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Do bumblebees swim or fly? 

Graduation!

2008-01-08 David Michael Morris via Flikr Mortar Board The Hat Toss 250px wide

“The Hat Toss” by David Michael Morris via Flikr 2008-01-08

This summer is a time of milestones and transitions. My daughter Elise is graduating from Pre-school, and starts Kindergarden in the fall. She has spent about four and a half years in the same childcare center, from when she was an infant who could not so much as crawl, growing up to a big beautiful girl who is starting to read and write.

I am grateful to have had a place for her to grow and learn. The experience has provided many wonderful enrichment opportunities: visiting the fire station, watching the circus animal parade, visiting museums, the zoo, the aquarium, and many many trips to the library. While the experience in school has been great, the experience of getting in was extremely stressful.

Elise was our first. Finding quality care is always important, but with the first child, you feel the full weight of it. We were new to the parenting thing. Having heard horror stories about long waiting lists, we got on a list as soon as my wife was pregnant. Once we sorted out the financial stress of planning 6 months maternity leave, got used to the daily stress of caring for a newborn, and learned how to assemble and disassemble a pack-n-play in under 18 seconds, we still were unsure about the availability of care.

At the 4 month mark, then 5 month mark, we still had no information on when a slot would open up. We called all the time, and stopped by some. As two new parents, we were worried about who we can entrust our child to, worried about impacts to our careers of parental leave, and worried about being able to afford possible alternative care or further extended leave. We had little information, but lots of hope.

Fortunately, our situation turned out great. We did have to find a month of gap care with a wonderful neighbor who was both temporarily out of work and had a childcare background. However, the stress of that time stuck with me, and led to the founding of BumbleBee. Later, I learned that the process can be challenging for overworked childcare administrators as well.

We want to give the tools to childcare centers to help them build better relationships with parents over the entire lifecycle of care, particularly when searching for care. We want to make sure that childcare centers can do a great job of managing family information, whether it is someone just interested in your center, an applicant on the waitlist, or an enrolled family.

When a stressed out parent calls your center, I want you to be able to have the information at your fingertips to provide a professional and accurate response to their crazy, frequent questions. That is what we hope that BumbleBee will do for you.

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