Brittany Wagner

Parents have lots of jobs. Part-time, unpaid taxicab driver is one that many parents would rather not do. According to one survey, some parents spend up to 25 days per year in the car ferrying their children from one activity to the next. Aside from telling a 10-year-old, “Sorry, no soccer practice for you,” or hiring a nanny, busy parents with few financial resources lack options.

HopSkipDrive, one of the newest additions to the sharing economy, has a solution.

The recently launched app is a mix between a ridesharing service like Uber and a child-care service provider like Care.com. Parents can schedule rides for their kids for about $20 or purchase trips in bulk for as low as $12. All drivers have a minimum of five years of child-care experience.

To ensure safety, drivers are put through a vetting process and receive vehicle safety and background checks. The orange-shirt-wearing-child-care professionals must repeat a code word to the child before the ride begins.

HopSkipDrive is currently operating only in Los Angeles with 100 drivers, but the concept has growth potential. More than anything, it is a great example of how entrepreneurs (in this case, three moms) can help improve child care and education. Rather than try and tackle huge problems, entrepreneurs look to the little “pain points” in people’s lives and try to fix them. Their creativity is channeled through the marketplace, and everyone is better off as a result.

Time will tell if the kid-friendly ridesharing app will operate in other cities and states. I hope more and more entrepreneurs will look to the issues of families, children, and schools and try to solve more of the little problems that all three face.

About the Author

Brittany Wagner
Education Policy Research Assistant

Brittany Wagner was an education policy research assistant at the Show-Me Institute.