The bee’s knees of Arcadia babysitting
In a community with a large family population and innumerable college students, providing a one-stop babysitting shop seemed like a practical business move. Noticing this opportunity, longtime Arcadia resident Amanda Belinger launched a locally run babysitting business, which allows parents to book sitters who come with references and past childcare experience.
Amanda’s goal was to connect families of the Valley with sitters and “develop a network to strengthen the local community through childhood services.”
Since launching in May 2014, Busy Bees Babysitting has gone from servicing roughly 40 families to over 400.
“We knew in the beginning that [BBB] was something that would grow quickly, but the growth that we have seen on both the family as well as the sitter side has been more than we imagined,” said Amanda.
At age 13, Amanda first developed her skills as a sitter when her parents came home with her baby sister.
“As a middle school kid I began learning how to take care of a baby. As a senior at [Arcadia High School] I would drive my sister to kindergarten at Hopi Elementary and drop her off every morning.”
Early exposure to infants like her sister, along with growing up in the Arcadia neighborhood aided in Amanda’s success. Amanda found ample babysitting opportunities in the area and realized quickly that childcare was something she deeply enjoyed.
Spending much of her high school and college years as a sitter, Amanda formed lasting relationships with multiple families and carries those relationships through Busy Bees.
“Busy Bees has grown completely from connections within this community,” she said.
In fact, her connections reached farther than the families she babysat for in the past. Amanda has a habit of setting Young Life – a non-denominational Christian ministry that reaches out to adolescents through volunteers, staff, club meetings and camps by building meaningful relationships – friends up with families who needed childcare. As a result, she quickly gained a reputation among local parents as an individual who provided reliable babysitters that upheld a high level of quality and safety.
When recalling the network of babysitters and friends, Amanda said, “If one of us couldn’t [babysit as planned], we would call one another to make sure it was covered. The parents appreciated that we found suitable replacements and felt confident in our recommendations because we all knew one another so well. We took on the responsibility of training each other on the details and routines of each unique family.”
While Amanda continued to gain her own experiences, she felt that connections she made as a result of babysitting – such as meeting new families and working with kids – were ones that many other girls could benefit from as well.
“We always tell the girls, ‘Relationships are real’.”
Amanda said the company reminds babysitters that if they focus on the children and do their best, they may be surprised at the outcome.
“We’ve been there. We’ve lived it. And we are happy to help facilitate the opportunities to connect both families and sitters. It’s so much more than babysitting.”
Though Amanda is the founder of Busy Bees Babysitting, she is quick to shine all of her company’s success back to her friends and family.
“I would say my 15 years in youth leadership in the area gave me important credibility,” said Amanda. “However, the friends of Busy Bees are the ones that gave us the wings to grow beyond a small group to the thriving hive of over 400 families we have today.”
With overflowing success in a short amount of time, Amanda hopes that Busy Bees will eventually expand into surrounding neighborhoods across Arizona.
Until then, Amanda remains busy in Arcadia, volunteering as a Young Life leader and growing and perfecting her hive.
To find out more about Busy Bees Babysitting go to busybeesbabysitting.com.