New funding to scale “daycare-in-a-box” model, helping educators bring affordable child care to 10 new markets in 2022.
BOSTON, April 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NeighborSchools has raised $5M to scale up a new model of child care that puts people first. The round was led by Accomplice with participation from Chelsea Clinton’s Metrodora Ventures, HannahGrey, and 186 Ventures and brings NeighborSchools total fundraising to $9M.
NeighborSchools is reimagining child care with a platform that blends technology and community to help early childhood educators go independent, get licensed, and open micro-daycares in their homes.
While more than half of Americans live in a “child care desert,” data suggests there are over 100,000 caregivers, overwhelmingly women, ready to start a home daycare. But today’s regulatory and business environment makes it exceedingly difficult for individuals to start a licensed daycare and compete in a child care market dominated by corporate chains and franchises. NeighborSchools levels the playing field for the individual educator with a “daycare-in-a-box” platform that handles compliance, marketing, finance, and back office requirements. As a result, NeighborSchools providers launch daycares up to 3 times faster and 4 times more successfully.
“NeighborSchools is addressing a crux of the childcare crisis with a model that centers the needs of children, parents, and providers,” says Chelsea Clinton, co-founder of Metrodora Ventures. “We need creative solutions that simultaneously expand access to affordable childcare for parents and increase wages for childcare professionals, while providing good experiences and outcomes for kids. We are enthusiastic to support a team building technology to do just that and recognize the potential for NeighborSchools to help countless American families as they begin to scale up in the year ahead.”
Child care options were already limited and expensive even before the pandemic shattered the entire industry. Millions of parents, mostly moms, were forced out of the workforce as thousands of centers shut their doors, many for good. Even as the economy has rebounded and employers struggle to hire, an estimated 1.3 million moms are unable to go back to work because they lack child care (according to The New York Times). This latest funding will allow NeighborSchools to expand to ten new states in 2022, beginning to serve another 1M American families.
“As a mom of two young boys, I know first-hand how hard it is to find child care and how stressful it is for parents,” says co-founder and COO Bridget Garsh. “From day one we’ve focused on both how to support individual educators and how to bring sanity and trust to the parent experience. We’ve reimaged the child care search process from the ground up with an emphasis on bringing transparency and a human touch to one of the most daunting decisions we have to make as new parents.”
The child care search can be confusing and frustrating, especially for first time parents. Nearly half of U.S. parents reported difficulty finding child care according to The Center for American Progress. NeighborSchools was designed from the ground up to bring sanity and transparency to the child care search, matching parents with daycares that have openings that fit their unique needs along 23 different criteria including location, age, schedule, and budget. Parents take a 3-minute survey and receive real-time matches and can instantly schedule tours with daycares that fit their unique needs and preferences. Dedicated parent coordinators support parents throughout the process helping parents understand their options and secure a spot that works for them. At the end of the day providers who partner with NeighborSchools to open a daycare earn up to 200% more even while offering child care at rates as much as 40% more affordable.
This latest round of funding comes at a time when parent preferences are shifting towards small-scale daycares located closer to home instead of interest in large corporate centers. To date, NeighborSchools has launched over 70 home daycares across 10 markets, and helped over 30,000 parents in their child care search.
“In supporting individual educators we have a chance to reimagine child care from the ground up with a model that’s both economically better for parents and educators and developmentally better for young children at the same time” says NeighborSchools co-founder and CEO Brian Swartz. “If we want to solve the child care crisis at scale we first need to take care of the people – the educators – who take care of our children. This funding is one important step towards achieving our vision of a future with a home daycare on every block in America.”
Founded in 2018, NeighborSchools is on a mission to simplify access to high quality, affordable child care by giving child care providers the tools they need to build thriving micro-daycares. NeighborSchools offers a “daycare-in-a-box” platform that manages compliance, marketing, finance and back office requirements so that providers can focus on what matters most: caring for children. For parents, NeighborSchools provides transparency and matching so that they can feel confident when selecting child care. Learn more about NeighborSchools and its innovative solutions at www.neighborschools.com.