Finding a trusted babysitter is a common challenge for many parents. Brisbane mum, Rebecca Dredge, decided to do something about it and launched Kiddo, an app connecting parents to trusted sitters.
Three years later, Kiddo was recognised at the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards, winning the Xero Award for Outstanding Micro Business.
Rebecca said her idea for Kiddo came four years ago, when she was looking for a babysitter for her then two-year-old daughter.
“I knew there had to be a better way to find in-home help for parents. We have apps for everything else, so why not one to find care for our children?” Rebecca shared.
“We connect parents not only to babysitters but to nanny and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) care for children. We’re available in every capital city and select holiday locations.”
The Kiddo CEO had nominated her business for the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards each year since launching in 2019.
“I’ve applied every year because I’m very proud of what we are doing,” the Brisbane-based entrepreneur said. “To hear Kiddo’s name be called out as the winner in our category was a shock. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of achievement, not just for me but for every single person that uses Kiddo.”
Rebecca worked in finance before creating the leading childcare app which now services more than 22,000 users across Australia.
Her advice to other entrepreneurs is to not be held back by what you don’t know.
“Everything I’ve done with Kiddo, I’ve had to learn as I go. I didn’t even have Facebook when I launched.
“I didn’t launch Kiddo thinking we’d be an overnight success; it was baby steps with a minimum viable product. We tested; we did work to understand what our customers wanted. I called every carer and parent that initially signed up to find out what they wanted, how we could add value to their experience.”
Since launching, Rebecca says there’s been plenty of challenging moments, but it is the stories she hears from sitters and parents that keep her focused on moving ahead.
“One of our sitters came up to me after an expo. I’d seen her name on the app, but it was the first time we’d met in person. She told me the app had changed her life and that, through being a ‘granny nanny’, she felt valued for her age and experience,” she explained.
As for what’s next, Rebecca says there’s plenty for Kiddo to tick off the to-do list as they work towards the goal of making the app a household name in Australia.
“The award has been an incredible recognition for what we’ve achieved, and it is certainly helping to open a few doors to things we want to achieve in the future,” she said.
Doing business in Brisbane is key for Rebecca, who describes the city as “the best place in Australia”.
“There are a lot of people you can connect with in Brisbane and ask for help. I think business owners in Brisbane are very genuine and passionate, and happy to be a part of a connected business community that sees the benefit in collaborating rather than competing.”
Rebecca’s tips for starting your own business
- Remain humble – “Focus on what you can do, take little steps and listen to your customers and what they’re telling you.”
- Know your industry - “I had to be stringent. I had to understand childcare legislation, ID verification, working with children checks and know we had it 100% correct. Be aware of what your industry needs and stay up-to-date on how it impacts you and your business.”
- There’s a lane for everyone - “You can get overwhelmed and worry about what everyone else is doing. You'll go through ebbs and flows, but you must back yourself and believe in what you are doing.”
- Push yourself forward - “One of my biggest moments was pushing myself to complete a business accelerator course. It took me out of my home office and introduced me to a wider network of mentors.”
- Ask for help - “I’ve always thought asking for help was a sign of weakness. Starting Kiddo, I’ve learnt that asking for help is okay and it is okay to not know everything. Trusting mentors and people who are experts in their field will help your business excel even more.”