An app is helping parents find local childcare during a shortage


EAST MILLCREEK, Utah — Taking care of kids is no easy task, especially when they’re full of energy, and now more parents are being asked to go back into the office as COVID-19 restrictions are rolled back.

But some families are having a harder time finding people to take care of their kids.

The latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show it’s getting more difficult for families to find childcare, but an app may be the solution parents need.

Rebecca Reeder, a parent, and a Team Teacher at Petit Explorer Preschool said, “I think a lot of it has to do with availability. When I’ve talked to parents they’ll say I don’t know if you’ve been in the childcare cycle, but it’s really hard to get into it.”

Now daycare providers like Tanya Gallego are enlisting the help of the app Tootris.

“It’s a place where parents can go and quickly see what is out there and what’s local and I do feel like that is missing and that is a great service for the parents to have,” said Gallego.

The app essentially works like an online directory of childcare providers in your area.

Parents can take virtual tours, see reviews, and learn all about providers on their user profiles.

The Director of Petit Explorer Preschool in East Millcreek thinks this app could be the solution to the childcare shortage we’ve been seeing.

Gallego said, “It’s nice to have something where you can put in a zip code and really find something specific.”

Alessandra Lezama, the Founder & CEO of Tootris said, “If prior to COVID there was a 44% deficit of childcare supply to demand, then coming out of COVID due to all the closures of programs, we’re pretty close to a 57% deficit.”

Tootris says their app gives parents access to more than 180,000 child care programs across the country.

Lezama thinks this resource can help struggling parents get back to work and in turn boost the workforce.

“If we think about resetting the economy, childcare is such an important part of that,” said the CEO of Tootris.

Only licensed and state-registered childcare providers are allowed on the platform.

Tootris also say they vet daycare providers to make sure they’re still in good standing with their state license.

“We provide direct links to the licensing information, including any audits or sanctions that the program has incurred,” said Lezama.

If you want to search for childcare providers in your area, you can do it on both Apple and Android devices.

Daycare providers can also sign up for Tootris on their website or via the app for Apple and Android devices.

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