DENVER, April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The only startup working toward a Main Street solution to the nation's early childcare crisis has announced the closing of a $5.95 million seed round. The funds will be used to expand high quality childcare locations in Colorado and Montana and expand into more states.
The female-founded company is headquartered in Bozeman, Mont., and its seed round is the largest ever in the state, according to CrunchBase.
Investors in the seed raise include: Acumen, Jasmine Social Investments, Better Ventures, Atlassian Foundation, Kairos, Impact Engine, Red Sea Ventures, among others.
"Acumen America invested in MyVillage because it has the team, strategy, determination and moral imagination to challenge the status quo of child care in the U.S.," said Catherine Casey Nanda, Director of Acumen America. "The company has a scalable solution that will work in every state to solve the national childcare crisis."
According to the Center for American Progress, 51 percent of Americans, including Coloradans, live in a "childcare desert," which refers to any census tract with more than 50 children under age 5 that contains either no child care providers or so few options that children vastly outnumber licensed childcare slots.
Co-founder and CEO Erica Mackey says she and co-founder Elizabeth Szymanski started the company after experiencing firsthand the pain of trying to find high-quality, affordable childcare for their own children. After more research, the two serial entrepreneurs quickly found that the system wasn't working for childcare providers either, Mackey explained.
"MyVillage is committed to building a community of people who are earning a great living while providing high-quality, licensed, affordable childcare using their own homes as places of business," said Mackey. "Each MyVillage location creates or supports a small business, allowing six to 12 parents - usually women - to return to the workforce with peace of mind."
MyVillage is a Frontiers of Innovation partner at the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard, leveraging the knowledge of early childhood experts to provide 10 child-led, research-backed curricula to all MyVillage educators. Educators also receive front- and back-office tools like accounting, marketing and scheduling to make it easy to launch and run an in-home child care program. Personalized support and guidance from the nation's best early childhood educators help new providers along their way to becoming a licensed provider, increasing supply to meet demand.
In just one year of operating in Colorado and Montana, MyVillage has achieved higher than 98 percent customer satisfaction rating (NPS) from parents - a full 16 points higher than the beloved brand Apple. In addition to helping educators access marketing and technical support, MyVillage actively partners with the public sector to complement existing programs and standards with a shared goal of improving outcomes for the nation's earliest learners.
"Joining MyVillage has helped me grow my career as an experienced in-home educator, and now I get to mentor new educators joining the field," said Kerry Stewart, the owner of Mountain View Early Learning in Colorado and a MyVillage mentor. "I love introducing passionate caregivers to our incredible MyVillage community and helping support them in running a thriving in-home childcare business. My role at MyVillage allows me to focus on what I love: teaching kids and supporting new in-home providers."
MyVillage connects families with high-quality, affordable child care providers and provides a robust mentoring environment to train and support educators. The company was founded by two female entrepreneurs – both moms – who experienced a broken child care system and were driven to fix it to create a better America. For more information or to join the community, visit www.myvillage.com.