Synapse Sitters provides real solutions and opportunities to underserved and under recognized markets. Specifically families of children with special needs and those qualified to care for them.
In 2016, Marie Maher’s 3 year old son was diagnosed with autism. Also at that time she founded and was running an online babysitting network (Lullaby Sitters) that served the Indianapolis area. After her son’s diagnosis, her needs for a sitter drastically changed. She needed someone that understood his behaviors but also knew he was still a child. She quickly realized that she couldn’t use the very network of 500+ sitters she had spent 2 years growing. She tried to look elsewhere and found that there was no national online childcare network that was DEDICATED to the special needs community. So Maher decided to create it.
Mid 2017 Maher decided to pivot and become Synapse Sitters and focus on recruiting a very specific type of sitter and serving families in the special needs community. Synapse Sitters requires and verifies each sitter member have either education or employment within human services. This gives families a better pool of sitters to begin connecting with and hiring. By setting this requirement and focusing only on children with developmental disabilities, parents do not have to worry or stress about their child’s diagnosis being a deterrent to finding a sitter. Parents also have the peace of mind that their child is with someone that understands and knows how to address any behaviors or concerns while they are away.
Synapse Sitters also provides opportunities for those that want to continue helping within the special needs community. By highlighting the education, employment, and training the sitters have obtained, sitters can ask for and receive a higher hourly rate versus a “typical sitter”. Synapse Sitters is also looking to bridge the gap between families, DSPs, and service providers. The beta test for this is currently happening.
Synapse Sitters is currently a web based app with plans to develop a mobile app to aid in becoming a nationwide resource.