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My Journey to Hack the Babysitter

It takes a village to raise a child.

 

As a new mom and full-time employed marketing manager, I was in need of some serious balance. Time once reserved for connecting with my husband, building relationships with friends and within the community no longer seemed possible.

Desperately needing help, I didn’t quite know where to get it or how to ask for it. Hiring a sitter at $15 an hour a few times each week wasn’t an option financially. Having a kiddo with special needs set the bar higher when seeking care help. Asking my mom for help all the time was feeling a little intrusive.

We just wanted to be able to plan for a weekly night with each other to connect or a Saturday afternoon to take care of our own needs, or even grab a drink with a friend.

Before we became parents, I remembered my mom telling me about the childcare co-op she participated in at her NYC apartment complex back in the seventies – where parents traded poker chips as currency in exchange for care. It sounded so “hippie-dippy”, but the idea stuck with me.

A childcare co-op for modern day parents

Starting a co-op among my parent peers, I soon realized that my circle was too small. I wanted to be able to connect with more parents in my communities like my daughter’s school, or families involved in some of the same activities. Facebook was still in its infancy and Google groups weren’t yet a thing.

Managing Excel spreadsheets, creating and updating the codes of conduct, points earned and traded and group rules —it was just way too cumbersome for a working parent. Getting a group together physically to meet and manage the activities was another challenge. All I wanted was to find a way to unite with other parents in my periphery who might be seeking similar solace but just didn’t know how to connect.

Through the wonders of technology, the adoption of social networking, and with the advent of the sharing economy, I realized there was a broader opportunity to connect parent peers within their communities.

It was from this concept that kidcareshare was born.

kidcareshare builds a virtual village of parent peers who all understand the value of gaining balance in life in order to effectively be a conscious and connected parent.

Building community

Thinking about that first time dropping my infant daughter at daycare and desperately wanting to connect with other parents who were rushing out the door to get to work, I imagined a solution that would take away the burden of asking other parents if they wanted to support each other, sharing care.

How would I feel if another mom or dad invited me to connect in a safe environment to share in a community of parenting? I thought it would feel pretty good. And thus the journey began to create kidcareshare to solve the problems today’s busy parents face.

Like a childcare co-op on overdrive, kidcareshare is designed to allow parents to rapidly build a safe network of “care-share” peers you already know and trust. Using a points-based currency to alleviate the cost of hiring a sitter, the solution takes the hassle out of managing the points and serves as a middle-man to remove the “burden of asking” for help, as users build their care networks.

With kidcareshare, last minute carpools, playdates and even those nights stuck later at the office now have a solution. Users give care and get care by offering availabilities, responding to requests and earning and trading points to keep the process equitable.

As our communities gain access to each other through shared networks and technology, my goal is to unite with each other, to share our skills and services to alleviate modern-day challenges of cost and resources.

If you’re still reading, then let me extend an invitation to you as we prepare to launch the beta version of kidcareshare. We’re building a network of parent peers to shape the future of child care and how we connect within our communities. Will you join me on this journey?

Sign-up at kidcareshare.com and enter your email address to be added to our beta user group. I’m ready to find some balance. Aren’t you?

 

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