Kango BETA, app for busy parents : carpools, childcare and playdates

Meet 2 of Our KangaDo Sitters & Drivers: Caitlin and Amy

We’re proud to introduce two of amazing Sitters & Drivers. Each of our Sitters & Drivers are uniquely qualified to care for children. Today, we’re sharing their stories with you!

Further, they’ve passed our KangaDo Check. This includes criminal checks across multiple counties, DMV checks for drivers, in-person interviews, and references from previous childcare employers. Without further ado, here are they are!


Caitlin

Caitlin is one of our superstar Sitters (she drives too!). Currently pursuing a MFA in Painting at San Francisco Art Institute, Caitlin hails from sunny San Diego and spent many summers as a lifeguard swim instructor and a pool manager.

With 10+ years of experience as a nanny, she describes her babysitting style as fun and active, while maintaining peace and implementing structure. She loves engaging kids with different activities, from creating imaginative worlds to simply having amazing conversations.

 

Caitlin’s past clients have many great things to say about her:

  • “Caitlin is fantastic! She remains calm in all situations, is a very effective communicator, is kind and fun for kids and genuinely put her heart into everything she does.”
  • “Hire her! You will not regret it.”
  • “Caitlin is great, I wish her all the best and she is always welcome to come back to work for me!”

Currently on winter break, Caitlin has plenty of availability for babysitting, transportation, and even cat sitting (she loves cats!). Book her today!


Amy 

Amy is one of our most analytical, but nurturing Sitters. She holds a degree in Astrophysics (!), but don’t be intimidated. She started babysitting as a teenager, and has 20 years of experience as a nanny and as preschool teacher.

Amy loves teaching children and witnessing their pride in themselves when learning something new. She recalls a favorite moment improvising bedtime stories for two children, thrilling them by staying within strict parameters.

As a San Francisco mom, she takes her three-year-old around the city, visiting every playground, library, beach, and museum. She enjoys living in the Presidio, close to nature and plenty of events.

Amy has enjoyed long relationships with the families she’s worked for. Here’s what her references say:

  • “Amy is very honest, very analytical. She is extremely conscientious, forthright, detail-oriented. She has a very good sense of right and wrong. If in doubt she will always call to make sure it’s appropriate for the rules in my house.”
  • “I don’t think I’d ever be able to find another person like her. She’s like a surrogate parent.”
  • “She has worked for our family for 9 years and has been reliable for 9 years.”

These two amazing Sitters are both available for Childcare & Rides this holiday season. Attend your evening holiday events with peace of mind: company parties, holiday shopping, New Year’s Eve, and more!

How to Make a Request: Simply update KangaDo app to the latest version, and find our “Sitters & Drivers” group in your “Me” Profile page. Click into the group and tap on Childcare or Ride to make a request.

Don’t see the group? Fill out this form, or email us at support@kangadoapp.com. We’ll let you know when you’re in the beta!

Interested in joining us as a Sitter or Driver? We’re always looking for great Sitters & Drivers. If you’re an experienced babysitter, nanny, or mom, send us a note here.

Posted in Sitters & Drivers

New! KangaDo Now Offers Trusted Childcare & Rides in San Francisco (Beta)

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As you know, KangaDo is a mobile service helps busy parents find trustworthy help with their kids. We’re focused on childcare and transportation, and have been featured in Techcrunch and Business Insider. Thousands of parents across the US already use KangaDo to help each other out with carpools or childcare.

Now, we are excited to announce our new beta service – childcare and rides from pre-screened Sitters & Drivers you can trust! Only in San Francisco and for selected parents on KangaDo.

KangaDo Sitters are perfect for after school care, date nights or events, and when you just need a break! Let our Drivers help with your kids’ morning school drop off, afterschool pickup, and rides between activities.

How It Works

Make a Request 
Make a Childcare or Ride request in KangaDo app with just a few taps – even when you’re on the go! Sit back, and get notified when one of our trusted Sitters or Drivers accepts your request. Relax knowing your child will be well taken care of.

See Who You Know 
View Sitter & Driver profiles right in KangaDo. Learn about their qualifications and babysitting styles. See which of your friends have booked her and what you have in common!

