KiddoCare provides an app way for parents anxious about babysitting.
MORE working women have embraced the option of becoming stay-at-home mothers just because they have no one to take care of their young children.
Even doing home-based work can be challenging at times, when the mothers have to go out running errands.
This stressful process cuts into the date nights, work events, and personal time that parents want to focus on — after all, parents are also people who have lives outside of their children’s.
One start-up called KiddoCare aims to help these women and babysitters fulfill their career aspirations while still prioritising family. Targeted at connecting families with professional and certified caregivers, KiddoCare is a platform that includes mobile application and a developmental programme.
The holistic programme is poised to empower modern women by offering a supportive environment for reliable and flexible care giving for children. It also opens up opportunities for women to participate in economic activities as well as establish a good balance between family and career.
Its founder and managing director Nadira Mohd Yusoff says KiddoCare collaborating with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is timely for Women Empowerment Year 2018.
Nadira says although having more childcare centres might seem like a solution but ensuring reliability is difficult.
“There is a stigma about children services in the minds of some parents, be it the qualifications of the babysitter or abuse of children in the centres. But not every family can afford a nanny,” she says. Sharing her own experience, Nadira says she also faced difficulties regarding her own six children when her maid was sick and there was no one to take care of her young ones.
WOMEN SUPPORT WOMEN
It’s usually women with grown-up kids who have the extra time, which they can benefit from.
“So how do we get another to support somebody else’s role as a mother? Let them become babysitters.
“Our women are well-educated, and babysitting is not an easy job. There’s a role to play when around children.
“There’s clearly a need and a problem to solve, and a way to solve it. KiddoCare wants carers to become professionals, helping them grow the talent in childcare which can be groomed into an entrepreneurial venture,” says Nadira.
KiddoCare ensures those who become a babysitter will have career progression, from starting as a basic carer, to growing into level two where they can do smart playing with the children. The level three carer is more like a nanny that can provide tuition.
By utilising this application, other women can also be empowered to return to work or choose to pursue entrepreneurship; knowing that they have trusted helpers at their fingertips. Women are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity by coming on board as a professional caregiver.
“We’d like to help grow the talent of our women in the childcare area, as this is also an exportable talent, and can further be groomed into an entrepreneurial venture,” says Nadira.
HOW IT WORKS
Inspired by ride-hailing service Grab, KiddoCare enables women to “grab” a babysitter from the comforts of their home. Women or parents need to register before using the app and then request for a babysitter.
The amount of time can be customised from a minimum of two hours per shift to a maximum of three children per shift. The system will then look for a babysitter who is available nearby, based on the parents’ preferences such as English-speaking, able to handle certain temperaments, or with high rankings (graded by KiddoCare).
Once the booking and payment have been made, KiddoCare will dispatch the selected babysitter to the customer’s home.
To meet the needs of different families, KiddoCare caregiving packages include basic and premium options. The former consists of basic caregiving or babysitting services, while the latter offers a more comprehensive service which extends to smart play activities and expanding the child’s imaginations without gadgets.
Meanwhile, for those interested in becoming a babysitter, they need to register at a different KiddoCare app for carers.
Once they have applied for the job, these carers will have to undergo a Permata Early Childhood Education Programme accredited by the Department of Social Welfare, if they do not have the qualifications.
After obtaining the qualification, carers will have to undergo a short refresher course with KiddoCare and only then will they be certified and ready to serve.
KiddoCarers are paid RM30 an hour with minimum service of two hours. Payments will be made to their accounts weekly.
Once they have accepted jobs, the system will also remind carers three hours prior to the booking time. When the carers leave their house, parents will be notified and can see the details and track their arrival on the map. Parents can have peace of mind because they will then get notifications once the carers have completed their routines, such as giving food and bathing the children. In terms of safety, parents need not worry because all carers are vetted by the police.
“We will have their background and health checked including criminal records, psychometric tests, medical check-up and other references.
“Kiddocarers will be interviewed thoroughly to make sure they fit the job and have the required skills, motivation and dedication needed to provide quality service,” says Nadira.
For now, the job is only open to female applicants. Nadira says KiddoCare welcomes anyone who wants to progress as a babysitter, having good engagement with children, and even those who do not have a job yet.
As of today, only the Kiddo Carer app is active. KiddoCare is currently operating in certain areas: Petaling Jaya, Damansara and Bangsar.
Almost like a pilot project, Nadira says KiddoCare aims to look into everything in terms of delivering services and customer feedback before they branch out to other areas. At the same time, the start-up is also in the midst of training the KiddoCarers, as they are expected to be fully operational in the Klang Valley area starting next month.
She says when the service is stable, they might look into caring for the elderly next year.