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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

Virtual babysitting service gives quarantined parents a much-needed break

Sitter Stream can virtually step in to give a short, but much needed, break in the day.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Parents are dealing with many additional obstacles these days, and one of the big ones for many is managing childcare while the kids are home from school. 

Eden Prairie mom Juliana Sylvia has three boys, a 10, 8 and 5-year-old. Like many kids, Julina says their being 'crazy wild' during this crazy time. 

Enter SitterStream, the on-demand, virtual babysitting service. 

Owner Stephanie Africk started it four weeks ago. Parents can book a babysitter for 30 minutes or an hour to virtually entertain their kids.

SitterStream interviews, runs background checks on, and trains the babysitters. It's not meant to replace traditional babysitting - parents still have to be at home while using the service. 

"This is meant for these mini moments in your day where you need an extra hand, whether you have a work conference call you want to get on, whether you want to exercise," Africk says. "You might want to fold some laundry."

Juliana uses it a couple times a week, including Saturday morning so she can teach a virtual spin class. 

Amid the cycle of her crazy life, she's grateful for a way to pump the brakes, saying "It's a huge deal. Even if you're just trying to sit there and be quiet and not hear - 'Mom can I have a snack?' 'Mom can I have help?'"

SitterStream recommends the service for kids three and up. There is no upper age limit, because they said some of the sitters can help older children with schoolwork. 

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