As moms, we don’t need reminding that there’s a child-care crisis in this country. It’s estimated that 80% of the gender pay gap is due to the “Motherhood Penalty”, where a woman’s earning potential suffers for having had children. All working moms have experienced the fear of a flooded daycare, a random snow day, or a sick child (or nanny! or grandparent!) being the cause of her needing to take a day off work, or at least leave early from work. Absences to plug gaps in childcare can lead to an employer or colleagues making judgments about a working mother’s motivation or commitment levels. The burden of planning for, and covering for such eventualities does usually (though not always!) fall on the mom, causing stress and distraction at work, especially if you don’t feel like the set-up of your childcare is optimal for your child’s development. Enter CozyKin, a nanny-sharing startup which has experienced enormous success in its home town of Boston, and which has now opened enrollment for Manhattan families.
We were so curious about how CozyKin works, so we grilled co-founder Tatyana Gubin on their model, and how they’re able to peg their pricing to daycares like Bright Horizons, while delivering at-home care.
How did inspiration strike to create CozyKin?
In the interviews we conducted with more than a hundred families and childcare providers, most families shared that childcare was one of their biggest struggles in becoming a new parent, and described their ideal childcare experience: the personal care of a nanny, combined with the structure and socialization of a daycare. Furthermore, families wanted the ability to reserve care early so that they could enjoy their parental leave without stressing about their childcare arrangement.
As co-founders, we learned that families sharing a nanny overwhelmingly loved this form of childcare, but many families were unaware of this childcare arrangement, unable to find their own partner families, or could not secure a great nanny on their own.
How does CozyKin work?
CozyKin matches two compatible, local families with a rigorously vetted and trained nanny. The company handles all the logistics from finances and nanny management to backup care, giving parents a stress-free and seamless experience. Furthermore, the two families’ children in the nanny share gain the cognitive benefits of socialization with their first best friend. To further support families, CozyKin provides a dedicated care concierge to manage daily care. CozyKin also employs all of their nannies and empowers them with the security of W-2 employment, including competitive wages, paid time off including parental leave, health benefits, workers compensation and ongoing professional development in early childhood education. Only the top five percent of applicants are hired.
How do you commit to your promise to always provide back-up childcare, even in the event of a nanny being on vacation or out sick?
CozyKin has a lot of tech on the back-end to predict how much backup care is expected for families on certain weeks and make sure we have the right number of CozyKin nannies available to fill in for families. It’s a big operation that we’re constantly improving over time.
Do you have any time frame on being able to expand CozyKin into providing after-school care?
Not at the moment!
Are CozyKin nannies all trained in CPR and to administer first aid?
Yes, all CozyKin nannies are trained in CPR and administering first aid.
How did you find the process of seeking funding for CozyKin, as a female entrepreneur?
Honestly, I’m incredibly grateful for the increased support and recognition female founders are getting now, especially for a topic like childcare that’s so critical for working women. In the beginning, many investors just weren’t interested in childcare as a space and didn’t see how big of a problem it was for families and especially working women. Our earliest investors and supporters got it: Kent Bennett from BVP, Rob Go from NextView, and Ben Sun from Primary. As parents, they knew the challenges of childcare intimately and how much of a difference CozyKin could make for families. My advice to other female entrepreneurs is to find your true believers who desperately want the problem you’re tackling to be solved!
We love the idea of CozyKin’s concept, and can’t wait to see how New York families respond to the introduction of a new way of doing childcare. If you’ve tried CozyKin, or are involved in a nanny share or childcare co-op, we’d love to talk to you. Email [email protected] to share your story.