For New Zealand parents with young children, making a decision on which daycare to choose can be overwhelming, with so many different options and things to consider. At Kindello, they help make the decision so much easier by providing parents and caregivers with one place to see all childcare options in their area, alongside reviews and other information needed to make a confident choice. They want to ensure that choosing the right childcare for your family is safe, easy, and stress-free. You can even book your visits directly through their website. Here, Kindello Co-Founder Logan Whitelaw talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind the business, the challenges they have overcome, and their plans for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Before starting Kindello, I was lucky enough to work with fantastic daycare owners for the last ten years – running the teams that helped design and consent many of the best centres in the country. This has included some of the award-winning centres such as Kakapo Creek, Gaia Forest Preschool and many of the New Shoots centres. I saw some of the best that the early learning sector had to offer and started to hear about some of the challenges that all daycares faced.
When we had our children, like many parents, we found choosing the right daycare way more complicated than it should be. There were so many options, so many things to think about, and it was hard to know what would be the best for our children.
Speaking with our friends with children of the same age, we realised that we weren’t alone and that this was a struggle for most parents. There’s a lot to think about, and it can be a stressful time when you’re looking at starting a daycare for the first time. There are often feelings of guilt and anxiety, and we feel the experience for parents could be much better.
So we set out to create the experience we wished we could have had – one place where parents can find, compare, read reviews and book visits to any daycare instantly. We’re driven to empower parents to make the best daycare decisions for their children and to help amazing daycares connect with families in their area.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
We believe that parents have the right to see all their daycare options in one place – so they genuinely have the information they need to make the right decision for their children. We also believe that the smallest daycares should be able to be found by parents – not just the ones with the most significant budgets, so it was essential to us to make sure we made Kindello a fair place.
To do this, we had to build a new platform like AirBnB where every daycare had a pre-populated listing – showing parents detailed information, photos and reviews and allowing them to book a visit or enquire easily. And we decided that this platform had to be free for parents and daycares. With around 4500 different early learning services in New Zealand, there was a lot of work to create a free listing for everyone!
We started slowly and quietly, and our monthly growth has been mainly due to word of mouth from parents.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest things we’ve done differently have been pre-populating a listing for every daycare in New Zealand and allowing parents to book visits to multiple different centres instantly.
Before Kindello, parents would search for daycare options, and phone or email centres and spend hours trying to compare and arrange visits. It was a painful and time-consuming process. We now have thousands of parents every week finding, comparing and booking visits across the country. Seeing the change and having so much positive feedback from parents and daycares has been amazing.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
We’ve been starting and running our own businesses since before we had our first child – so it’s part of who we are as a family. We’re lucky to have close, supportive family around us which always helps – but life is definitely busy.
We don’t put too much pressure on ourselves to achieve ‘balance’ – it’s more about work-life integration. This means accepting that we sometimes have to work big hours, but having the flexibility to make sure we can spend quality time with our children when they’re not in school. If you’re doing something that you genuinely believe, then work hours become something that gives energy – rather than taking it.