project leader
Jaime-Jin L
location
214 Clinton Street
(Brooklyn, NY)
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

Working parents who are struggling to make ends meet shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and ensuring their children are cared for and safe. Wiggle Room was created to offer much-needed relief to these parents by helping them quickly and confidently navigate unplanned childcare needs, allowing them to reclaim agency in their lives and jobs. Our digital service and mobile app enables parents to capture, organize, and contact their trusted informal childcare network with the click of a button so they can quickly coordinate childcare in minutes rather than hours.

Wiggle Room is a digital concierge service that offers relief for low-income parents when they need emergency childcare.

  • It organizes a parent’s childcare network in one place, storing information like caregiver (CG) contact information, schedules, and affiliations.

  • It tracks the parent and child’s personal information, allergies, and preferences.

  • It alerts a parent’s network when they need childcare, sending a request with pertinent information: which child(ren), date and time, pick up and drop off locations with the click of a button. Over time, Wiggle Room learns parents’ typical childcare scenarios and will personalize the experience and save time when making requests.

  • It manages the request and response process, allowing parents to send messages to multiple people at once or in sequence. Parents can send a standard message or edit it for a personal touch. Once requests are sent, Wiggle Room compiles people’s responses and assists parents in confirming childcare quickly.

  • It coordinates logistics, giving parents an array of options that will simplify the childcare experience: sending map links of pick up and drop off locations, coordinating a cab or rideshare, sending money to pay for dinner, sending instructions for the child’s medicine or bedtime routines.

  • It builds community, giving parents a straightforward and enjoyable way to invite more people into their childcare network, keep them involved in the child’s life, and thank them for responding to childcare requests, even if they can’t fulfill them at that time.

the steps

  1. [18Q4] Refine core functionality: Our team still has a lot of work to build and refine the core functionality of the app, including the onboarding sequence, the request feature, and the process of managing responses in an elegant way. We hope to collaborate with a freelance UX designer to inform user journey and flow, as well as some of the visual design elements. We will continue to test out features and assumption using digital and analog methods with our beta users. 
     
  2. [19Q1] Secure partnership and roll out version 1.0: In the next three months, we plan to secure a nonprofit partner that will test Wiggle Room with its members. We are seeking to get our first 100 people on the app at this point and support them to fulfill as many childcare matches as possible in the first three months of 2019. We will also launch the Wiggle Room social media properties (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Medium) and begin building a community on those platforms.
     
  3. [19Q2 + Q3] Expand functionality of the app. With our beta users, we will continue to test new features that manage more of the logistics of the childcare match for users. This could include offering maps, transportation, small money exchanges, savings programs, and more, depending on what testing indicates users want and need.

why we're doing it

Childcare is a critical challenge for millions of working parents every day. In New York City, the average cost of daycare is $12,167[1] per year, yet the minimum wage is $10.50 which totals $21,000 per year for a full-time, year-round worker. Even if parents can afford childcare, their schedules are characterized by rigidity, unpredictability, and instability[2] making it almost impossible to plan in advance. Over six months, 45% of parents reported at least one absence from work, missing an average of 4.3 days in that time period.[3] Last-minute childcare is becoming a “sink or swim” issue for low-income New Yorkers yet there is currently no tool or service that connects parents to their first (and often preferred) line of defense: their trusted family and friends. As a result, each time an unexpected childcare need arises, parents pay with their time, money, lost professional opportunities, and social capital.

This challenge also affects employers. Half of employees report being regularly distracted on the job due to care responsibilities outside of work. This leads to a loss of over $4.4 billion in productivity annually.[4] Additionally, employers lose valuable talent from the workplace as workers don’t find the benefits of working worth the costs of childcare and leave the workforce.[5]

Our product, Wiggle Room, isn’t meant to replace employer responsibility or progressive policies, but rather to support public and private efforts to find creative solutions through a deeper understanding of the space. Workers are relying on their informal networks to provide childcare, yet research efforts currently focus on daycare, babysitters, and nannies, options that are out of reach for many low-income parents. Little-to-no attention is dedicated to capturing, organizing or innovating in the space of informal childcare networks.



[1] https://www.care.com/care-index

[2] http://workplaceflexibility2010.org/images/uploads/whatsnew/Flexible%20Workplace%20Solutions%20for%20Low-Wage%20Hourly%20Workers.pdf

[3] https://usa.childcareaware.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/2017_CCA_High_Cost_Report_FINAL.pdf

[4] https://usa.childcareaware.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/2017_CCA_High_Cost_Report_FINAL.pdf

[5] https://www.epi.org/publication/trends-in-work-hours-and-labor-market-disconnection/

 

budget

Research + testing: $3,000

Build: $1,000

Infrastructure (web host, server) + security: $1,000



SUBTOTAL = 5,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $250
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $150
TOTAL TO RAISE = $5,435

 

updates

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photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • Janak D Ramakrishnan
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous