The founder flipping Australia’s childcare system on its head
Fri 27 July 2018 - 12:01 pmEntrepreneur | Featured
New startup KidNest is planning to flip the childcare crisis on its head.
KidNest is the latest sharing economy app that will provide urgent relief to parents around the country. It’s a service that allows parents of pre-school aged children to connect, and provide safe, affordable, quality childminding for their children, without the costs and challenges of traditional childcare.
The platform was developed by single dad and entrepreneur, Tim Wise, who noticed a lot of parent-baby groups gathered at parks or cafes. He thought about how great it would be for parents to join together and help look after each other’s children for the day, creating various childminding Nests in the privacy of their own homes. Fast forward and KidNest is set to launch the third quarter of 2018.
KidNest has already attracted some great investors who have also expressed concern over the financial burden childcare costs continue to have on families, this includes Ken Matthews, former CIO of BHP Billiton Global (Chair of the Board), Nerida Conisbee, Chief Economist at REA Group and Chris Brant, former CFO Transurban & Deloitte.
Dynamic Business had a chat to Tim Wise about his new venture.
KidNest is a peer to peer introductory service that introduces like-minded mums and dads in the local community and brings them together to form ‘Nests’. Each family looks after the kids for one day a week, freeing up the other four days for them to go back to work. KidNest charges a flat rate of $50 per month. “[This] is the most affordable form of childminding in Australia,” says Wise.
“After thinking about the KidNest concept for over six years, seeing no real change in the childcare industry, meeting many parents who were struggling with high childcare costs and mums who were eager to get back to work and further their careers, I decided to take a leap of faith and do something about it.
“I started researching all there was to know about apps, how they work, what to do and what not to do—basically a crash course in app development and startups. I was lucky enough to be between work contracts and had a three month window where I could focus 100% of my time and energy into the early stages of the KidNest concept.”
Wise refers to the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and believes that the success of Uber and other share economy apps shows that people are trusting the community more and more.
Wise believes the most important thing is to learn to manage time as best you can.
“Being a single parent with a child leaves you with very limited time to focus on your business. Be prepared to work late into the evenings after putting the kids to sleep and forget about having a regular social life—you need to put this on hold for the time being,” he says.
“You need to be able to juggle as best you can and learn to multi-task as you will be often doing ten things at once.”
Wise has always had an entrepreneurial mind-set and has always wanted to work for himself.
The entrepreneur says being a single dad is difficult and he is constantly meeting parents who are struggling with balancing work and kids.
“I wanted to come up with a plan to help families and get mums back into the workforce quicker,” he says.
“The main inspiration came from speaking to young parents about KidNestand getting positive feedback. From there I kept moving forward, building on ideas and taking it a step further each time.”
Wise bootstrapped the startup himself for the first year, which he thinks every entrepreneur has to do.
“I have always had the belief that if I’m asking someone to invest into my startup I must have invested a lot of my own money to start with. How can you ask someone else to invest their money in a high-risk environment if you haven’t taken that risk yourself?,” he says.
Very exciting things are on the horizon for the founder. The app will be launching in September and will be first to market. Moving forward the business will also be completing a second capitol raise. Within the year, the business plans to have about 500 to 1000 KidNest ‘Nests’ in operation.