Business: Sitters at the Shore

Owner: Christine Meehan, of Rio Grande, Middle Township

Location: Third Street, Middle Township

Started: 1998

Employees: Owner operated, with 75 subcontractors

Phone: 609-465-0840

Sitters at the Shore since 1998 has provided temporary babysitting, mainly for tourists who come to the shore, but we serve locals as well.

We do in-home babysitting and we do group care, which is mainly for special events, weddings and corporate events.

We also do house sitting, for example, if someone is expecting furniture and can't take the day off and wait for the delivery, or they're going away and they need somebody to water the plants. We also do pet sitting.

We offer kids parties and we've helped plan birthday parties for children at their homes.

And we're just getting into the business of childproofing the home for toddlers.

We tutor elementary students from November to April and from June to August, which is called Teach at the Beach. We hold the sessions wherever the parents want us to do it.

We found what the needs were in the area and we knew a lot of families with children who requested additional services sometimes. They'd ask and we'd say sure, we'll do that, and we added it to our business list.

Prices vary depending on the services needed. We need at least 24 hours notice; that would be extremely helpful.

The only challenge that I've found is like a puzzle in a sense: finding the right sitter for the right job at the right time. I always seem to find super great sitters, but everyone has a different schedule, so it's working around schedules and accommodating my customers' needs.

Entry: I used to work for an attorney who probates wills. I was her babysitter. Her clients would ask for a sitter recommendation. One day I couldn't do it and asked a girlfriend to fill in. Then it snowballed.

I also worked as a social director for the Morey Organization in the Wildwoods. I saw the need among the tourists and thought they should have a state-licensed, registered agency to go to. We do background checks and screenings on our sitters.

Future plans: We just want to get the word out on our parties and childproofing services. Right now we're serving Atlantic and Cape May counties, and maybe within a few years I'll venture up the coast.