2014 Australian Mobile & App Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage

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Project Overview

Kindy allows parents to find the best local nannies and babysitters, through a beautifully designed and intuitive mobile app. Our innovations such as real time background checks, nanny sharing, and easy search filters create trust, affordability and convenience, taking the stress out of finding quality child care.


Kindy Pty Ltd


Kristian Tasevski (iOS Developer, project lead)
Debora Silva (Designer)
James Martin (Ruby Developer)
Sourabh Pareek (Android Developer)

Project Brief

At Kindy, our mission is to help working parents with their most important need of all: finding quality, affordable and local child care.

With a lack of availability in child care centres, parents are turning to nannies and babysitters to look after and educate their young children when they return to work. However, the poor quality of child care directory websites means that only 14% of parents trust carers they have found online.

For parents, options for finding in-home care include using a nanny agency, word of mouth recommendations, or going online. Nanny agencies are an expensive option (charging up to $300 upfront plus 10-20% of the nanny's salary each week), without the guarantee of finding a trusted carer. Word of mouth referrals are a trustworthy way to find a carer, but it limits the pool of potential candidates to a small group. Competing websites are not user friendly, do not have apps, and their websites cannot be viewed on mobile.

Our challenge was to create a simple to use, mobile friendly product that allows parents to quickly and easily find the perfect carer. To meet this challenge, we had to overcome design hurdles to make the product trustworthy, money-saving, and intuitive.

Project Need

Kindy is different to anything in the Australian market. We've taken world-class mobile design and functionality and used it to alleviate the stress from finding childcare. We are the only mobile product (web or app) in Australia in the childcare search market.

Our key innovations include:

1) Intuitive search process based on user proximity and search refinements that help find the right person fast, including screening by qualification level, cost, and availability.

2) Instant messaging services enabled by push notifications (all our competitors use SMS technology, charging 73 cents per message sent, in addition to a subscription fee).

3) Automated Working With Children Checks: carers enter their details in-app, and our back end verifies the carer against each state government database.

4) Nanny sharing option, allowing parents to create a care group with a nanny and 2-3 children, splitting the cost and making in-home care affordable to families who would otherwise find it too expensive.

The childcare industry is at crisis point. The government has convened a Productivity Commission report on how to make child care (including in-home care) available to more parents, particularly mums returning to work after maternity leave. Our product is a small but significant step towards improving the lives of working parents.

User Experience

We have built a truly mobile-first product, built with agile design and development and rigorous customer interviews/testing.

User interaction with Kindy is straightforward:

1. Registration
We allow Facebook Connect for ease of registration, given high Facebook penetration in our demographic and comfort with using Connect for new products.

2. Searching through carer directory
While Kindy is great ‘out of the box’, search refinements allow parents to search for carers with specific attributes (availability, background checks, distance etc.). Search results are ordered by our algorithms to find the ideal match in the shortest time. Summary information for results shows only key information, allowing users to quickly scan before drilling down on their selected profiles.

3. Favourites shortlist.
Parents typically conduct physical interviews with 3-5 carers before making a final decision. Having a shortlist of favourite contacts also allows easy access and sharing (e.g. between mother/father). Profiles can be shared via web link to users not registered with Kindy.

4. Messaging
Mobile instant messaging is a key competitive differentiator. Unlike competitor web inbox systems, our push-notification enabled messaging client ensures prompt responses from both parties.

Competing websites expose a parent's contact information to their entire carer directory, leading to hundreds of unsolicited enquiries. With Kindy, only parents can initiate conversations with carers, allowing them to take their time to browse and make contact when they feel that they have found a good match. Parents using Kindy will not get any spam, ever.

Project Marketing

In anticipation of building Kindy, our founder created and ran a traditional nanny agency for 12 months, as a way of conducting in-depth market research. Employing the nannies directly, running onboarding interviews for parents and understanding the day to day nanny-child interactions created a wealth of customer knowledge which was used to craft the design, functionality and brand positioning of Kindy from the ground up.

This experience forged industry connections, used to pre-register nannies and babysitters across Australia onto the service prior to launch. Our planned launch in early August 2014, will be marketed via a combination of paid media (Facebook app install ads, Google SEM), PR (via social media, forums, and publisher relationships), affiliate marketing (e.g. with a large gym chain), and viral components built into the product (subscribers can earn a 2 week free trial by referring friends via Facebook).

Project Privacy

As a directory app, we needed to strike a balance between releasing enough user information to help parents make informed decisions, while also creating best-in-class privacy.

Currently, public directories such as Gumtree display information including email addresses and phone numbers. Our customer research has shown this poses significant privacy risks, particularly for carers. One carer commented that approximately 50% of replies to her babysitting ad on a large classified website included inappropriate sexual advances.

While we capture customer data as part of registration, all details are kept securely on our servers, with only the bare minimum information sent to the app’s front end. This means that email addresses or phone numbers are never publicly displayed on the app.

Specific privacy measures include:

- Only user's first name and first letter of the surname are displayed
- In-app messaging removes need to display email or phone numbers
- Child ages are chosen by range, not exact birthday
- Geolocation only shows user's nearest postcode, not street address or map location
- Profile photos are optional
- Option to hide profile from search results
- Uploaded carer verification documents are never publicly displayed
- External links to user reviews are sent via private URL which are not search indexed
- Report user button on each profile allows flagging of inappropriate activity
- Privacy/Notification settings can be toggled on/off in the app
- Secure payment system via app/play stores

This category recognises migration of an audience from a traditional media to a mobile platform.
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