Christy Arnette commands new fleet of top-notch sitters

Paso native grows from teenage babysitter to small business owner dedicated to caring for the county's children, pets and homes

Staff report
Published: August 26th, 2011, Paso Robles Press, Page 15

When Christy Arnette grew up in Paso Robles, working while attending college in San Luis Obispo, she did what most young women do for extra cash she babysat, pet sat and house sat.

Now, with more than a decade's worth of experience under her belt, the take-charge 30-year-old has taken the plunge and started up her own business, Savvy Sitters. She said the business offers a solid solution to a need for quality in-home care in the area.

As a sitter growing up, Arnette took care of homes and animals, changed diapers, cooked meals, ran errands and toted kids around as a part-time nanny/mother's helper for a few bucks a day during the summertime.

Once she finished college and was promoted at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes' corporate headquarters in San Luis Obispo, she said goodbye to her sitting days for what she thought would be forever.

She was wrong. Arnette said she recognized her home county's need for quality, reliable in-home child and pet care when her clients continued to knock down her door requesting her services.

"Finding professional, reliable sitters and nannies is difficult in San Luis Obispo County and I realized how unfortunate and honestly scary it was that parents and pet owners had to rely solely on kennels, Craigslist or other non-local websites to attempt to find care for their children and pets," she said. "I wanted to do something about it."

Founded about six months ago in February 2011, Arnette said Savvy Sitters is quickly growing into a bustling business with upwards of 20 sitters through- out San Luis Obispo County in addition to a long list of qualified nannies ready to take on full and part-time placements. Arnette hires sitters in each city throughout the county in order to fulfill the ongoing needs of their residents and tourists.

"Savvy Sitters is also unique in that it's a comprehensive solution to in-home /hotel care, rather than a service limited to just pet care or nanny placement," said Arnette. "I believe this is what will allow my business to flourish in this county: Providing, not one, but many options for diverse families on the Central Coast." Arnette's team of part-time child and pet care professionals are background checked, CPR certified, available on short notice and have undergone an extensive interview and reference check process. Each sitter and nanny on her list is also at least 18-years-old and must have previous child and/or pet care experience.

"I only hire the best candidates and maintain a list of the best nannies because I pride myself on providing a high-quality service," Arnette said.

According to the Savvy Sitters founder, sitting is a growing niche in professional services because, first, it's a traditional source of labor that is fading fast.

"This generation of teenagers are too busy with homework and extracurricular activities to spend time with the neighborhood kids and pets," she said. "The need for professional sitters also comes from a movement in parents and pet owners demanding more for their children and pets. When in a sitter's care pets aren't exposed to diseases like kennel cough and have the opportunity for consistency in their home environment." In addition, Arnette's sitters don't watch TV with the children unless requested and are required to engage kids in educational play and activities. Each sitter is also required to complete a form that includes details on the parents' or owners' requests, and a report on what happened while the parents/pet owners are away.

Said Arnette, "Professional sitters are also, well, professional. Savvy Sitters obtains knowledge of families before sending a sitter to homes or hotels and carefully takes the time to match the best caregiver with each family."


For more information, visit www.savvysitters-slocounty.com or contact call 440-7587 . You can also find the business on Facebook.