As a 25-year-old man with no children, I don’t even know if I’m qualified to write about this. But I do remember my preschool teacher from 1991 and how much fun she was, so in honor of finding a caretaker as amazing as Miss Markley, let’s do this:
Mom Trusted got started in Cincinnati in 2011 with the intention of helping parents find the best nannies, babysitters, daycare centers and preschools. Judging by the cool million it just landed in funding by a round led by Blumberg Capital (with participation from 500 Startups and Birchmere Labs), it seems to have a promising future.
The network is envisioned as a social marketplace that “connects parents to parents, parents to providers, and providers to providers.” At this time, the social, person-to-person features are still in their infancy (pun totally intended), and the newness of the site hasn’t yet produced a user base across the whole country.
But here in California, using just your zip code (automatically inputted into the field through some awesome web browser wizardry) a search yields a bounty of entries from individual sitters to various schools. Daycares and schools list their licenses and accreditations. Sitters list their expertise and other details on their profiles including their rates, number of children they’re willing to care for, and if they have any experience working with special needs students.
Mom Trusted makes a specific point of not being Yelp for childcare. An article about the funding in TechCrunch explained that the idea of providing users with the ability to review certain services and sitters was explored but ultimately discarded in favor of encouraging more private communication. Imagine the damage a startup like Mom Trusted would suffer if overly-sensitive parents spammed the site with terribly negative reviews of individual centers or sitters.
The objective of Mom Trusted is to stimulate the kind of friendly, inquisitive communication that would occur out in the community. A college student looking to make some extra money by doing some babysitting on the side can put up an ad at the local Starbucks or in the paper, or that person could go to Mom Trusted and present their qualifications to interested parents. It’s a heck of a lot more legitimate than Craigslist.
So what will Mom Trusted do with its million bucks? The company has already managed to help 300,000 parents find childcare, and they did it with absolutely zero official marketing, so it’s worth wondering how the service will be improved with some nice financial backing. The site has always been designed as a community-oriented service, and it’s worth checking back to see how the funding will help its social features bloom. What kind of business model will Mom Trusted grow to become? Technapex will be watching and will keep you updated!