Bubble is gifting flexible childcare to support UK start-ups

Flexible childcare provider, Bubble, is offering start-ups the chance to enhance their employee benefits packages and increase appeal to top talent through free on-demand babysitting.

The female founders who wouldn’t exist without childcare

When Liana Fricker started her business, Inspiration Space, a platform that provides tailored support, community and mentoring for startups in 2018, just like any other founder, she needed to network, hold meetings and attend events as much as possible to get her idea off the ground.

But one thing was getting in her way. Childcare. Here, Liana openly talks about how childcare saved her idea from failing before it even began and what we need to do ensure more female founders get the support they need to succeed.

“In the early days, I was attending networking events and meetings in the evenings anywhere between where I live in Surrey, Winchester and London, long after the nine to fivers had returned home, which meant traditional childcare options didn’t cut me the slack I needed. With no immediate family nearby to help with school pick-ups and bedtimes, and a husband with a very demanding job, I became desperate for a solution so my dream could become a reality.

“I’d often need to attend meetings at very short notice, which became really stressful to manage with school and nursery drop offs and pick-ups on top of the usual viruses kids are so often afflicted with. The things is, as a founder, you’re looking for your big break and connection is everything. You’re often working with or being supported by people who are giving their time up for free, so you have to bite their hand off and make it work – night or day.

“Without the vital infrastructure that flexible childcare brings, the entrepreneurial door is pretty much closed to female founders, who largely still bear the brunt of taking care of children. So, when a Google search revealed Bubble, an app that provides local trusted babysitters and nannies who you can book at short notice for as little as an hour – I immediately checked it out.

“For me, Bubble meant that I could attend a 7am networking breakfast or a 6pm mentor meeting in Winchester safe in the knowledge that a trusted sitter would take care of my kids, and get them to wherever they needed to be, be it school or bed.

“Treating childcare as vital infrastructure and offering it as a work benefit normalises working parents. Given that most families rely on a dual income, it feels crazy that the system is so out of date. Reliable, decent childcare needs to be subsidised by employers and the government if parents are to lead fullfilling and rewarding careers. Too many women, in particular, are lost to the working world, which is not only bad for them, but for the economy too.

“A huge elephant in the room seems to be that to even get to the point where a business is off the ground, turning a profit and being registered, childcare is needed. Perhaps even more so – most founders work round the clock researching their idea to make it a reality, which is why initiatives such as Bubble For StartUps is so key. By funding solo-preneurs through its £50,000 free childcare scheme, we’re going to help so many more female business founders like me.”

Flexible childcare provider, Bubble, is offering start-ups the chance to enhance their employee benefits packages and increase appeal to top talent through free on-demand babysitting.

It is offering 50 Greater London start-ups £1,000 of free childcare credits, which can be used on the app and exchanged for flexible childcare.

The parent-led, trust and community based app, which has over 100,000 registered users, is championing one of the main demands of the current workforce. As hybrid working becomes the norm, it’s vital parents and carers have access to a contemporary childcare model to match.

Research shows that working parents make up three in seven of the current workforce, and with 74 per cent of millennials planning to have children, a family-friendly culture and accompanying benefits are critical to the success and longevity of tech startups.

It’s also been reported that 43 per cent of women working in STEM leave full-time work after having their first child . Furthermore, 40% of women rate work-life balance as a top driver for staying in tech roles.

With 8 in 10 female millennials in Britain seeking out employers with a strong record on DEI and 1 in 5 women in tech exiting the tech industry early due to poor work-life balance, Bubble believes flexible childcare is the missing piece of the puzzle.

Founder and CEO of Bubble, Ari Last, said: “For start-ups to become more diverse and attract brilliant talent it’s vital that they start to invest in childcare. Having been a start-up ourselves we know the struggles faced and hope this levels the playing field.”

He added: “We’ve built Bubble by digitising trust - it’s essentially the modern day playground, where parents can share recommendations of their favourite local sitters and nannies. There are tens of thousands of babysitters all vetted and approved by Bubble. Mums and dads can read their reviews and chat to them before booking. Most of our parents book sitters to supplement their traditional childcare and the app is hugely beneficial in supporting flexible or hybrid working.”

Whether start-ups are in the early days of product-market fit or have just nailed their first major client, Bubble is here to help them grow.

For those wanting to find out more and to apply to boost their employee offering with flexible childcare from Bubble for Startups, go to https://joinbubble.com/childcare-credits-for-startups

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