65.3 F
San Diego
Sunday, Feb 25, 2024

Mother Launches Childcare Web Hub

CHILDCARE: Kids Care Finder a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for Child Services

It’s no secret that finding childcare is a top concern for parents around the globe.

Not only are rising costs an issue, the time involved in searching for childcare can be daunting, and finding the right persons or best places can also be an exercise in futility.

The fallout from difficulties in finding childcare is myriad and can cause major business impact.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that as many as 100,000 Americans have been forced to stay home from work each month because of childcare challenges.

Olivia Rutman
Founder & CEO
Kids Care Finder

As a mom of three boys under the age of five, local business owner Olivia Rutman knows that personally. She believes reliable, affordable, engaged and supportive childcare is something that should be readily and easily accessible. And it’s why the former 15-year financial services employee at Wells Fargo left her job to start her own company last year, a business that uses online technology to smooth the process of childcare finding.

Rutman says that her Kids Care Finder Enterprises Inc., founded in 2022, will be a game changer in the childcare industry.

The first phase of Kids Care Finder, a user-friendly “one-stop shop” for all child-related services, is up and running and includes preschools, daycare centers and in-home daycare.

“And more will come in Q1 of 2024,” Rutman said, including an expansion that will connect parents with nannies, babysitters, extracurricular activities, service providers and more for their kids without leaving the site.

Childcare providers will also have access to quickly communicate with prospective parents, manage a waitlist, accept online applications and receive all required enrollment documents electronically.

“It wasn’t until I had all three kids and realized, ‘Holy cow, you know, they all need different things at different times and the childcare needs are all different.’ There’s not a (singular) website that serves all of them. I’ve got to use this site for one thing, and I’ve got to use this site for another, I need this time for this one and that time for that one. And then there were so many categories that didn’t have a solution for. And so many of the existing ones you have to pay just to search, and you don’t even know if you’re going to find anybody, and then you’re stuck paying the subscription fee. And if you don’t find a fit, then what are you doing? Starting all over again?”

“And even if a site is there, you can’t filter by what you need and when you need it, and don’t know if the person’s actually available. So it’s just like going through a sea of hundreds of profiles trying to figure out ‘Could this person be trusted to watch my baby?’ Like, there’s nothing you really have to go off of, right? So it was just such a painful process.”

Rutman said that different from other options on the market, Kids Care Finder has a soon-to-be-patented process that allows parents to narrow their search through criteria that includes age range, food options, fulltime/part time, cost and distance from home or work. Site users are also able to message the providers directly.

Accelerator, ‘Shark Tank,’ and Investors

Rutman said she has been accepted to be part of the Stella winter cohort accelerator later this month.

There’s a “Shark Tank” plan during the first quarter as well, Rutman said. She said she’s looking to win over Mark Cuban, who in 2016 along with Chris Sacca invested $600,000 in early education software startup Brightwheel, a Forbes Cloud 100 pick in 2023.

She pitched the idea last year to “Shark Tank” but didn’t get far in the interview process because at the time Rutman had no investors. She now has two angel investors who have committed to $50,000 apiece.

Alexis Lewis
Kids Care Finder

San Diegan Alexis “Lex” Lewis is one of those investors.

She said that as the mother of five, she “recognized the ingenuity behind an accessible and affordable one-stop shop for childcare and activities management being a game changer for American families, and also being a sound investment.”

She called Rutman “a mom on a mission to solve a problem for families like mine and hers; like all of ours, at one point or another, and I’d bet on her and her team in delivering that solution.”

For now, San Diego is the only county in Kids Care Finder’s footprint, but Rutman says the next expansion will include the entire state. She said she is working to get the website up and running nationwide within the next few years.

“I’d love to grow a local company with local funds,” Rutman said. “We’re raising our pre-seed round right now. I’m hoping to close March 31st. We’re raising $1 million total through a safe structure, and we’re offering a 20% discount for early investors. Our $7 million valuation cap is nice and very reasonable for current market standards.”

She said she’s looking for more investors who are able to put in $25,000 but is also using WeFunder where people are able to invest as little as $100 to be part of the company, where she said it’s on the same terms as regular investors and has the same valuation cap.

Kids Care Finder
Enterprises Inc.

FOUNDED:  2022
FOUNDER & CEO:  Olivia Rutman
BUSINESS:  Marketplace
WEBSITE:  kidscarefinder.com
CONTACT:  notify@kidscarefinder.com
SOCIAL IMPACT:    Kids for Peace Kindness Certified Company
NOTABLE:  There are 250 pilot users currently; statewide expansion set for January


Featured Articles

Lala Lands in Little Italy

Postpartum Pampering Part of Wellness for New Moms


Related Articles