Finding a reliable babysitter can be difficult, but Chicago-based startup GoNanny wants to the process easier.
“There needs to be a modern approach to childcare,” GoNanny Founder and CEO Patrice Darby told Afrotech. “Go Nanny comes in for the independent children.”
Darby said that children over the age of six typically do not need the same amount of care as younger children and infants.
“Every single family I worked for had kids who were in school, so I would be in their houses for eight hours with no work,” Darby said. “Trust and dependability are so important that parents are willing to pay for someone when they’re not using the person.”
Darby created GoNanny after working as a licensed nanny for eight years. She comes from a family of childcare workers — her parents owned their own daycare and afterschool care center and her sister owns a daycare center. GoNanny was founded to plug the hole to provide childcare for short increments of time.
Users register a GoNanny account, schedule times that childcare or pickups are needed, and meet with the potential nanny in the GoNanny office. Nannies are booked in 15-minute increments and are only paid for the time that they are used. Once a caretaker is booked, users are able to track the progress of the session and conduct check-ins through the GoNanny platform.
Darby and her family developed a 22-point screening system to hire nannies. The GoNannySAFE screen includes criminal background checks on state and federal levels, a social media character check, and vehicle safety inspections.
GoNanny also offers services for the elderly by providing pickups and dropoffs for care appointments and at-home visits for clients.
“We think about the whole life cycle when it comes to what care means for a family,” Darby said.
Darby said she bootstrapped to create GoNanny and is hoping that the company will be able to go public in a few years.
Finding funding for GoNanny has not been an easy task. Darby and her now-husband used the money for their wedding and honeymoon to fund the company and opted for an intimate courthouse wedding instead. Darby also sold her condo and began living with her sister as a way to save up for her condo.
“I hustled,” Darby said. “But my family and I want to leave a legacy.”
Darby said GoNanny will soon enter its seed funding round and plans to expand to the suburbs of Chicago in January. GoNanny also is expected to expand to other metropolitan cities by the end of 2019.