What is Wiggle Room?

We created Wiggle Room to offer much-needed relief to parents who must balance the demands of work and childcare.

Wiggle Room helps parents quickly and confidently navigate unplanned childcare needs, allowing them to reclaim agency in their lives and jobs.

Childcare is a critical challenge for millions of working parents every day.

  • In New York City, the average cost of daycare is $12,167 per year, yet the minimum wage is $10.50, which totals $21,000 per year for a full-time, year-round worker. 

  • Over six months, 45% of parents reported at least one absence from work, missing an average of 4.3 days in that time period.

  • 60% of children under 5 years are in non-parental childcare on a regular basis. Although the most common providers are friends, family, and neighbors, there is currently no tool that connects parents to their trusted informal care networks.

  • This challenge also affects employers:

    • Half of employees report being regularly distracted on the job due to care responsibilities outside of work. This leads to a loss of over $4.4 billion in productivity annually.

    • Employers lose valuable talent from the workplace as workers don’t find the benefits of working worth the costs of childcare and leave the workforce.

Working parents need help organizing their informal childcare networks.

Our product, Wiggle Room, isn’t meant to replace employer responsibility or progressive policies, but rather to support public and private efforts to find creative solutions through a deeper understanding of the informal childcare space. Working parents rely heavily on their informal networks to provide childcare, yet research efforts currently focus on daycare, babysitters, and nannies, options that are out of reach for many low-income parents. Little-to-no attention is dedicated to capturing, organizing or innovating in the space of informal childcare networks.

It’s comfortable, stress-free, and will make people’s lives easier. Wiggle Room brings my network together so I’m not struggling to figure out who I can call on each time I need last-minute childcare. I find that very helpful and relieving.
— Ellie, parent

About the App

Wiggle Room is a digital concierge service that offers relief for low-income parents when they need emergency childcare.

  • It organizes a parent’s childcare network in one place, storing caregiver contact information, schedules, and affiliations.

  • It tracks the parent’s and child’s personal information, allergies, and preferences.

  • It alerts a parent’s network with the click of a button when they need childcare, sending a request with pertinent information: which child(ren), date and time, pick up and drop off locations. Over time, Wiggle Room learns parents’ typical childcare scenarios and will personalize the experience and save time when making requests.

  • It manages the request and response process, allowing parents to send messages to multiple people at once or in sequence. Parents can send a standard message or edit it for a personal touch. Once requests are sent, Wiggle Room compiles people’s responses and assists parents in confirming childcare quickly.

  • It coordinates logistics, giving parents an array of options that will simplify the childcare experience: sending map links of pick up and drop off locations, coordinating transportation, sending instructions for the child’s medicine or bedtime routines, and more.

  • It builds community, giving parents a straightforward and enjoyable way to invite more people into their childcare network, keep them involved in the child’s life, and thank them for responding to childcare requests, even if they can’t fulfill them at that time.

Watch a demo of Wiggle Room: