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Jul 16, 2015 6:22 EST

CarePool – more care, less stress: to create an app that will be the answer to many of the difficulties we, and many other parents, face in arranging childcare

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 16, 2015

CarePool – more care, less stress

The story of the project


We want to make the lives of parents easier. Don’t get us wrong, children are amazing. But all parents need help sometimes. They need time out to do the shopping, go to the doctor, get some work done, or meet a friend and talk about something other than Sam’s latest developmental leap.

There are countless reasons why parents and primary care givers need help with their kids. However, whether you have a great network around you or not, organising that help is not always easy.

We are both parents and have first hand experience of how difficult it can be organising the right care for our children. There’s a lot of coordination, follow-up, and general awkwardness involved. On the other side of the coin, people often want to help out their family and friends, but these kind offers can sometimes get lost in all the coordinating. 

Our vision is to create an app that will be the answer to many of the difficulties we, and many other parents, face in arranging childcare.

So we came up with CarePool.

Our goal is that Care Pool will provide an easy, gorgeous, respectful and fun way to ask for AND offer help caring for kids.

So here we are. We’ve talked to hundreds of parents and we now have a prototype ready to go….  

With your support, we can get CarePool up and running asap!  

About the app: What will the CarePool app do?

Using the app, you will be able to:

1. Make requests for help within your network,
2. Make offers to help the people you care about,
3. Thank the people who help you out,
4.  Find and book paid childcare from within your network or someone recommended by a friend (but not in the first release, unless this Pozible campaign goes through the roof), and
5. Check the availability of potential carers (but not in the first release, as above).

We have so many more ideas, but we’re running out of whiteboard space. More importantly, we want to start helping people ASAP.

But I can send a group message already… Why will CarePool make a difference?

Yes, you can. But CarePool will give you at least three very distinct advantages: 

1. It will help coordinate requests for help. CarePool will allow you to set up your care request (or your offer of care) and keep tab of the responses. You will be able to specify the type of help you need and send out a request. You will be able to coordinate your requests for help in one place, rather than sending out messages to one or more potential carers…. waiting for responses… going back and forth with details…  Once a carer has been found, any other requestees will be informed that care is sorted for this time. Thanks anyway! 

2. It will make offers of help more tangible. Sure, family and friends may have offered their help on many occasions before, but our experience is that parents are hesitant to take up these more casual offers. It’s like if someone said to you “Hey, I’d love to bake you a cake. Just let me know when you’d like me to bake it for you.” It probably feels lovely that they want to bake you a cake, but how easy is it to then say “Hey you know how you said you’d like to bake me a cake? Please bake me a cake tomorrow.” On the other hand, if they said “I’d love to bake you a cake and I’m going to bring it round on Thursday. Is that OK?” then you’re much more likely to be enjoying some lovely cake on Thursday! Similarly, CarePool will give budding carers a way to offer help in a more concrete way, which parents might find easier to take up.

3. It will encourage reciprocity, care sharing and care swapping. Your goodwill will be more visible to those who you have helped, encouraging them to offer help to you too, or making you feel more comfortable about asking for help. Our vision is that CarePool will encourage more care, more help, more sharing, more often. 

Group messaging has existed for a long time. But let’s be honest – is it still difficult asking for help? Is it still rare that people take you up on your offers? Our research seems to show that it sure is. Our aim is that CarePool will help remove what we see as a huge barrier to getting the help we need. 

What about my kids’ safety? And my privacy?

The wellbeing of our kids is at the heart of CarePool. That’s why with CarePool, you select carers from your own trusted network. In the first instance, this will most likely be your friends, family, neighbours, pre-school or school friends – people who you know and who might be willing to help look after your kids. Once paid carers are included in the app, these carers will also be brought into your network by you: your network of trusted paid carers. It might be a babysitter you already use, a friend’s babysitter, a local teenager or local granny who wants a little bit of income. It might also be someone completely new. However, you should get to know and ensure that you trust a new or unknown person before adding them to your network. 

Let us be clear, CarePool is not a carer provider. CarePool will not vet or approve carers. What we do is help you to access the resources in your own network (which we expect are greater than you think!) and help you make initial contact potential new carers, for the times when you need this.   

As for your privacy, users will be asked to put up some personal information on CarePool to assist them in using the service. This may include your personal profile, location, and the names and ages of your children, if you wish. You will only share information about yourself and your children with the people you choose. This information will not be available to the general public. In addition, this information will be safely and securely stored on our server in Melbourne, in accordance with the local privacy laws. Rest assured that a full privacy policy will be available once the app is launched. 

How the funds will be used

All funds raised through this Pozible campaign will be put towards development of the Care Pool app.

App development is not cheap – it will cost 5 x our Pozible target to develop a simple version of the app for both Apple and Android phones.  This first version would not include the paid carer and calendar matching functions.
But we are committed to this project and are willing to invest our own time and money into the app, if we have your support as well – financial and emotional – to know we are on the right track. 

In summary, this is what we are saying:

– If we reach our target, we will be able to develop the Apple version of the app.
– If we reach 2 x our target, we will also be able to develop the Android version of the app.   
– If we reach 3 x our target, we will be able to include a whole lot more functionality of the app from the start.  

Please show CarePool your love!

How much will the app cost me?

The CarePool app will be free for parents and their friends and family, because we want the heart of the app to be as accessible as possible, but we’ll also have some cool things to buy, if you want to, such as ‘hero badges’.  

What are ‘hero badges’?

Hero Badges will be a way for you to thank the people who help you out. We know that gratitude is key and sometimes all that is needed it a simple thank you. For the heroes in your life, you will be able to send a special CarePool thank you. More information on these to come…

If you pledge to our campaign but don’t think hero badges will be relevant to you (eg. if you don’t have small children so won’t be receiving help), we’ll give you the option to gift your hero badges to someone else.

When will the app be ready?

We are aiming to have CarePool available in 2015.

If we reach our campaign target, we will be ready to start development of the app shortly after the completion of the Pozible campaign. We have the developers tee’ed up to start hacking away after this campaign, so if everything goes as planned, we should be ready to launch soon!

Believe us, nobody wants this app to be ready sooner than we do!

 

Official Support

Projects like these don’t happen in a vacuum and we have been fortunate enough to receive a tremendous amount of support and assistance with the project thus far.

The creative geniuses at Fluid Design, graphic designers based in Melbourne and Torquay, have been generously helping us get the look and feel of CarePool right, taking all our meandering stories and dreams for change and distilling them into the perfect logo, branding and screen mock-ups.

The project has also been supported from the beginning by the outrageously talented crew at jTribe, who are on board and ready to get straight into development if the Pozible campaign is successful. We particularly love the intuitive and insightful approach of Lubna, who, as well as being a talented developer, is also a mother of small children and thus very understanding of what CarePool is all about.

We have benefited greatly from the invaluable technical and philosophical advice and direction of Ashin Wimalajeewa, whose assistance has been instrumental in getting CarePool to where it is today.

Our video for the Pozible campaign was created with the support of the wonderful team at Dingo Cross Studios. Cassie and Paul both worked tirelessly to help us convey to the world what CarePool is all about in under 3 minutes. No small feat.
The music in the video is supplied by Bensound: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

Our final scene in the campaign video was made with the wonderful involvement of the following precious people: Kelly & Matt, Lucee, Tessa, Jules & Matt, Tammy, Jackie, Caroline, Noni, Jon & Freda & jelly bean, Jess, Lex & Dave, Shawn, Honor & Wren, Ptolemy and Mark. THANK YOU! x

 

Follow Our Progress

Here on this page

On our website

On our Facebook page 

On Twitter : #CarePoolApp

Contact Information:

Amelia McLean
Sarah Daniell
Jonathon Jenkins
Lucia Halliburton

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