Mum creates app to answer parents’ prayers
A GOLD Coast mum believes she has found the solution for frustrated parents seeking babysitters at short notice.
Tara McTeigue has developed the Mumma Co app - a marketplace that connects parents to babysitters and childcare workers.
The app has been available for download since mid-December and already has 115 sitters and 300 parents registered in southeast Queensland.
Ms McTeigue, whose background includes stints at real estate agency Colliers International and multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo, said the idea was conceived after she moved from Sydney to Brisbane and found herself cut off from her support network of family and friends.
"My husband Shaun and I encountered a lot of problems finding a sitter for our children when we relocated to Brisbane and then down to the Gold Coast," she said.
"We had a limited friend network and no family around and so it highlighted to me a gap in the market for quality on-demand childcare."
Ms McTeigue said she observed aspects of the sharing economy, such as Uber, and felt childcare was missing out.
"We live in a world of instant gratification so basically you can pick up a smartphone and solve any problem," she said.
"But parents were getting left behind. If you wanted the luxury of a night out or you just needed a helping hand around the house the world of babysitting and childcare has not caught up.
"We sat down and thought how can we use technology to solve this problem?"
She began work on New Year's Day 2017 on Mumma Co and launched the product after two years in development including extensive beta testing.
She said the app, developed with Brisbane firm App Gurus, was designed to be easy-to-use and intuitive.
"As a parent you login and create a job. You can review the available sitters and pick the ones you want to send your job to," she said.
"Or if you have used it a few times you might have a list of favourites so you would pick straight from them."
The profile of the sitters includes their education, experience and skillset. All sitters have been vetted to make sure they have Blue Cards.
"Everyone has had a very good experience using the app," she said. "Jobs have been picked up within 10 minutes max by sitters."
She planned to roll the service out to Sydney once it had gained traction in southeast Queensland.
She said she would monetise the product once "all the bugs" have been ironed out.
Mumma Co charged $28 an hour to parents and take a "small portion" of that as a fee.