Childcare Website Extends Reach To Essex Parents

A Brighter Mile, which began in Hoboken, works to bring together parents and school-board certified child care providers.

Katie Walsh is the Montclair representative for the newly expanded Brighter Mile website. Contributed photo.
Katie Walsh is the Montclair representative for the newly expanded Brighter Mile website. Contributed photo.
Last year, Allison Bartels launched a website to create a network between Hoboken-area parents and babysitters approved by the school board.

The success of the site grew exponentially, and now she is expanding her service to parents in the Montclair area.

A Brighter Mile screens potential sitters before listing them online. Sitters must be licensed to work within the state school system, and care providers range from  local teachers, school psychologists, social workers, speech therapists, and occupational therapists.

“I was really trying to provide parents with the best people to watch their children,” Bartels said in an interview last year. “If you can’t watch your children or your parents can’t do it or someone in your family, who’s the next best candidate? The people that spend eight hours a day with kids.”

Parents may filter their searches to fit their child's specific needs. Certified care providers can be filtered in ways such as education level, special education background and CPR/Epi-Pen certifications.

“What the teachers find is that, ‘Hey, I can go on one site that really appreciates my qualifications and my degree,’” Bartels said. “The only other options for the teachers are to go on a site that anybody else can go on — someone who just has babysitting experience, for instance. And there’s a difference between someone who has really invested their life in education and someone who just has babysitting experience.”

Parents are invited to preview the site before joining to see if there's someone available who is best suited for their child.

Bartels hopes to continue expansion throughout the New York Metro area by finding care providers who are willing to travel nearby for their clients.

A Brighter Mile offers monthly memberships at $26, half-year at $114 and yearly at $180.


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