LOS ANGELES, Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- WeeCare, a company revolutionizing early childcare access for families via a platform that helps caregivers start and manage successful curriculum-based home daycares, today announced $4.2M in funding. The seed round was led by Social Capital, with participation from Fuel Ventures. Funds will be used to support growth and deepen roots in the startup's native Southern California and assist with expansion into new regions - with two additional cities to be announced this year.
"We've focused on building a seamless platform that allows home daycare providers to effortlessly run their business right from their phone," said Jessica Chang, CEO and co-founder of WeeCare. "With this fundraise, we now have the ability to truly affect the early childcare market and scale our solution to communities all over the U.S. that desperately need affordable and convenient childcare options."
The licensed early childcare market has grown to roughly $50B, with home daycare making up 60 percent of this figure. WeeCare's turn-key services and platform helps caregivers and educators start curriculum-based, in-home daycares, offering a complete management solution. Via an easy-to-use mobile app, providers receive support and resources for opening a daycare including essentials such as licensing, home preparation, insurance and business training. In addition, the platform digitizes enrollment, automates the billing process, generates a website listing, offers comprehensive marketing tools and even creates curriculum to help providers offer world-class, education-based care. Caregivers using WeeCare also have access to a community of peers for support and knowledge-sharing.
WeeCare created and established its curriculum in partnership with Esther Wojcicki, Ph.D, a renowned educator, author and advisor specifically focused on the importance of early childcare education and a unique blended learning approach.
For every three children with parents seeking early childcare nationwide, only one spot is available within the existing care landscape. In states such as California and New York, the care gap worsens - specifically in the Los Angeles region, where the average ratio rises to six children in need of care for every open spot. Over the last 20 years, the amount of women in the workforce has more than doubled, growing from 30 to 69 percent, while the number of early childcare providers has remained stagnant.
In addition to a limited supply and high demand in the childcare market, exacerbating the challenge for parents is the soaring cost of current options, which can reach thousands of dollars each month. WeeCare enables caregivers to offer convenient, quality childcare at 30 to 40 percent more affordable rates than the market standard - making it accessible to all families, no matter their income level.
"We're thrilled to be partnering with the WeeCare team as they address the growing shortage of quality and affordable daycare," said Adam Nelson, Partner at Social Capital. "WeeCare will not only improve outcomes for children and their parents, but will also free up primary caregivers to pursue their career with peace of mind. At the same time, WeeCare's marketplace enables a new group of childcare entrepreneurs to build their own businesses."
Previous investors including Fika Ventures, Amplify Partners and Wavemaker Partners also joined the funding round. The lead investment includes a seat on WeeCare's board, which will be held by Nelson of Social Capital, a partnership of philanthropists, technologists and capitalists utilizing venture capital as a force to create value and change on a global scale.
After launching in the fall of 2017, WeeCare was recognized by OpenIDEO as a Top Idea in the New Early Innovator of its Early Childhood Innovation Prize. 15 breakthrough solutions with the greatest potential to positively impact the lives of young children were named the Prize's Top Ideas, all of which will share the $1 million in prize funding from Gary Community Investments (GCI) to help accelerate their impact.
Founded in 2017 in Los Angeles, WeeCare empowers caregivers to create sustainable home daycare businesses, while making affordable, quality childcare accessible to all families. The WeeCare platform provides caregivers, educators and parentprenuers the tools and support needed to start a licensed home daycare, fill to capacity and effortlessly manage operations so they can focus on caregiving. Families using WeeCare have access to safe, affordable and curriculum-based daycare.
For more information, visit https://weecare.co
Contact: Emily Webb
C: (858) 729-8483