The Future of Work = Innovative Childcare
Remote working is acceptable and here to stay. And that is great news for women who have struggled for years to balance their work and family. But the current pandemic has highlighted inequalities further and brought to light the truth, that, now more than ever, women at home are working more. More childcare, more housework and more virtual work which has no cut-off time. Mothers who had to supervise their kids while working remotely over the last few months are looking for a solution urgently. The situation was exacerbated as many child care establishments closed their doors during the first wave of the pandemic. As social distancing rules fall away but remote working remains a reality it is imperative that innovation takes place in childcare to prevent loss of productivity. That’s where innovative childcare services and products need to step in.
Companies such as the Mom Project are helping more mothers return to work and achieve their career goals through flexible and full-time opportunities. The true success of more women coming back to work hinges upon lots of pieces falling in place. However, one missing piece in this jigsaw is how childcare will evolve to accommodate this new work reality? Women are in dire need of innovative, trustworthy and instant childcare solutions to fully focus on bringing their best selves, not only to work but to even attend interviews and approach job opportunities. To quantify the issue — childcare issues cost the United States’ economy an estimated $4.4 billion in lost productivity each year and also impacts employee retention rates.
We looked at the emerging pipeline of companies in this space and came across Kinside, Koru Kids, Winnie, UrbanSitter and Wonderkids. Companies such as Kinside are helping parents in the US to pay for childcare via their pretax dollars. Others such as Koru Kids recruit, train, match and provide ongoing support and training to its nannies. The Koru platform takes care of taxes, payroll, pension, holiday, nanny communications, activity ideas and helps parents share nannies ringing down the overall cost of childcare. While these companies offer childcare support to parents, companies like Tiney are trying to increase the existing pool of child-minders and early years educators. UrbanSitter, an online/mobile service that connects parents and babysitters through people they know, which will give moms access to free babysitting across a trusted network when they are interviewing for jobs or looking for full time support.
Overall there are encouraging developments both for working mothers and mothers who will go back to work. We have to continue to build new childcare solutions to keep these women at the workplace. A holistic support system has to be built to help women achieve their personal life and career goals.