Have Peace of Mind
Be zen the moment your booking begins to when it ends. View your Sitter or Driver’s location in real time and receive timely updates chat messaging and photo sharing.

Who are our Sitters & Drivers? 

Our Sitters & Drivers are not your average babysitters. We’ve picked the best: warm and friendly babysitters, nannies, and parents with years of experience.

They passed our KangaDo Check with flying colors: extensive in-person interviews and trainings, reference and background checks. Background checks are comprehensive, from criminal searches from multiple counties and databases, to DMV checks for drivers. A few are even founder-tested, having babysat and driven Sara’s two boys!

Stay tuned – meet our amazing Sitters & Drivers in our next blog post!

Limited-time Special Pricing

Rides

  • Regular Rides – $10 flat fee per ride (for up to 2 children); $5 per additional child
  • Free trial run with driver

Childcare

  • Regular Childcare – $15-18/hour based on Sitter’s rate
  • Childcare that involves transportation – $5 extra flat fee
  • Free interview with sitter

How To Join Our Beta Service

Parents in our beta group: Click here to update your KangaDo app to have access to the Sitters & Drivers Group. (Click the link on your iPhone or Android phone)

Are you a SF parent and interested in joining our beta? Fill out this form or email us at support@kangadoapp.com. We’ll let you know when you’re in!

Have a question?

Visit our FAQ Page, or email us at support@kangadoapp.com. We’d love to help!

 

 

Posted in News, Parenting, Tech

Say ‘Thanks’ to your Child’s Teachers! Cheddar Up Makes Holiday Teacher Gifts Quick and Easy

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Happy Thanksgiving!

With the flurry of holiday activities, it can be challenging to stay on top of everything we need to do. But thanking the dedicated, hardworking and inspirational teachers in our children’s lives is too important to miss!

Teachers often spend more time with our kids during the school week, than we parents do. We can all remember the special teachers in our own lives – and our kids’ teachers will have a lasting impact on their lives, too.

So, if there’s a way to make holiday teacher gifts quick and easy, we’ll take it!

That’s why we are excited to share a great shortcut from our friends at Cheddar Up. Hundreds of schools use Cheddar Up to collect for all-class teacher gifts. That means no more writing checks to multiple people, sending money to school in your child’s backpack, or tracking down the room parent.

How it works:

  • One parent simply registers for Cheddar Up, links their PayPal account, and creates a custom collection page.
  • Then other parents just click on the link…and they’re done! What we really like is that collecting money is always free, and paying with a PayPal balance or a bank account linked to PayPal is free for the payer.
  • Schools can also include their entire staff. This way no one is forgotten and it’s extra simple for families. Each staff member can purchase a SCRIP gift card of their choice with the donations. Who knew that you could turn teacher holiday giving into a mini fundraiser?

Go ahead, say “Thanks!” Check it out www.cheddarup.com, and let us know your best ideas for teacher holiday gifts!

Posted in Uncategorized

Winner of the SFUSD $1K Walk and Roll Day Contest: Glen Park Elementary School PTO!

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KangaDo congratulates the PTO of Glen Park Elementary School in San Francisco, winner of the $1,000 KangaDo Walk and Roll to School PTA/PTO prize!

Glen Park School parents rallied for the contest, which was held across all schools in San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Approximately 20% of Glen Park School families signed up in the KangaDo app and joined their school group. Parents then organized neighborhood “walking school buses” in the app for this year’s International Walk and Roll to School Day on October 8th, 2014.

Having parents connected and able to communicate via KangaDo will make it easier to continue the healthy habit of walking to school together on a regular basis. According to Glen Park School PTO President Jennifer Tuerk, the school plans to set up weekly “walk to school” days going forward.

Congratulations again to Glen Park Elementary! KangaDo is delighted to support our local schools.

-The KangaDo Team

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Three Reasons To Participate in Walk To School Day

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Did you know Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 is International Walk To School Day? Kids across the country (and the world!) are taking part in this annual event to help create communities that are safe places to walk.

