Look, we have all been there:
- It’s 7:00 a.m. You wake up to a sick child and can’t send him to school. But you have an important meeting at 9:00 a.m. that you can’t miss. What do you do?
- It’s 2:00 p.m. Your kids are at max whine level, and you need to go to the store. Alone. What do you do?
- It’s 5:00 p.m. You want a date night or a night out with the girls, but you do not have a sitter booked ahead of time. What do you do?
Wyndy was created to solve these very issues. We have come a long way since the days of phone books and landlines. Today we can have a ride, groceries, or sushi delivered to us at the touch of a button. Why can’t the same be done for babysitters?
Recently, I had the opportunity to ask the founders of Wyndy a few questions. I have been using Wyndy for almost three years and have no reservations about the quality of the sitters. If you have not heard of Wyndy or have been skeptical of using Wyndy, this may answer a few of your questions.
Tell us about the faces behind Wyndy.
We are Ginger and Tommy Mayfield, the founders of Wyndy and the parents of two daughters, now aged six and eight. We met in college at Vanderbilt University and later spent three years in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Tommy attended law school at the University of Virginia. In 2009, we moved back to Birmingham, Tommy’s hometown, and started a family.
How would you describe what Wyndy is to someone who has never heard of it?
Wyndy is a mobile app that makes it simple for parents to find, book, and pay vetted, background-checked college babysitters.
How do I use Wyndy?
It’s easy. Download the app and set up your profile. Be sure to connect with your friends on the app via our Parent Connections feature to see the Wyndys they’ve used and the ratings they’ve given them. When you create a job, you’ll select the date and time and be able to provide additional job details. You can then post the job to Wyndy’s Job Board and sitters will express interest.
You can review the sitters’ profiles, decide which ones you’d like to receive your job offer, and the app will automate the process of contacting the sitters in the order you select. Once a sitter accepts your offer, you and the sitter can contact one another as needed prior to the job’s start time. When the sitter arrives, she will use an in-app timer to time the job. When the job is complete, you can add a bonus if you’d like (100% of bonuses go directly to the sitters) and pay with a tap of a button. No more math, writing checks, or heading to the ATM after a late date night.
How far in advance do I have to book a sitter?
Parents posting a job receive interest from one or more sitters on average within two minutes, and a significant percentage of our jobs are created, booked, and completed on the same day. We have Wyndy jobs that occur at all times of day, and we see parents using Wyndy for much more than the typical weekend date night. Some parents who work from home hire Wyndys to keep the kids while they work upstairs. Others ask Wyndys to pick their kids up from activities or take them to the zoo or a play date. We recently had a mom who successfully booked a last-minute job because she had gone into labor unexpectedly and needed someone to keep an eye on her older child while she went to the hospital!
In short–Wyndy is more than just a date-night babysitting app–it serves as an extension of the parent. It enables parents to get more done by providing them with a convenient and reliable source of trusted childcare.
How did you get the idea for Wyndy?
Wyndy was born from a desire to solve a problem that we faced as parents. I, Tommy, was working long hours as an attorney at a large corporate firm, Ginger was getting her master’s degree at night, and we had two daughters under the age of five. We needed lots of babysitting help, but finding trustworthy and reliable childcare was extremely difficult. Like millions of other parents, we found ourselves using the same technology that parents had been using for more than a decade, which was basically no technology. We’d meet a handful of sitters through offline relationships, add their numbers to our phones, and then send what seemed like hundreds of text messages to book one. We’d then have to stop by the ATM late at night or scrounge for the checkbook to pay the sitter.
It occurred to us that we were living in a world where apps like Lyft and Shipt made it possible to get a ride or have our groceries delivered at the tap of a button. Why wasn’t there an app that could make it just as easy to find, book, and pay trusted babysitters? We set out to harness the power of modern technology to transform the way parents find reliable childcare by connecting them with a community of vetted, background-checked college babysitters.
Technology is something that some parents may shy away from when it comes to kids. How do you ensure that a parent can trust to leave their child with someone from your app?
As parents ourselves, we recognized that, for Wyndy to succeed, we had to build a platform that parents could trust when looking for child care. We’ve gone about engendering trust among parents in three key ways.
First, we’ve started with a trusted segment of the population: full-time college or graduate students at top-tier local universities. Second, we’ve done the initial vetting for parents: each prospective Wyndy must undergo a thorough application process and clear a background check before gaining access to the platform. Third, we’ve created trust-building tools within the app that allow parents to further screen sitters using personal connections and other information relevant to their family’s unique wants and needs. For example, parents can connect with their friends on Wyndy to see the sitters their friends have used, how many times they’ve used them, and the ratings they’ve given them. We’ve also built filters that allow parents to quickly find sitters who meet their particular preferences. For instance, if a parent is really interested in a nursing major at a particular school who’s involved in a particular campus activity, the parent can click three buttons and see all the sitters who fit that profile and offer jobs directly to those students.
Where is the Wyndy service currently available, and do you have plans to expand?
Wyndy is currently available in Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Mobile, Chattanooga, Tuscaloosa, and Charlottesville. We’ll be launching in Oxford, Mississippi, in the near future and will continue expanding to new markets this fall.
As we grow, our priority is to continue to meet or exceed parents’ expectations and provide all of our parent users with trustworthy, reliable, and convenient access to childcare. Similarly, we want to ensure that Wyndys in our new markets gain the same benefits from the platform as those in our existing markets–a viable but flexible part-time income, a way to connect with great families while in college, and the ability to build a living résumé that will benefit them after graduation.