SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Maura Kolkmeyer couldn’t have known that one day a baby-sitting idea could launch into something bigger.
Seton Student Sitters launched Feb. 12 to help parents with children between infancy and 12 years old find a baby-sitter. Since the website launched it has been growing, adding clients and students every day.
Kolkmeyer is originally from Dallas and moved around a lot. She said she first got the idea for Seton Student Sitters when she was a student at Seton Hall University. Kolkmeyer graduated from Seton Hall in December 2012 with a bachelor of science degree in diplomacy and international relations.
“During the course of my degree I baby-sat for a lot of families that usually fit my schedule, paid well and of course in doing that, a lot of families kept asking me if I knew of anyone else,” Kolkmeyer said.
She said Seton Student Sitters has mostly female students looking for baby-sitting jobs. The website is for all college students who are looking for a job in the Newark and South Orange areas.
“I figured with so many middle schools around and so many families looking for babysitters and college students looking for work, there was a demand, there was a need for both parties,” Kolkmeyer said.
Students register on the website and put in their class schedules, as well their college major, phone number, email address, their availability and their child care experience. There is no cost for students to register.
The process is similar for families except that the profile describes the children and the times that the children will need a baby-sitter. The families then pick from students profiles. A partial profile is just the name of the student and her or his qualifications. A full profile, which is $5, comes with all of the information for the student.
Families have the option to search for student profiles themselves or to have Seton Student Sitters find a match for them. Matches are emailed to the family within 48 hours.
“I have had the idea for a few years now, but I finally had the time to execute it,” Kolkmeyer said.
The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.