
Gillett said she wished there was a company like hers or a product like My Sitter that connects available and qualified sitters with families when she was a teenager. “I always babysat, but the work came usually through friends or family referrals.”
The company is always looking for experienced babysitters, nannies and tutors, she noted.
Hearkening back to the company’s mission statement, Gillett said the company is designed to care for young people, from infant to college. “We want to be there for busy parents and for students who need that extra help through a tutor. Having that help helps build stronger families.”
College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors is located at 42841 Creek View Plaza, Suite 100, in Ashburn. Learn more about the company, including the cost of various services, at collegenanniesandtutors.com/loudounva.