Given the demand for daycare spaces in the Downtown core, finding a spot for your child is a challenge, to say nothing finding a spot in a nearby daycare with the right programming.
Grange residents Regnard and Liza Raquedan don’t claim to be solving the childcare problem. However, Cubbyspot, the Raquedan’s recently launched app that allows parents to easily search and sign up for daycare spaces, is taking a practical approach to a large-scale issue.
The couple started working on Cubbyspot shortly after their daughter’s birth when the difficulty of finding a suitable daycare space became their problem and resources to help them navigate Toronto’s daycares were few and far between.
“The closest thing we found was directories, but they didn’t have any information about openings. They only had addresses and phone numbers,” said Raquedan, “We realized this is a problem a lot of parents are having…If you’re a parent, you want to find something better.”
Cubbyspot is the first major mobile app in its field, which may seem surprising given the demand for childcare—but compiling and maintaining a daycare database is no small feat.
“The childcare industry is very fragmented. There’s a lot of small companies scattered all over Canada,” said Raquedan, “That’s tough and a lot of people don’t want to take on that challenge. Startups don’t have the luxury of time…People seem to be okay with keeping the status quo.”
Regnard and Liza Raquedan have been asked if they’re “solving the childcare problem.” Regnard Raquedan maintains that the issue is nowhere near that simple.
“I don’t think that one entity can solve [the childcare problem]. It has to be a collaboration between the government, companies and families,” said Raquedan, “We’re not making new spaces. What we’re trying to do is surface the spaces that aren’t as obvious.”
According to Raquedan’s findings, 5% to 10% of these spaces go unfilled because parents don’t know about them.
“People are lining up on wait lists, but if they had a better view of what’s out there, maybe they’d be able to find a spot,” said Raquedan, “We’re just making the process much faster and more efficient.”
During a recent beta test, 150 parents participated. Only one Downtown daycare so far has signed up to particiate in the beta.
To learn more or download the app, visit cubbyspot.com.