I created DayHeart to make things easier for both families and early learning and care providers. Why? Because it should be.
The current ways families search for and connect with care is frustratingly inefficient and frankly just sucks for both parents and providers. So why not use what I know to develop a platform that is built for what both parents and providers need: a simple, easy, modern way to connect. On DayHeart, parents can search for the right fit for their family and providers get their programs out there so they can find the families that fit.
For nearly 20 years, I have been deeply involved in advocacy and public policy on education issues, mostly focused on early learning. I worked to increase quality in early learning and make it more affordable and more accessible to families. I also advocated for higher wages, higher subsidies, and more support for training and education for the early learning and school age care workforce.
During this time, I also became a parent and joined the frustrated ranks of parents searching for child care with few places to turn for good comprehensive information about my options. On several online parenting communities I joined, I saw multiple posts every single day asking, even begging, for basic information about child care: who has openings, who is near me, who is open past 6pm, who offers a bilingual curriculum, who can take care of my child with special needs, and on and on and on. I knew where I could look for some of the answers, but even with my background, I still had lots of unanswered questions and nowhere to go.
I knew I could help. This shouldn’t have to be so hard!
How can there be apps out there to help people find a new house, a babysitter, a dog walker, and even a great pizza joint, but no modern, mobile solution to help parents make one of the most important, expensive, and emotional decisions for their families.
Sure, you can ask your friends and post on your social media networks, but then you are only relying on what the people around you know and that just isn’t enough when it comes to finding the right fit for your family.
And why is there nothing to help child care, preschool, and afterschool providers better serve children and families in their communities and market their programs? Most providers have little or nothing to spend on advertising or marketing. Parents have lots of questions and providers have the answers but often no place to share them other than their website, if they even have one (most family child care providers don’t have a website making them even harder to find). When providers have openings in their programs, they put sandwich boards on the street, put fliers up in coffee shops, post on social media, and ask current customers to advertise for them in their networks – just hoping they’ll eventually reach the parents seeking care in their area.
Then, providers are inundated with calls and emails asking the same basic questions over and over about their programs, taking precious time away from the children in their care and their own down time. Even if a program is in high demand and has a long waitlist, they still get all those same calls and emails. Because the children always come first, lots of calls and emails never get returned and parents are left wanting and waiting.
DayHeart solves all of these problems in one central place – getting parents comprehensive information about all their early learning and care options and giving providers a way to directly reach the parents searching for care in their area.
I worked closely with a diverse advisory group of early learning and care program owners and directors to develop a platform that really addresses the needs of providers while solving a real problem for parents.
The DayHeart Provider Advisory Group includes a number of well-respected and prominent long-time providers:
- Angelia Maxie, Tiny Tots Development Centers, Seattle
- Lois Martin, Community Day Center for Children, Seattle
- Michele Austin, Bilingual Buddies Learning Centers (preschool and family child care), Seattle and Tacoma
- Roberta Wright, The Wright Child Care & Preschool (family child care), Tacoma
- Sue Winn, former family child care provider, La Conner
- Teresa Barradas, La Escuelita Bilingual Schools, Seattle
- Zam Zam Mohamed, Voices of Tomorrow (preschool and family child care), Seattle and King County
About DayHeart’s Founder & CEO
Hannah Lidman is a mom of two wild little ones and an award-winning early education leader and advocate. She is transforming lessons learned from her own parenting journey and two decades in policy and advocacy for children, women, and families into solutions supporting families and the early learning and care workforce.
Hannah has conceived and developed other technology solutions in the early learning space including the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) online Training Modules. Her previous endeavors have directly contributed to the appropriation of over half a billion dollars from federal, state, and local sources for early childhood and K-12 programs. In 2010, Hannah was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Advocate for Children Award from the Children’s Alliance. Hannah has also been on the board of three nonprofit preschools, the Refugee and Immigrant Family Center ECEAP Preschool and the Hearing, Speech and Deaf Center (HSDC) Rosen & Behnke Preschools.
She has worked with numerous influential foundations, nonprofits, and government entities, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Alliance, The League of Education Voters, the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington, Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (formerly DEL), the Economic Opportunity Institute, Educare of Greater Seattle, City of Seattle Office for Education, Thrive Washington, the Early Learning Action Alliance (ELAA), and Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), among many others.
Hannah holds a Bachelor of Science in Government from Cornell University, a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University, and was a Hansard Scholar with the London School of Economics.