Here are three reasons why your child should participate in Walk To School Day (and keep walking throughout the year)¹:

  1. An easy way to get the physical activity kids need. Create positive life-long habits and instill an active lifestyle for your child by walking to school even just a times each week. A brisk morning walk can also increase focus and translate to better academic performance.
  2. It’s fun! Kids love the extra time socializing and walking with friends and neighbors in the morning. It’s a chance to get to know the neighborhood and interact with other kids and parents.
  3. Develop and master pedestrian safety skills. Walking to school is a great way to learn skills such as knowing when and how to safely cross the street, reading and obeying street signs, and choosing the safest route.

Interested in joining your school this Walk To School Day?
Check here to see if your school is participating, or contact your school administration to find out!

This October, KangaDo is an official sponsor of San Francisco’s Walk and Roll to School Day!
We’re excited about helping the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) community start school pooling. Learn more about our PTA contest and how we’re getting involved.

¹ Source: “What Are the Health Benefits for Children Who Walk or Bicycle to School?” National Center for Safe Routes to School. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.

Posted in Parenting

Tips for Safe Drop Off and Pick Up at School from SFMTA

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Now that schools are in session, curbside drop off and pick up areas can be incredibly congested. Everyone is in a hurry to get their children to class or after school activities on time! But, it’s never worth compromising your child’s safety in traffic – nor your own, nor that of others.

Here are 4 “Safe Drop Off ” tips from the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) that we think make sense, and wanted to share with fellow parents:

1. Pull over into a passenger loading zone when dropping off your kids at school. If none is available, try driving around the block to see if one becomes free. Or find a parking spot and walk together for a short distance.

2. Drop your child off at the curb on the school side of the street – rather than crossing into incoming traffic or having your child run across the street

3. Have your child sit on the passenger side with their backpack – so that they can get out of the car easily, quickly and safely. This isn’t always possible when you have multiple carpool passengers, but it’s good to keep in mind.

4. Cross the street with your child. Cross only at corners. Train your child to look both/all ways before they cross a street. Especially when they’ve spied a friend or favorite teacher already on the other side.

All the above guidelines are easier to follow, when you allow yourself enough time to get to school without being in a mad rush. Easier said than done, we know!

So, last but not least, take a deep breath and give yourself a mental pat on the back when you’ve safely dropped off your kids. Go ahead – stop for a minute and treat yourself to that caramel latte you’ve been craving.

You deserve it! :)

Happy Hopping,

The KangaDo Team

Posted in Parenting

KangaDo Pool to School for a simpler Back to School 2014!

Just in time for Back to School, we’ve recently updated the KangaDo app. Now you can join or create a school group and find carpool partners near you in Suggested Friends, and more. You can see the list of new features here.
Plus, KangaDo has a new way for parents to save time, and schools to reduce traffic – read on to learn about KangaDo Pool to School!



Introducing KangaDo Pool To School – a free mobile program for schools! 

For Parents : Join a school group and easily find other families to car, bike or walk pool to school with – and get help picking up your child in a pinch. KangaDo Pool To School is also great for carpools to sports practice, after school activities, and much more! 

For Schools : Schools can create private school groups and help parents get started in the KangaDo app – it’s simple, safe, and effective. By signing up for KangaDo Pool to School, your school will receive : 

• Assistance with setting up groups and onboarding parents to KangaDo, including free flyers and how-to guides

• Access to exclusive KangaDo app features for schools

• A chance to be featured on the KangaDo blog!

Are you a school administrator or PTA member who would like assistance setting up a custom KangaDo Pool for your school?
Please fill out this quick form and let us know here.

If you have any questions or need more information, email us at support@kangadoapp.com.

Happy Hopping Back to School!
The KangaDo Team

Posted in News, Parenting, Scheduling Tagged with: , ,

Back to School App Updates from KangaDo! Best Carpool Matches and More

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Summer is in full swing, and we hope the kids are busy at camp, at play, or on vacation. But Back to School is right around the corner!

KangaDo is delighted to share that we’ve just released a back-to-school-friendly app update on both iPhone and Android, to help families have a smooth transition.

Here’s what’s new :

1. Home Screen redesign: Now it’s easier than ever, to jump in and make your request in just a few taps! You can see all the options right there on our colorful new Home screen.

