Why traditional childcare sucks (and how to fix it)

Discover how Carednd exploded from 28 initial signups in January 2016 to 576 at last count. To signup for Carednd go to their website today.

Are you a parent-to-be or even plan on being a parent some day? If so, the time to enroll in daycare is now. Oh, and while you’re at it, you’d better start saving for it. Here’s why.

Childcare Woes

High Cost

In 2014, the average cost of childcare in the United States was between $12,000 and $18,000 a year for one child. Depending on the city, parents can expect to pay as much as $2,000 a month for an infant.

Parents who want more personalized care might shell out around $3,000 a month for a nanny. And dinner and a date will run you $25 an hour for a babysitter in some cities.

The high cost of childcare is a contributing factor to the increased number of both stay-at-home moms and dads in the past several decades. The number of stay-at-home moms has risen from 23% in 1999 to 29% in 2012.

Stay-at-home dads have doubled since 1989 with nearly 2 million, or 7% of fathers, caring for the children instead of working outside the home.

Long Waiting Lists

If at anytime one of these stay-at-home parents, or any new parent in general, should decide to return to work, they encounter yet another obstacle: daycare waiting lists. By law centers are capped by how many infants and children they can enroll per childcare provider.

That means that there are few vacancies for parents looking to enroll their child at short notice.

Many centers have waiting lists a year long, a fact that many parents are unaware of. When they call to enroll their baby after parental leave, the daycare will tell them that they should have signed up a year ago.

Often this means enrolling their child as soon as they find out they’re expecting. Some parents even wait list not-yet conceived children at their top daycare by paying a deposit.

Strict Schedules

Another problem? Inflexible schedules. Childcare centers typically run only during normal business hours. Unfortunately, life doesn’t run on a nine-to-five schedule for many families.

Parents who work long hours or need to run a few kid-free errands after work incur late pickup fees ranging from $1 to a few dollars per minute depending on the daycare — not to mention the ire of caregivers as well.

The strict schedules also mean parents who want to enjoy a date with their partner are out of luck. Most daycare centers don’t accommodate any kind of late pickup, so parents have to turn to other (often more expensive) care providers for after-hours care.

While daycare centers are heavily regulated to ensure safety (this includes disaster planning, first aid, safe food handling and so on), the same isn’t true for babysitters.

Many babysitters are high school or college age students with little to no experience caring for a child. Pages of detailed instructions and emergency contact info won’t make up for that lack of experience.

Solving The Daycare Problem One Family At A Time


Business partners Phoebe Wang and Sunny Sun both experienced childcare woes when they became moms. Phoebe, for instance, tried to enroll her daughter in daycare at six months old, only to be told she should have signed up before her daughter was even born.

Sunny booked a birthday excursion for her husband only to learn that their son couldn’t join them. Hiring a babysitter for the day was too expensive, so they canceled the trip and went out for dinner instead, baby in tow.

But the dinner was far from a relaxing birthday celebration. Their son was exhausted and ready to be out of his high chair long before the evening was over.

To solve their childcare frustrations, Phoebe and Sunny joined forces to create Carednd (“dnd” stands for Dinner and Date), an app that allows users to find trustworthy local, affordable, and convenient childcare on demand.

When a parent creates a profile, the app helps them find other parents in their friends network (hosting family) who can provide care for their child.

Once they find another family with the qualifications they want, they send an appointment request to the hosting family. That parent will receive an instant notification and can respond if the time works for them or not.

Users can double as hosting families, as well. When they signup, they have the option to list availability on their profile and include information about their kids and activities they as a hosting family can provide.

Affordable, Trustworthy Care

Most of the 500 parents Phoebe and Sunny interviewed said they would be willing to care for other children at lower rates than many nannies or babysitters in urban areas because they are already taking care of their own children.

Most of the parents they talked to said they would charge between $10 and $15. Phoebe and Sunny also found that parents trust other parents more than they do a high school or college student to watch their child. Because of that, only parents are allowed to sign up.

Hosting families undergo an FBI level background check and a home safety inspection to ensure their space is childproofed. Some hosting families even offer video monitoring so parents can check in on their child whenever they want.

Convenient Care With No Waiting Lists

Carednd makes childcare simple for busy parents and it also allows you to track payments through the app. The map feature allows parents to find providers in convenient locations almost instantly.

Parents who choose to use Carednd as an alternative to daycare no longer have to worry about signing up before their child is born. When they are ready to return to work, they search for one or more families who can provide care.

Alternating care between a few families introduces the child to varied social settings, lifestyles, and activities from an early age.

Added Bonus

Imagine that a mom with an engineering degree could use her knowledge to teach beginning math to a preschooler. Or a dad with a literature degree could teach poem and rhyme to toddlers, and a bilingual family could introduce a second language to a child just learning to talk.

Carednd taps into a valuable and often overlooked resource: well-educated stay-at-home parents. These highly trained moms and dads who choose to remain at home are able to add value by teaching the children in their care.

When a hosting family signs up, they list educational activities they can provide to children in their care. Children can receive one-on-one or one-on-two instruction in subjects daycare centers don’t have the resources to provide.

Two Months Till Launch And 576 Users

Carednd launches May 2016, and parents are signing up in droves. On average, each of the 576 families that have signed up bring another two to three families with them. It would seem that parents are looking for a simple, affordable, and convenient childcare solution.

To signup for Carednd go to their website today.

Want Gigster to build your app? Start your quote today.

Whitney Cole

Whitney is perfecting the balance between writing and coaxing giggles out of her daughter. She loves meeting Gigster's clients and sharing their incredible stories. When she's not writing, you can probably find her attempting to train her German Shepherd to fetch her coffee or reading something by Hilary Mantel.