This whole idea was birthed as a necessity to help families seeking childcare. My name is Monica Alsobrook and I have owned a daycare for 24 years. For the last 24 years, my phone has rung every day, all day with desperate parents looking for childcare but I never had any openings. Licensing had my hands tied. My under-two-year-old spots would open up 4 times every two years. Usually taken by pregnant moms of the older kids, so we rarely took anyone out of the circle of existing families. It was almost impossible to get in. Imagine having 4 infant openings every two years and getting roughly 5 calls a day from parents desperately pining for a spot. I consoled mothers crying, yelling, and begging. I brainstormed with them, trying to come up with alternative ideas.
"Can you find a college girl to help? Maybe another stay-at-home mom to add to her day? Oh! Maybe a sweet Grandma type, who's retired and would love to help. There's got to be someone!"
Their backs were up against a wall, they had to go back to work. But how can you do that not having someone you trust to love and care for you the important person in your life?
When the pandemic hit, everything stopped. I'm sure you remember how eerie that was. When the smoke finally cleared, we realized the childcare landscape was totally decimated. It got way worse. California lost about 10,000 childcare programs. Then California Licensing put a heavier workload of paperwork and restrictions on childcare facilities and even more family childcare homes shut down. What this has done is triggered a huge imbalance in supply and demand for child care. The cost has skyrocketed and it's just unsustainable.
I stayed up countless nights, racking my brain to come up with something to help the families that I couldn't. That's how this came about. Who knows if it takes hold or not. But I believe that nothing compares to meeting face to face.
When I was in my early 20's I had a 2-year-old and newborn twins. I was going through a divorce, all by myself with the babies. I couldn't keep up with house chores, taking care of them, and my full-time job that was very demanding. Keep in mind I was broke as a joke too. I remember breaking down crying one night when all three were vomiting, I didn't know whom to help first, I just dropped to the floor and cried. I NEEDED HELP! I feel like I have PTSD from those days, every time I speak to parents that have no options. Our generation doesn't really have the village that our parents' generation had, or in this economy, the luxury of not working.
Hopefully, we can make connections, help families, and bring fulfilling and purposeful employment to anyone looking for extra income. And maybe in the process, we make lifelong friends and build rebuild the village that has disappeared.