by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic credit: kiddocare.my
KIDDOCARE — an online platform that provides “on-demand” babysitting services to parents — aims to empower women in the gig economy by providing job opportunities as trained babysitters.
Launched in 2018, Kiddocare has 1,600 babysitters who are referred to as Kiddocarers with its CEO and founder Nadira Yusoff (picture) expressing hopes of having some 2,300 trained Kiddocarers by the end of 2021.
The service is currently available in Selangor, the Federal Territory, Nilai, Seremban and Johor Baru, with plans to expand to other states and regions.
Nadira said any female above the age of 18 can qualify to become a Kiddocarer. “Some of the Kiddocarers have early childhood education, while the majority have previous childcare experience or have worked as experienced caregivers.
The babysitters from Kiddocare must go through babysitting training and assessments conducted by professionals in the childcare industry, and undergo comprehensive background checks, including psychometric assessment and medical check-ups,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a rise in demand for carers to assist working moms with tasks like home schooling, so they could concentrate on their work at home, as well as from parents who needed to leave home for work which means leaving their young children at home due to the closure of nurseries/schools.
Kiddocare service is available at the client’s convenience, choice of location and duration starting with a minimum of two hours of service.
“We have had two rounds of fundraising, the first of which was through equity crowdfunding, which resulted in a total of RM600,000 raised through PitchIn as seed investment.
“We also obtained RM1 million in seed investments via VC Excelsa Capital,” according to Nadira.
In the next five years, she hopes the platform will act as a tool for not only empowering parents, but economically empowering its registered and trained babysitters, as this is the community it wants to cultivate.
“We’re now setting the groundwork for the company’s expansion in Malaysia. Expansion requires both physical presence and service options.
“We are developing modules to train our babysitters to care for children with special needs or who need specialised care. We also intend to add more features to our technology to make the service more accessible and distribution easier for our customers, as well as to further improve our technology to resolve safety concerns,” she added.
A Kiddocarer for the past three years, Khadijah Mat Edek was a single mother who at that time was looking for a part-time job with flexible working hours.
“I came across the opportunity at Kiddocare to supplement my monthly income and gained a lot of experience while studying to be a licensed babysitter by attending childcare courses that provide instruction on how to care for special needs children, one of it was coordinated by Anak Istimewa Negeri Selangor.
“These newly honed skills have established me as a trusted Kiddocarer among parents of special children,” she told TMR.
Nur Aqilah Mohd Rozey, 23, was a kindergarten teacher who was retrenched due to school closures due the Covid-19 pandemic and joined Kiddocare in November 2020.
“I took advantage of this opportunity to enter a sector that will enable me to develop the childcare industry, which is an advantage as I previously worked as a kindergarten teacher.
“My income has been more stable now in comparison to my former employment and I am able to purchase a car with the income I earned from being a Kiddocarer,” she told TMR.
The value of an on-demand platform is growing rapidly as versatility is the key to assisting working parents.
Nadira said parents now need some assistance in adapting to the current working climate, which includes more flexi-working arrangements.
Moving forward, Nadira sees more businesses adopting flexible working norms such as work from home, while households learn to rely less on full-time foreign maids.
“These could generate awareness and appreciation for on-demand services from Malaysian parents. Mothers appreciate our assistance in enabling them to do more, run errands, take care of themselves, or even start a business.
“Parents can now spend time alone together on date-nights as well. Children are also cared for by certified babysitters who have undergone training and can assist with the development and growth of the children,” she concluded.