Parents that have been working from home for the last couple of months know the following all too well: children require a lot of time, patience, and care.
The cost and access to qualified and personable childcare professionals meant families were struggling to understand who they could trust with their childcare and where to turn with questions.
This is how Hassanatou Barry found her niche and created her platform as The Babysitter Guru. Her work revolves around providing parent consultations, advising other childcare professionals on best practices, and speaking at conferences and expos about the childcare industry. She was recently named as the Director of Parent-Sitter relations at MySitter LLC where she educates sitters and parents alike.
Tasked with the responsibility of paying her senior dues in high school, Hassanatou originally sought out babysitting to cover school costs. She maintained her one-woman business while attending college in New York, and quickly built bonds with both the children under her care and their parents. WIth seven years of experience and safety certifications, Hassanatou has a wealth of knowledge to share through The Babysitter Guru.
Last year, Hassanatou launched the Babysitter Guru and the business evolved into a resource for both babysitters and parents. Hassanatou saw how parents became intimidated as they tried to identify the best care for their children and create resources for parents, including a “day in the life” video that follows her as she gets ready before she visits families.
While speaking with parents is a primary objective for The Babysitter Guru, the site is also a resource for sitters. Through consultations and coaching Hassanatou shares with other childcare professionals the best practices for dealing with families, communicating with parents and children, and negotiating pay.
When we asked Hassanatou to share some of her biggest learnings, she had a lot of wisdom to share. First and foremost, “remember that anything is possible. Once you’ve identified a problem, you can create and provide the solution.” In this instance, Hassanatou was able to identify the ways in which the childcare industry is evolving. Some children need care but without a reliable resource, parents were keeping the childcare within the home, stretching themselves thin to balance demanding work and a growing household. “Right now, parents are working-from-home and can see what it means to be with their kids all the time." Hassanatou shares. "People are beginning to truly understand it does take a village to raise a child.”
To that end, Hassanatou has advice for aspiring entrepreneurs that are looking to create their own business. “Create a village – a village of supporters, family, and friends to support your vision. You need the advice and encouragement of your community. Everything is easier when you have your tribe to reassure you and what you’re doing.” For Hassanatou, her village is primarily comprised of family and fellow babysitters and nannies that share the love of caring for children. Hassanatou identifies her “why” as this – changing the childcare industry one caregiver at a time and promoting the mental, physical, and emotional wellness of babysitters and nannies.
To many, a babysitter is someone from the neighborhood who stops in to watch the kids when parents step out for a few hours. However, the care and intellectual engagement of a child requires a patient, thoughtful, and dedicated individual. This is the business built by Hassanatou Barry.