October 14, 2021

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by: admin

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Tags: CareCould, Child, coming, Easier, Motherhood, tech, tools, Working

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Categories: Parenting

Tech Is Coming for Little one Care—May These Instruments Make Working Motherhood Simpler?

Over 30 years after the explosion of digital and online technologies, childcare has largely remained a low-tech industry. Even though many parents, especially mothers, say that the lack of quality childcare is driving them out of the labor market (and it was even before the pandemic), we are still largely looking for childcare, daycare and preschool alone. And providers themselves are often unable to reach out online to people in their community in need of their services when even the cost of technology is prohibitive for many educators and other childcare workers.

The US care industry is valued at $ 648 billion * – yes, billions. However, with so much childcare going unseen and largely unpaid, innovators in this area have not been given the necessary investment or resources to build and develop workable technical tools for families or workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of that, says Avni Patel Thompson, founder of the invisible load app Milo and a longtime innovator in childcare technology. “More people – investors, employers, managers – had to live and see it, in their teams, in their lives, in all sorts of things. It was an ‘oh wait, these are really painful problems and it’s a big market’ moment. “

And since the pandemic began, childcare and family entrepreneurs and innovators have seen increased attention in their sector, said Leslie Forde, founder of Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs. “We see the increased interest in founders who [venture capital] Funding, ”said Forde, who is part of the Family Tech Collaborative Group on Slack.

But despite that increased interest, entrepreneurs and investors are breaking new ground when it comes to childcare, where many of these innovations are led by women who are still just receiving [2 percent of venture funding] for startups – in an industry where consumer spending can only solve a fraction of the problems that cripple the childcare industry.

“Many investors are still not used to investing in childcare,” says Blessing Adesiyan, founder of Mother Honestly and the home operating system Villo. “If everything is almost virtual, why should we invest in something physical? But you can’t change a child’s diaper with Zoom. ”And it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the daycare provider to make these problems known.

“Childcare facilities are predominantly women and colored run, and many of them are still linked to pen and paper and hand-drawn ledger affairs,” said Elana Berkowitz, a founding partner of Spring Bank Collective, which invests in tools and services to help . working families. “Paid carers are some of the hardest working people in the world. We need to develop tools that make it easier to get the job done. “

While no single app should be expected to solve the myriad childcare problems in the United States, there’s no reason technologists should stop doing more to make it easier for all of us, parents and providers alike, to get our jobs done . Here are some of the new tools that have emerged from this exciting wave of investments in childcare innovation and what they aim to achieve:

Finding childcare easier

It is not difficult to figure out which kindergarten your child should attend, but it is difficult to find a daycare or home care service that will look after your child from birth to 5 years old. Winnie, an online marketplace for licensed childcare providers, will help parents with this search process in currently over 8,000 cities. Wonderschool is another online marketplace for home care centers that may be even less visible than formal daycare and preschools, but may be better suited for parents who have non-traditional working hours. Wonderschool currently operates in 31 different states with more than 2,500 childcare providers and programs.

Share childcare at home

Other innovators are approaching the American childcare crisis from a more holistic, family-centered perspective, taking the pressure off mothers, who, as Blessing described, often feel the pressure to do anything.

The already mentioned online software Milo, founded by Patel Thompson, supports families in juggling. Described as “a combination of a family operating system and SMS assistant,” it is still in beta and is specially designed to handle the invisible burden of adding school schedules, events, emails, children’s activities, Records memories etc. sort everything and send it to where it belongs. Milo also stores vital information that all family members can access, such as children’s shoe sizes, parents’ phone numbers at playdate, zoom links, and more.

Parents can also try the recently launched Maple, another app that enables collaboration on tasks and to-do lists, and allows multiple users on the same account to assign items to family members during the day or on a project basis, such as organizing an upcoming one Birthday party or a science fair project – to get things done.

Studies show that outsourcing help for various household chores is a family affair that makes day-to-day work easier, especially for working mothers. Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to hire a full-time housekeeper, but Villo at Adesiyan’s Mother Honestly makes life easier for parents by helping them find highly qualified helpers to help them with a chore at home Compensate others, and in a fair manner, the named helpers. Villo saves your settings. So if you hire someone to fold laundry, tidy up, or pick up a child from class – all the details are saved so parents can avoid the hiring, training, and explanation associated with the process of outsourcing the chores. Villo is available in virtual form everywhere and in person in Houston, with other cities to follow in early 2022.

Investing in Early Childhood Innovations

But not all new investments in childcare technology are for profit. Promise Venture Studio operates a nonprofit social entrepreneur accelerator to develop and support innovation in early childhood education. Among the collaborations they have spearheaded is Home Grown, a funder collaboration that improves access to and quality of home childcare, a large part of the childcare system that primarily serves black families and low-income families. “[Home-based child care] will continue to grow strongly after the pandemic and is very fragmented which means technology can help, ”said Matt Glickman, Promise Co-Founder and Partner.

Opportunities like these mean childcare “needs every kind of investment – and more,” said Berkowitz. “Nobody should have to bear the full burden of this sector that is fully buckled up.”

The new wave of investment, both public and private, may lead to more attention being paid to early childhood care, which in turn spurs additional investment and innovation in the tools and people that make our jobs easier. Only time will tell how much new technology will then boost our economy.

* This figure is compiled by Holding Co. and Pivotal Ventures, who also support New America, where Rebecca Gale is a Reporting Fellow.

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