Screen Sitters Helping Busy Parents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Creating an enriching experience for virtual learning

By Toi Creel

As millions of parents across the world have been forced to work from home and take on new childcare responsibilities, father Mark Kapczynski found himself in the same predicament: home, with his kids, a full work schedule, and a spouse who works too.

“My wife Erin and I, we just needed a break from the madness to simply get some work done,” said Kapczynski. “On top of that, we wanted a healthier, more engaging alternative to online gaming and streaming video for our children,” he added.

However, looking at other virtual child participation options, the father found that “screen” time still required a lot of parent time. 

He wanted his kids to have an enriching experience, without taking up too much of his or his wife’s time. So, they started Screen Sitters on March 15 of this year.

“Our company mission is to give parents freedom while enriching children. Kids 5-12 get to connect with a trusted, vetted adult outside their household who can give them a breather from the routine we’ve all fallen into, entertain them with activities especially geared towards the individual child, or just chat,” Kapczynski said.

You might even call it kid therapy—one of the parents described it as that after a session his nine-year-old daughter had with a sitter on the platform.

In an effort to address more demands put on work-from-home parents, in the fall Kapczynski plans to launch “Homework Sitters” to help children ages 10-18 understand and stay on top of their schoolwork. It’s not a tutoring service; more like “project management” for homework. 

Screen Sitters aims to help as many parents as possible with school-age children and they don’t just focus on individual parents.

“We started to get a lot of interest from establishments. Our first corporate client was a publicly traded company with a fairly large employee base. We’ve also seen interest from startups and mid-size companies in many industries—from technology and entertainment to banking,” Kapczynski said.

By partnering with businesses, Screen Sitters hopes employers continue to reallocate their in-office perks budgets going unused, such as for snacks and commuter incentives, to instead add on their program.

“It’s all about supporting remote workers right now,” Kapczynski said.

To book some time for your child or expand employee benefits, you can visit the website at ScreenSitters.com

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