The childcare industry in the US is broken. Millions of parents are suffering due to the high costs and lack of access to quality childcare. From our research, we also found that childcare and associated activities were the biggest reasons why women fail to progress the corporate ladder. We decided to tackle this problem at a systemic level. Instead of solving the problems within the current system, we asked the question :
How can we design a service that addresses the problems within the childcare sector at a systemic level and creates value for all the stakeholders?
(watch the video below to understand the gravity of the issue)
The solution that we designed was Careville, a platform that helps care-seekers such as working parents find affordable care in their neighborhood while giving a new income stream for care-providers such as stay-at-home parents. By leveraging under-utilized resources in the system such as manpower, space and other infrastructure, Careville promises a better future for the childcare industry, one that is based on community and mutual trust than just the traditional profit and growth maxim.
One of the task flows on the app : to browse through caregiver profiles and find a right fit
Compared to the other solutions and services in the market today, Careville operates in the space of unregulated and informal care-giving space, which has yet not seen a major disruption, giving us the edge in this competitive space.
TIMELINE : 15 Weeks (Sep 2018 - Dec 2018 )
OUTCOMES : Systemic solution, Experience Design , Project Report, Pitch Deck
TEAM : Four students from the Strategic Design and Management program at Parsons - Tanvi Kanakia, Mehul Sharma and Sundar Subramanian (myself)
MY ROLE : I was involved in all the different aspects of the project, right from research to synthesis, prototyping, testing and creating the final solution. The tasks that I spent most time on were related to research and insight synthesis. I facilitated ideation and brainstorming in unique ways during many of our working sessions.
A SYSTEMIC INTERVENTION
We envision Careville as not just a solution to a particular problem, but as a systemic intervention in a highly complex and inefficient industry. After we conducted secondary and primary research and identified insights that led us to creating a systems map, we could focus on leverage points that could shift the way that the system currently operates.
Childcare in the US is a very complex system - and the main reason for this being the high stress associated with parenting and complex inter-dependencies between multiple stakeholders in a highly fragmented and regulated industry which cause a strain on certain parts of the system.
Any system that is complex also presents opportunities to intervene in terms of leverage points. In this space, we found 3 of them, which are the most pressing challenges to be solved for the stakeholders and can have a widespread impact on the system overall.
DESIGNING THE EXPERIENCE
We created an experience journey map for the two stakeholders involved in the service : The care-seekers and the care-providers as they go from the initial on-boarding, to exploring options, getting matched and finally receiving/providing care.