2. NEW! Best Car and School Pool Matches: Looking for a carpool partner for the new school year? Now, KangaDo can help you find other families in your neighborhood with kids in your child’s school. Join your school group, then check Suggested Friends on the Find Friends screen to see who’s nearby!

3. Car and School Pools: Many parents carpool to school with other families in their neighborhood. But communities across America are also trying to reduce traffic, using bike pools and walking school buses. Did you know : you can use KangaDo to manage any School Pool – drive, bike or walk!

4. Updated Profiles: Your KangaDo profile (“Me” screen) now lists the groups you belong to, so that friends who share affiliations can find each other more easily.

5. Share a Request via SMS for Android: Last but not least: like our iPhone app,  our KangaDo Android app can now also send a request to a friend’s phone number, via SMS!

Don’t see your school group listed in KangaDo? It’s easy to set up your own. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at support@kangadoapp.com

Happy Hopping,
The KangaDo Team

Posted in Parenting, Scheduling

Organize your 4th of July! Share requests via SMS with friends outside KangaDo

4th July SMS Playdate Pic

July 4th is coming up next Friday. Our updated KangaDo iPhone app* makes it easier than ever to save time and organize potlucks, playdates, and fireworks in a flash!

Now, you can share any request via SMS with friends outside the app. Your KangaDo village just got bigger!

In the KangaDo iPhone app on your phone, simply enter your request, then share it to as many mobile numbers from your contact list as you like. It’s free!

Your friends will receive an SMS on their phone, with a link to your request. They can tap to view the details of the request – and accept it, too – without having to download the app. They’ll even get an update if you make changes.

Get the KangaDo iPhone app update now, and plan your festive 4th!

Happy Hopping,

The KangaDo Team

* Android app update coming soon!

 

 

Posted in Scheduling, Tech

5 Tips for Managing End-of-SchoolYear Mayhem

Elementary school pupils running outside

Does it feel like Mother’s Day just flew by – and now, all of a sudden, the kids are almost out of school? At this time of year, parents of (pre)school-age children juggle a seemingly endless flurry of potlucks, teacher meetings, shows and ceremonies.

Here are 5 strategies to reduce stress and allow you to enjoy these milestone moments with your child!

1. Keep your calendar current : Communication about upcoming school or class events tends to pour into email inboxes. As soon as you see an action item with a certain due date – be it a task or an event – mark your calendar right away. Otherwise, the information can get lost or forgotten. And even if it doesn’t, keeping current will spare you the task of going back and sifting through your messages! Set reminders far enough in advance so that if you have forgotten, you still have time to act :)

2. Allow extra time for coordination tasks : Allow enough lead time for the things that may need it. Recruiting volunteers, gathering funds for a teacher gift – anything which requires coordination among several people – should be budgeted for on your end-of-year timeline. Then, give people deadlines and feel free to stick to them!

3. Take shortcuts : Whether it’s a store-bought cake for the potluck or a school play costume purchased online, time-savers like these let you focus on the tasks and events that require your presence, or that need more time. If you’re a room parent : using technology to organize a group can help you get responses more quickly. Apps like KangaDo let you post a request to a whole group at once on their smartphones, and instantly notify you when responses come in.

4. Ask for help, or divide and conquer : Rides and childcare for younger siblings (or siblings in different schools) are lifesavers at this busy time of year! End-of-year schedules are not always compatible across siblings in different grades or schools, so parents may have to divide and conquer if there are scheduling conflicts.

5. Try to avoid major deadlines or travel at work : If at all possible (and if applicable) try to avoid the end-of-schoolyear period when planning business trips and project deadlines that keep you in the office after hours. Sometimes a day here or there is not an issue. If it is, be sure to line up backup from family and friends so that your child/class feels supported during this exciting time. Make sure they take pictures or videos so that you can share the moments with your child afterward – they will be proud to show you!

Most of all, take time to relax and enjoy the company of fellow parents and teachers – and to celebrate your child’s accomplishments. They really do grow up so fast!

 

Posted in Parenting, Scheduling