Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The K. Grace Experience: Flexible, Convenient Babysitting in Chicago -- Part One


The truth is that I don't actually get out all that much. Most days, I am quite happy to just hang out at home tending to the needs of the little people in my life. But sometimes Mommy needs to get some work done -- or have a night out with Daddy -- or get my hair highlighted. You know, the "stuff" that all moms sometimes need to do.

But I absolutely cannot focus on my work or enjoy my "personal time" unless I am confident that my kiddos are in the care of a competent and kind caregiver. And as all of you parents out there know, finding competent and kind caregivers is not always an easy thing to do.

I have some regular sitters that I can rely on and trust. However, these babysitters each have their own busy lives -- full of other commitments. It is not unusual for me to reach out to three or four different potential babysitters before I find someone -- particularly during the day time hours. I have also had situations where I just haven't been able to find a sitter so I ended up canceling or rescheduling my plans.

Let's just say this -- finding consistent, reliable, quality childcare has not been an easy thing for me. And I have often wondered why this process can sometimes be so complicated and time-consuming.

Recently, my search for quality babysitting in the city led me to K. Grace Childcare. Maybe you've never heard of this company -- but I bet that you are exactly the type of family that would benefit from their services. K. Grace Childcare primarily offers part-time babysitting that fits into any family's ever-changing schedules (hey, like us!). That unique feature is why this service has been a perfect fit for my family.

K. Grace Childcare specializes in providing Chicago families with professional childcare services whenever they need it -- whether it be a one-time evening request or a reoccurring weekly time slot. Basically, when you need a top-notch babysitter, all you have to do is let K. Grace know and they will find you a sitter who is beyond qualified for the job.

So that means you don't have to email or call your entire list of available sitters to find someone for next Tuesday afternoon. As a client of K. Grace, you simply make a request for a sitter (ideally more than 48 hours in advance but they can work with less). K. Grace then selects from a "team" of sitters who they have already determined to be good matches for your family (based on both their extensive screening process and your completed application).

This sitter will show up at your house on time, take wonderful care of your kiddos, and allow you the piece of mind to get done whatever it is you need to take care of. It's pretty fantastic. This flexible service is perfect for such a range of circumstances -- everything from changing work schedules to days off of school or activities that conflict with a baby's nap schedule.

For example, on a Wednesday afternoon in late January, I volunteered to help out with my daughter's girl scout meeting so I needed someone to stay with my four-and-two year-old boys. I had booked a sitter weeks ago, but she had a change in her school schedule and had to cancel. I reached out to K. Grace and they sent a wonderful babysitter named Bailey over to our house. She kept my little guys entertained, successfully managed a somewhat complicated schedule of kiddie drop-offs and pick-ups and even dealt with a throw up incident. Most importantly, my boys loved her.

Does this service sound like something that might make your life a little bit easier? Want to try it out? K. Grace is offering a Chicago family the chance to experience their placement process for free (a $40 value). The winner will have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a client at K. Grace (note that, in order to provide the best level of service to their clients, certain geographic limitations apply and the winner is responsible for compensating the babysitter for her/his time).

There are two ways you can enter to win: (1) leave a comment on this post (be sure to include your contact info so we can reach you if you win!) and (2) Become a fan of K. Grace Childcare on Facebook. So 2 total entries per person. All entries must be received by midnight (CST) on Monday, February 7, 2011.

And if you don't win this week, come back on Tuesday, February 8th for the next installment in this four-part series on finding flexible and convenient childcare in Chicago.

Next Tuesday, we will be talking more about exactly how the K. Grace Childcare process works from both a provider and client standpoint -- plus, you'll have another chance to win a free placement from K. Grace!

Disclosure: I am working with K. Grace to help spread the word about their services and I am being compensated for my time.

21 comments:

Tiaras said...

I used to have a wonderful babysitter for my children - then she up and graduated from college and got a real job. I have yet to find a replacement. Would love to try Grace out!

tiarastantrums@gmail.com

Tiaras said...

I Liked Grace on FB

Teresa TiarasTantrums

Megan Murray Elsener said...

Sounds like a great service. Finding babysitters is always a dilemma, so it would be great to try something new.

laurelo said...

Sounds like something I could really use! Thanks for the information. I liked this on Facebook too.

Laurel Ofstein
ofsteinl@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I know several families who use K Grace, and I've heard AMAZING things about them! I don't live in the city, but the next time I'm in town & need a sitter, they will be my first call!

- Mommy of 2

Anonymous said...

We have used K Grace for months, with great success. Reliable, professional, and kid-focused sitters. Brooke Millar (my contact info on file w agency)

katherine said...

pick me, pick me! i love k.grace & am a fan on facebook. we'd love to have some time out while not worrying about our little one. only in the hands of a k. grace caretaker!! katherine, bbtoyz@sbcglobal.net

melissa said...

Everything about K Grace is professional and well done. When we moved to Old Irving from Lincoln Park, we had a hard time finding babysitters that were over 18...and (at the time) with a 3 boys ages 4 and under, I wasn't comfortable with a middle or high school sitter.
We love the K Grace sitters, the boys ask for our "regulars" over and over. And the staff is easy to work with and accommodating.
We have never been disappointed! I HIGHLY recommend them.

Lindsay said...

I have used K Grace as my "back up" for months! I can't recommend it enough. My kids have LOVED every sitter that has come to our house.

Lisa Hanneman said...

Timing of this could not be more perfect. We are on a major part-time nanny/reliable sitter hunt! Sounds like a great service.

lisabaumrucker@gmail.com

Lisa Hanneman said...

... And I liked on Facebook.

Ranya said...

My regular nanny's flight was cancelled coming back from Christmas break so here I was stuck with no-one to care for my daughter on the Monday after Christmas. I called the K-Grace after-hours number and in a couple of hours got confirmation that a babysitter would be showing up at my door at 730 the very next morning (about 12 hrs later). She did and was great. The other babysitters that I've used through K-Grace have been excellent as well. This is a great service to have for the regular outings but especially as emergency backup!

Meghan Murray said...

This is great! I liked K. Grace on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

I've been using K. Grace for about 7 months and now have a team of sitters I can rely upon for my 1 year old. I have a regular sitter once a week and then additional backups as needed. I highly recommend K. Grace! - KGChicago

Emily said...

K Grace sounds amazing, I'd love to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

K. Grace is great, but you get what you pay for, maybe if they lowered rates they wouldn't have to spend so much on advertising.

Kayme Pumphrey said...

Thanks to everyone for their support and interest in K. Grace! This is the first post in a series about K Grace, so come back on Tuesday, February 8, for more information and another chance to win a free placement!

I wanted to follow up on the anonymous comment about service costs. I understand your assumption, however expenses directly related to customer service comprise an overwhelming percentage of our operating budget. Such expenses include the quality of the K Grace staff, the high level of screening that we do to ensure quality childcare, the proprietary online system for clients and sitters, and our after-hours services. The growth of K Grace has consistently been through referrals, and any advertising is largely through our friends and partnership networks. We firmly believe, and current and previous clients can confirm, that you do get what you pay for. After all, what is more important than our kiddos!

Tammy said...

We definitely need this!

tsmiller23@msn.com

Jennifer said...

Well said Caitlin. We have used K. Grace a number of times as well and have been thrilled with every one of the sitters. They have always come through for us, even at the last minute. This is a great service.

Julie said...

We have always been very happy with our k grace sitters...punctual, professional and my sons love them.

EMC said...

K Grace will work with you till you find the perfect sitter! I LOVE this company!! They make it so easy to find a reliable sitter.