For the last 15 years, Rachel Charlupski’s The Babysitting Company has provided babysitting services for thousands of clients in a handful of cities in the United States and Canada.
The founder of an international babysitting business began her love of watching children during her Junior Congregation days at Congregation Shaarey Zedek.
“I’m a part of a big intergenerational (CSZ) family,” said Rachel Charlupski, founder of The Babysitting Company. “I remember when my big cousins would watch me and my friends at Junior Congregation. When I was older, I did the same for other little children. Then I started babysitting for kids in the neighborhood.”
That passion has grown. For the last 15 years, The Babysitting Company has provided babysitting services for thousands of clients in a handful of cities in the United States and Canada. Prior to the pandemic, according to media reports, the company pulled in seven-figure revenues.
Though Charlupski would not disclose how COVID has affected her business’s bottom line, she and her three other full-time employees have noticed changes to the kinds of babysitting services clients request. There are fewer last-minute calls for social plans, but households with two working parents may call for last-minute work Zooms, and there are still urgent requests where families need a sitter for children at home while having a baby. The company began its virtual program, which is also seeing an uptick in requests, and expanded its existing tutoring services, as many of their contracted workers are certified teachers.
Charlupski was studying journalism and Jewish studies at Arizona State University in Phoenix and imagined a career as a teacher back at Hillel Community Day School, where she received her Jewish education.
She began working for a string of hotels near campus that needed sitter services for out-of-town guests. Visitors traveling with small children needed babysitting for nights on the town or attending events. She landed friends babysitting jobs at the hotel as well.
“I never imagined I’d have a business in babysitting, and only when I was in college did I discover there was such a need for the placement of qualified and reliable babysitting services,” said Charlupski, who now splits her time between Los Angeles and Detroit.
Now, The Babysitting Company has a network of more than 1,200 screened and certified sitters in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto. In pre-COVID times, it partnered with hotel chains and resorts to create kid-clubs and professional athletic clubs to watch the children of athletes and staff during games.
While many babysitters come to families by way of word of mouth, Charlupski said hiring a sitter through her company means clients are getting someone who has had a background check, is insured and comes with multiple verified references. This is especially reassuring for travelers who need a babysitter when traveling away from home, she said.
As parents now grapple with balancing work obligations with the possibility that their children will not be able to return to in-person schooling, Charlupski said her clients’ needs are changing. Her company is screening qualified teachers who can teach children in small “pods” in private homes or tutor virtually for older kids who need an extra boost of support.
Additionally, if a client does request in-person babysitting, Charlupski said her company is following strict CDC guidelines so her sitters and the families they work for are as safe as possible.
Though the needs for babysitting are shifting, Charlupski remains optimistic during a tough economy.
“After all, I started this business during a recession,” she said. “I’m kind of used to doing things in difficult times. Childcare is such a sensitive occupation, and we have always been excessive and had high standards about taking health precautions. This is now extended to ensuring our sitter, the children and all in the household are feeling well. We want to provide the safest experience for everyone.”
For more information on services and rates, visit www.thebabysittingcompany.com.