Littlehubs is a new concept to help you with the logistics of drop off and pick up.
The start of a new year - where to begin? You need to arrange sport, music, before/after care and potentially childcare on top of that. It consumes a considerable portion of your attention over January, and you always feel like you've forgotten something.
One of the most underrated is to mastermind the logistical challenges of pick-up and drop-off.
Whether your kids are in daycare or school, it's a struggle that parents have long faced. It was something new mum Natasha Connor had to navigate for the first time as she planned her return to work after nearly a year at home with her first child Jude.
It was a big adjustment, scheduling drop-off and pick-up for the first time. With long commutes, the reality of it was they had a lot less flexibility and time than ever before. Seeing the other parents at daycare also struggling with the same challenge, she wondered if there was anything they could do to help each other.
Natasha and her son Jude
"It was clear that this was a huge problem for so many parents. We were all travelling very similar journeys and living in the same area, so I thought - could we start to take turns?"
Around the same time, Natasha came across a start-up that was looking at a similar idea but with shared nannies. She reached out to the co-founder and CEO, Alex Millar. After a lot of ideas, conversations with other parents and caffeine, the business pivoted to start developing a solution. On top of that, Natasha decided she liked the idea so much she ended up joining as a co-founder! That business is Littlehubs.
What is Littlehubs? Littlehubs enables child care sharing. Parents can book and share a screened carer, or connect with other parents to help each other with pick-up, drop-off or afternoon care. Think of it as building a network of trusted parents who help one-another without the awkwardness or judgement.
Natasha said "Nearly 80% of parents we spoke with say successfully managing pick-up/drop-off is a weekly challenge." Many quoted long work hours and commute journeys as key factors.
Jude playing at his daycare
So how does it work? Parents sign up and choose their child's school or place of care. They can post an "Ask" on the app to see if another parent can help on a particular day, or they may offer to help out another parent. The platform is set-up so parents can message directly to make arrangements and meet-up beforehand.
Littlehubs Share and Swap provides a safe and seamless experience. We found some parents had tried doing something similar through Whatsapp groups, but this requires a coordinator to take the lead, and many parents were still not comfortable asking for favours.
Ideal for before and after school care For parents who have challenges with accessing before/after care, itís a flexible option to help juggle the days between them. Some families who traditionally opted for before and after school nannies find this provides more affordable and flexible options.
How much is it? Littlehubs plans to launch Share and Swap in early 2020 as a key feature available to their members. There is an opportunity for parents to participate in a private beta phase for free over the next 3 months. After the pilot phase, Littlehubs Plus costs $15 p/m or $150 annual subscription for full access to the platform.
Find out more If you want to be a part of the free pilot register your interest here. If you know other families or parents in your area who would like to get involved, please ask them to register too.