Gateway Gazette

An App That Helps Keep Your Kids Safe When You’re Not There

There are literally dozens of apps on the market designed to find and pay for a local babysitter but What To Do With The Kids® has developed an app designed to help that sitter keep the kids safe when the parents aren’t there.  SitterAdvantage™ offers emergency help in the palm of their hands and contains important information about the kids and an easy way to contact the parents at any time.

SitterAdvantage was developed by Brian Presley, a former youth worker, camp program director, stay at home dad and the owner of the parenting website What To Do With The Kids.  The idea for this type of app came to him years after witnessing a tragic drowning while working at a local youth organization.

Although the lifeguards were doing everything they could to save the young boy, other staff were so overwhelmed that they didn’t know what to do or knew much about the boy or how to contact the parents.  This tragedy has stuck with Presley for many years as he’s always wondered if there was something more that could have been done to prepare the staff.

It wasn’t until many years later while working on an app version of What To Do With The Kids for babysitters, nannies and childcare workers to access games, crafts and activities, did Presley recognize the opportunity to add features that could actually help keep the kids busy, happy and safe.

SitterAdvantage is designed to easily enter important information about each kid including any allergies, handicaps and disabilities they may have; as well as any medications they may be taking.  A photo can also be taken and becomes part of the kid’s profile which can be used if the kid goes missing.  The parent’s information is also easily entered which includes: their name, address and contact information so that they can be reached easily.

When the Emergency page is opened the “Call 911” icon appears.  With one touch the phone feature appears with 911 programmed.  Once the sitter is sure there is an emergency then they just select dial to get help.  This fast, two-step process is designed to eliminate the misuse and accidental dialing of emergency services which may result in a fine for the parents.

If the sitter has taken the kids to the park or shopping and an emergency happens, the “Show my Location” icon on the Emergency page uses the smartphone’s GPS to find where they are.

The Emergency page also shows the parent’s address which will help the sitter give the authorities the proper address.  Although the sitter may have been there before, during an emergency, they may panic and not remember the actual address.  Information about each kid appears on the Emergency page as well as the parent’s contact information where they can be reached by text or phone.

One feature that many parents had mentioned was that their sitter may be overwhelmed and forget to do something they were asked to do.  The Task feature allows the sitter to enter a task with a description along with a start and end time if needed.  A reminder can also be set so that there is little chance of an important task not being completed such as the proper bed time or when to give medication.

SitterAdvantage also features a Resource page with tips and advice for the sitter including a potential job checklist, a pre-job checklist and a location checklist for when they arrive to look after the kids.  It also features links to the games, crafts and activity pages of What To Do With The Kids so that they can find a great selection of fun things to do with the kids that don’t involve using a screen.

All of the information entered into SitterAdvantage is safe and is not transmitted.  There is no third-party advertising and no in-app purchases are needed.  Profiles can be permanently deleted with a swipe of a finger.

The What To Do With The Kids website also features a quiz for potential babysitters, free business cards that they can download and advice on how to find a babysitting job.

SitterAdvantage is available on the App Store and Google Play.  It costs less than a cup of coffee and can help make your sitter, nanny or caregiver better and helps keep the kids happy and safe when the parents are not there.

For more information visit www.whattodowiththekids.com and follow us on social media.

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