EarlyDay Raises $3.25 Million Seed Round for Education Job Marketplace

  • EarlyDay is a career marketplace for early childhood educators to connect with schools and daycares.
  • The startup is trying to help address the ongoing staffing crisis in early childhood education.
  • Cofounders Emma Harris and Melissa Tran just raised a $3.25 million seed round to expand. 

EarlyDay, an online job marketplace like LinkedIn or Indeed, targeted to early childhood education teachers and schools just raised $3.25 million. 

On EarlyDay, teachers can apply to set up a profile on the platform, and then are screened by moderators to confirm their qualifications. Once approved, they can be matched with a daycare center or preschool in need of new instructors or assistants. The team hopes it can help streamline hiring for these types of jobs in the US, where the country is facing a massive daycare employee and teacher shortage. 

“We quickly uncovered from our research that there’s a massive daycare hiring problem in this country,” EarlyDay cofounder Emma Harris told Insider. “Daycares are using Craigslist or Indeed to hire, and the turnover for teachers was 40% annually — and that was pre-COVID.” 

Harris said that she and her cofounder Melissa Tran came up with the idea for EarlyDay in 2020, when Harris was pregnant with her first child.

She had been looking into daycare centers for her son to attend once he was born, and she found herself sucked into a rabbit hole of information around the broken state of early childhood education. 

“We realized there was a huge need for childcare, and the shortage of available childcare slots was keeping women out of the workforce,” she said. 

Harris and Tran are no strangers to founding marketplace startups. They were on the founding team of GuavaPass, a ClassPass-like company for Asia and the Middle East back in 2015 while living abroad.

The two officially launched EarlyDay in New York City in September 2021, and have now recruited over 7,000 teachers to sign up. Currently, they’re operating in New York, Westchester County, and Houston, and they have plans to launch in Chicago within the next year. The latest fundraise will also help the company to expand into new cities and recruit more school and daycare partners. 

EarlyDay currently has over 150 active school partners, including the large national daycare chain Bright Horizons. 

Their rapid growth attracted interest from investors at Alpaca VC and Struck Capital, who signed on to colead the startup’s seed round. Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and FJ Labs also participated in the round.

Harris told Insider that she and Tran were excited to have the round raised so they could get back to focusing on expanding daycare hiring nationwide, especially for the majority of their clients that are small “mom and pop” businesses, Harris said. 

“We want to support those business owners who came into this industry because they’re passionate, but they’re spending so much time hiring when they could be nurturing children,” she said. 


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