Exclusive Interview with Kasey Edwards, the CEO and cofounder of Helpr- the app redesigning babysitting

Recently, I applied to be a babysitter for the app Helpr. Just a few hours after my submission, I received an email asking me to come in for an interview, and a few days later, I found myself face to face with the CEO and co-founder of Helpr, discussing everything from babysitting to my career ambitions to my transition into college. It was so much more than an interview because I felt like we both got to know each other. At the end of the interview, I was offered a job and I recorded a short video introducing myself that was to be posted on the app for parents to see. I was thrilled to be working somewhere where the CEO herself found it important enough to meet the babysitters she was hiring, the company cared about both the safety and quality of the babysitters they hired, and they had strong values. Not to mention the generous starting salary. I left knowing I had to spread the word about this awesome new babysitting app, which is operating in the Bay Area, Chicago, Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles starting January 1st. I reached out to Kasey with a few questions and was met with an immediate and enthusiastic response. Here’s what we talked about!

You told me that you and a friend began the early stages Helpr while in college. What kind of need did you see that creating Helpr addressed?

KE: At that time, what feels like forever ago, we were just sitters hoping to get enough hours of care to pay for school and rent. It was clear there was demand since parents would try to get our card at parks and restaurants but it was just as much trying to help our friends and colleagues make an honest income, too.

How is Helpr.com different from other babysitting apps and websites?

KE: We're more like a Lyft where parents can book sitters who are screened and sitters can work without interviewing with each parent, like you would on care.com. We are one of the few companies founded by sitters, so our aim is not only to address the issue of supply that parents face, but to really zero in on the challenges for the babysitters like last minute unpaid cancellations or moving to a new city for college and trying to build a clientele from scratch. We help with all of that plus when you're traveling around the country, you can simply change your city and go from Seattle to Chicago and jump right in.

According to an article in The Outline “Industry experts estimate that between 4 and 8 percent of employers offer on-site child care as a benefit. Out of the Fortune 100 companies, which are ranked by revenue, 17 offer some form of on-site day care, according to an analysis of public data by The Outline.” This number is shockingly low. How is Helpr helping to address this and how is Helpr providing women more opportunities to advance their careers?

KE: Well, we can differentiate first between those offering center based care and some other form of childcare since not every business has the opportunity to build a center which has a huge overhead and time barrier to entry. But yes, we can definitively say that for us all to be mothers and fathers who are supported by our companies and governments, we have a long way to go.

First, we see parenting as a gender neutral activity. Our users are about half dads and half moms. What we are specifically angled to help with is the gaps in care and the care burden that women tend to be responsible for within the household. This burden of care means that most working moms are facing 90 hour work weeks when you account for childcare, cleaning, and the 9-5 professional job. Our aim is to come in at a discounted rate and ease the burden with a few hours here and there. So when we sell our care, we talk about back-up care which get's mom or dad to work but also about wellness care so that if they need 3 hours on Saturday to take a walk in the forest, they can do that with a little help from their employer.

For sitters, we love that every hour worked is an hour of relief. We're all in it together.

As a young and successful female CEO, what advice can you give to young women who are trying to find their path in life?

KE: Find your allies. Be clear about what you want to learn or achieve and bring other people into your journey with you. Reach high and never be shy about sending a thoughtful email to someone who inspires you and asking for coffee or lunch. Never second guess where you are today because it's those who are loving the journey and paying attention who will have the most satisfying life.

Lastly, what is your favorite game to play with children while babysitting? My personal favorite is playing superheroes in a fort made out of sheets and pillows.

KE: That's super fun. My favorite ages are from 3-6 so rather than having a game per-se, I really like just asking a million questions and having a conversation with them. Little people crack me up.