Seattle area startup makes finding a babysitter as easy as sending a text

It's a frustration familiar to any parent -- the search for short-term childcare.That problem inspired 'Poppy'-- childcare on-demand. Parents can simply send a text -- and a qualified babysitter will show up at their home.

It's a frustration familiar to any parent -- the search for short-term childcare.

Entrepreneur and mom Avni Patel Thompson knows the problem well:

"We were new to Seattle, we had just had our second daughter, and I needed a sitter for an evening event," said Patel Thompson, “and I remember just kind of being in this blind panic for an event that we really had to go to. And I couldn't find someone in time.”

That panic inspired 'Poppy'-- childcare on-demand. Parents can simply send a text -- and a qualified babysitter will show up at their home. 

"It was really less of a business idea and more just trying to solve my own problems," Patel Thompson said. 

Poppy brings this age-old task up to date by focusing on three things: vetting providers, matching them to families, and simplifying scheduling.

Amy Jizmagian uses it to find care for her son Gavin .

"We were new to Seattle when I discovered Poppy and I pretty quickly realized with some of the other services that I was going to be in charge of interviewing people and running background checks and sort of building my own team," said Jizmagian.

Poppy babysitters - like Alexandra Spencer- must have at least five years of childcare experience, pass a background check, successfully go through a video interview, and provide multiple references.

All caregivers are interviewed. Once onboard, they're trained in CPR and first aid.

 "I think the vetting by Poppy is one of the most important pieces for me,"  said Jizmagian.

This Seattle startup is basically the Uber of childcare. 

“Poppy works really well for me because it' s incredibly flexible schedule-wise,” said Poppy caregiver Alexandra Spencer.

It does 'take a village' to raise a child, and Poppy gives parents another tool to create that community.

“The fact that we're building something that truly parents and families need and use every single week,  it's pretty rewarding,” said Patel Thompson.

 

Story produced in collaboration with Start IT Seattle.  Connect with them via FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Copyright 2016 KING


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