Muses & Visionaries magazine No5

Page 38

Making WAVES

Rachel Charlupski

Mary Poppins at Your Service By Jodi Belden

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ou’re finally on your dream vacation with your kids, unwinding from the stresses of work, and you wish you had that one thing you had to leave at home: the babysitter. Many parents hesitate to use childcare services while on vacation because they’re unsure whether the service is reputable or has the proper credentials to operate. Enter Rachel Charlupski to swoop in and save the day. Charlupski is the founder of The Babysitting Company, a one-stop full service childcare operation that offers solutions to problems that traveling parents didn’t even know they had. With 14 years of industry experience under her belt, Charlupski manages 1,500 independent childcare contractors who are available 24-hours a day in 14 cities, including London, New York City, Sydney and even Jerusalem. Her employees range in age from 19 to 70, speak numerous languages and must be American citizens. Charlupski knows that each family has its preferences for caregivers, so her contractors represent an array of personalities. Parents have a choice of a male or female, who must provide references, complete strict training and demonstrate five years of experience. The business idea started when Charlupski was at Arizona State University and needed to supplement her student salary. She would pop into the local hotels to see if anyone needed a babysitter for the evening. Over time she started to have more requests than nights in the week and asked friends to help her cover the workload. Local clients became national clients when they traveled back home, and

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soon her services were in demand all over the country. After six years of growing the business in Phoenix, she moved to Miami in 2009 to be closer to her family and set up headquarters on Collins Avenue. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but South Florida became my best move. The business exploded here,” says Charlupski. Charlupski doesn’t do outreach to find sitters; hopefuls come to her through word-of-mouth referrals and go through a tough screening process, followed by a mandatory 10 hours of training that includes first aid and CPR certification. Veteran sitters accompany trainees on their first assignment. The company is very sensitive to the needs of its high-profile clients and requires its babysitters to sign confidentiality agreements and use the utmost discretion. “Families fall in love with our sitters and request the same girl or guy over and over, every time they come to a particular city,” boasts Charlupski. She even talks about a time a sitter was hired for one night and ended up staying for two weeks because she was the perfect fit for the family. Charlupski loves what she does. She still answers most incoming calls and has worked very hard to make The Babysitting Company a welcome luxury for parents. They don’t have to second-guess the safety or quality of her services. Charlupski hopes to be able to use her sitters for a family of her own one day. Although not yet married or a mother, Charlupski says, “My work has been my main focus up until now, but a husband and kids have always been on the agenda.” ■


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