Dave chats with Tim Wise  the single dad behind the tech platform that is bringing the cost of full time child care down to $25 per week, per child. KidNest (kidnest.com.au) is a digital platform that allows parents to form nests and look after each other’s children while they return to work (or study, or regain valuable me time).  It can potentially save families up to 25K per child each year in childcare costs.

 

The stresses of childminding will be dramatically lessened with the launch this week of Australia’s first-ever digital childminding platform that reduces costs to less than $25 per week per child – a far cry from the current situation where parents pay between $65—$175 a day per child. Australian-owned and developed, KidNest is like a digital ‘car-pooling’ app, but for childminding. It allows like-minded parents living in the same community to connect and provide affordable and quality childminding for their children, without the costs and challenges of traditional childcare.

To coincide with the game changing platform’s launch, KidNest is also giving investors the opportunity to own shares in the company. With Australian parents spending around $14.5 billion[1] on child minding each year, keen interest by the investment community is expected in this innovative solution. The share offer will be managed by Birchal, one of Australia’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms.

“By introducing the KidNest model, for even 3 days a week, one family would save between $10-$28,000 or more every year, per child,” said Tim Wise, founder of KidNest. “This enables parents the ultimate freedom – time, which can be used to work, study or enjoy some valuable ‘me time’!”

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“As a co-parent, I know through personal experience the challenge it can be to find and access quality child-care, and the heavy financial burden it places on families.  With around a third (35%) of Australian single parent households[2] living below the poverty line, finding affordable child care is a key reason preventing many single parents from earning a decent living. Kidnest will help fix these issues by giving parents access to safe, reliable, quality and affordable childcare.”

The KidNest App connects like-minded parents in local communities, providing them with a platform, tools and resources to create a childminding nest.  It works on a like-for-like basis, meaning ‘you watch my kids one day, and I’ll watch yours.

They inspect each other’s homes and decide if they want to create a ‘Nest’ together. Within each ‘Nest’, a roster of childing minding is formed, where each day children are dropped off at the designated minder’s home. The app guides parents along the way and is very easy to use with many inbuilt safety features. Rather than paying per job, parents simply pay a $100 monthly subscription fee which gives them unlimited access to the platform to set up childminding, insurance and regular security checks. Before being allowed to enter a nest, all parents must have a valid Working With Children Check (WWCC).

Parents can also use the platform for  the purpose of meeting new people and children in the neighbourhood.  The KidNest Eco System enables kids to get to know each other prior to attending primary school because their Nest friends are already in place.

In Australia, there are 1.85 million children under the age of five[3], 95% of parents find it difficult to access childcare[4], and many are forced to wait 1-2 years when they do find one[5]. Couple these statistics with pre-pandemic figures showing 165,000 Australian parents couldn’t return to work[6] because of childcare issues, highlights the issues parents face and which KidNest is looking to solve.

“The Australian childcare industry was worth $14.5 billion in 2019, with profits totalling $1.5 billion,” said Tim Wise. “With the need for childcare expected to grow at 1.8% every year, KidNest aims to be the uber of childminding.”

Chris Hewson and his wife Jenny Chen-Hewson use KidNest for their 4 year daughter Dali. “My wife and I both work and it’s hard for us to find care for our daughter that suits the hours we need. On top of this, we just don’t have the time or means to meet other families locally that are similar to ours. The idea of developing a new network, and sharing in the care of our kids – it’s just something we as families need desperately. Both from a social (for us and the kids!) and a financial perspective.”

Leading educator, Sue Higgins Principle, St Kilda Primary School said. “The whole concept of having Nests is something that I believe will be highly popular, and in the event if there is not a Nest that suits their needs they can go out and create their own.”

For a fixed monthly subscription of $100, KidNest provides parents with access to a community of ‘Nests’ operating within its platform. At no further cost, parents can join an existing Nest or invite others to start a new Nest. The flexibility of the KidNest platform gives parents access to Nests with any timing or preference they might require, allowing parents to get to work, go to the shops, study, or just take some well-deserved time for themselves – all for less than one day of childcare fees for the average Australian child.  Additionally, the subscription provides parents with a range of scheduling tools, education programs and secure instant messaging within each Nest.

With an equity crowdsourced funding target of $1m-1.5 million, KidNest plans to use funds for Nest building and further development of the web app with a focus on better and broader services.

For more information, visit kidnest.com.au