DENVER (CBS4) - Parents looking for child care often have to sign up for a waitlist to get the kind of provider that fits their family needs and the coronavirus outbreak has only made that challenge more difficult. A tech company says it has a way to quickly match the two groups in the metro area, providing a service that helps parents and creates more jobs during the pandemic.
"There's a need for children to be in an environment where there is active attention," said Kyle Wall, a Weekdays child care provider. "So how can we provide that in a way that's sustainable and still medicates the risks."
Wall is a mother and former preschool teacher. She signed up to be a provider with the company Weekdays, creating a "pod" of three children or less that she will run out of her home. After a career in early childhood education, she could no longer afford to keep working in that profession. Wall says this business model is more sustainable and relevant to the needs of families at the moment.
Pods allow for a safe environment that is consistent for all the families involved. They can keep their children in a small group with like-minded parents agreeing on the approach that is best for them. Wall explains that her experience is rooted in the Montessori and Waldorf approaches to early education. So she would seek out parents looking for that method in child care.
"Right now we're seeing incredibly talented preschool teachers, daycare providers, people who are running after school programs who are not working," said Shauna Causey, the founder of Weekdays. "There was an incredible need for local, high quality child care."
As a mother of two, she is familiar with the process. Causey explains that she was on several waitlists for her first child and she couldn't find the child care that offered the services or lessons she hoped for her son. So her tech company launched a way to screen providers with a background check and link them with parents in their neighborhood who need help. She says Wall is an example of the highly qualified professionals available in Denver.
The company is based in Seattle and reaching various communities across the country. Causey says more than half of the country was already in a child care desert, where three times as many children live in a area for the number of qualified spots in care.
Wall says she enjoys the startup culture that comes with Weekdays, a company operating for less than two years. They play an important role in helping to get the word out for someone like her just starting in this business. A native of Colorado, she has worked in this state and Oregon as a childhood specialist.
She saw how hard it was to find child care for her own son and how expensive preschool is for families. As someone working in that field, she could not afford it herself. Wall says this model will not only help families but let providers earn a reasonable income, which improves their service.
"You're going to see a total, totally different kind of quality of care for your children," she said.
Parents or potential providers looking to sign up with Weekdays can text: 425-200-5127.
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