The childcare struggle for working families is real. The financial cost is enormous, and that's if you can secure a spot in the first place.
Melbourne-based single father and producer of reality TV show The Block, Tim Wise, has come up with a possible solution. KidNest is a new sharing economy app that is set to change the childcare sector and provide urgent relief to parents around the country who are struggling to be able to return to work.
Set to launch in September KidNest and is a pioneering childminding service which allows like-minded parents with pre-school aged children to connect and provide safe, affordable, quality childminding for their children, without the costs and challenges of traditional childcare.
Kind of like Uber, or AirBnB … but for babysitting.
It takes a village ...
"The old saying it takes a village to raise a child is bang on, let's surround our kids with love by partnering up with our neighbours to create safe, attentive and happy childminding Nests that support parents to fulfil financial goals," says Wise.
How does it work?
- The app connects parents from the same neighbourhood, who agree to look after the collective nests' children to allow each other to work.
- Uses new technology like Geofencing, which allows parents to track the whereabouts of their children, a calendar/scheduling system and an instant and secure messaging system.
- Provides parents with educational modules designed by industry experts to promote early learning in children
A 'nest' is a group of likeminded families working together for child minding purposes. They form a roster of childminding, everyone then drops off their kids at the designated minder's home and goes about their day. Later in the week it will be their turn to be the minder.
The app works on a like-for-like basis, meaning you watch my kids one day, and I'll watch yours the next. With a monthly fee of only $50 to use the service, and no additional costs for babysitting, if this takes off it could save families tens of thousands of dollars a year.
The KidNest site explains it like this: "KidNest's vision is to facilitate like minded parents working together to raise children. Connect with parents in your local area through the app to create a Nest. We help introduce young parents that want to band together form 'Nests' and help look after everyone's kids in each others' houses. It's all about like minded individuals connecting and supporting each other."
"It's a digital introductory service," Wise explains. "Users all have police checks and Working With Children checks, they'll also have a checklist to work through to ensure their home is ready to go, including liability insurances.
"Once they've joined they can make a connection, then meet up with them a couple of times to see if they're a good fit, check out their home and after that, if everything is good they can join a 'nest' together and get started." says Wise.
"They don't need to commit if the fit is not right."
Another option for a 'nest' is to hire a nanny and split the fees. The nanny would take care of all the children in the "Nest' and the parents could rest assured that they're children will have a familiar face each day.
It was not that long ago that the idea of renting our homes to strangers, and jumping into cars with strangers seemed like an unthinkable task. Wise is hoping that the mindset around leaving your children with a stranger will also shift in the same way that we've adopted other technologies.
"KidNest is really going to disrupt the childcare industry," says Wise. "Families will have another option, and hopefully be able to return to the workforce with a lot more ease."