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‘Her Yes Club,’ created by Bowmanville mom, connects parents with child-care providers

Local Bowmanville mother creates on-demand tool “Her Yes Club” to help local parents find reliable at-home childcare providers close to home, amid high demand and long-wait lists.
Click to play video: '‘Her Yes Club’ created by local Bowmanville mom, to help find local childcare providers'
‘Her Yes Club’ created by local Bowmanville mom, to help find local childcare providers
WATCH: At a time when demand for child care is booming across the province, one local mom took it upon herself to launch a tool to help struggling parents navigate the crisis. Lexy Benedict reports – Apr 15, 2024

When Bowmanville, Ont. mom Carmen Doucette had her first daughter in 2019, she didn’t realize how hard it would be to find child care.

“I was very naive and unaware of how hard it is to find child care,” said Doucette.

Now a mother of two daughters, aged three and five, with both herself and her husband working full time, Doucette said it sparked a mission to connect working moms and dads with local child-care providers in their communities that are home based.

“My life is chaotic and I work full-time, so I know how hard it is sometimes to find that flexible care that you need,” said Doucette.

Carmen Doucette, founder of Her Yes Club, with husband, and two daughters. Lexy Benedict/ Global News

The child-care obstacle was something Doucette said she didn’t realize would be a challenge, especially being a new mom. It involved the challenges of finding safe, reliable and reputable child care, especially with a licensed centre.

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“So ‘Her Yes Club’ is a platform that I’m creating and it provides home-based care, whether it be daycare, babysitters, nannies or even other local moms who have the capacity to help with care, such as school drop-offs or pickups,” said Doucette.

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The app excludes licensed daycare centres, and has a focus on at-home care. However, anyone interested in providing a service goes through a screening process.

“There’s certain safety verifications and screening processes that you have to go through in order to be eligible to finish finalizing your profile on the app,” said Doucette.

Doucette is among many parents across the province facing lengthy waitlists for child care. Global News reported just last month that even in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, waitlists have increased by 41 per cent with almost half past the date they needed child care to start.

The demand also comes after the province signed on to the national $10-a-day program, leading to many licensed daycare spaces filling up faster.

Another challenge with at-home care, said Doucette, is knowing where to find it.

According to Statistics Canada, home daycares make up nearly 70 per cent of the child-care market in Canada, but parents don’t know where to find them.

“So we know right now that mothers who use home-based child care are are finding them through Facebook groups,” said Doucette. “So you’re stuck in this loop of just endlessly scrolling and searching for child care. And it’s extremely stressful.”

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But this app, she says, has the ability to bridge that gap.

“It instantly matches you as a mother looking for care with a local provider who has the credentials that you need,” said Doucette. “It’s a connection based on distance, so you can set how far you’re willing to travel for care, and then you will instantly be matched with child-care providers who meet your specific needs. You don’t need to go on a waitlist.”

And while the app hopes to help families in Bowmanville, it also gives providers exposure.

“They’re also struggling when they have a spot become available at their in their daycare, or if they’re a babysitter and they’re looking for extra income on weekends or evenings when parents want to go on date night or have plans, they’re really struggling to find people to watch and to have under their care, and also to manage payments and contracts and upcoming bookings,” said Doucette.

The website and app will be launching in July 2024 to help local families. However, Doucette said her hope is that it can eventually expand throughout Durham Region.

“It’s my dream that this would eventually help all Canadians, especially families living in rural communities where they may not have the access or the means to access a licensed daycare centre.”

For more information, you can head to heryesclub.ca and join the email list for further updates on the launch.

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