Care.com Launches App to Connect Parents with KidsSeptember 14, 2012
by Maureen McCarthy
Connecting with a child and their caregiver in real time is what many parents crave, according to Care.com.
On September 18, Waltham-based Care.com, an online caregiver resource with 7 million users worldwide, will roll out the free Karoo app for Apple products.
The app was created following company-sponsored market research and is equipped to help parents stay in touch with their children’s activities while they are away at work in real time.
“We talked at length with caregivers and families and individuals within the company and saw a real need to capture a place where family members and caregivers can share all moments of childhood,” Joe Cuccinelli, vice president of product at Care.com, told Mass High Tech.
Features of the app include video and photo sharing, a location identifier and the ability to post comments.
The technology also allows family and caregivers to create a “followers” list – a list of individuals interested in receiving the real time updates.
The app's sole mission, Cuccinelli said, is to not only capture life’s precious moments - morning activities, videos of a child’s first steps, photos of a youngster on the soccer field, or a pet’s daily activities, for example – but to provide the technology to share those moments with loved ones in real time.
Beyond photo and video sharing, the app also houses a logging system called CareLogs, where caregivers log and share the events of the day including nap, a child’s current mood, medical updates and more.
“CareLogs are a feature of the app and a great and fun way to identify when ‘Jack’ has eaten all his food or ‘Stella’ missed her nap,” Cuccinelli said. “(Karoo) covers not just photos and videos but the caretaking aspect of it as well.”
The “Milestones” feature – a lengthy list of life’s unforgettable or routine moments like baking cookies, bath time, dinner, first drawing – was created for quick and easy event identification and communication. An instant notification feature is currently in the works.
Care.com’s app roll out falls shortly after the company’s recent $50 million Series E investmentand recent acquisition of Texas-based firm, Breedlove & Associates, a payroll and tax service for nannies and other household employees.
Moving forward, Cuccinelli said the company intends to offer the Karoo app for the Android by the end of 2012 and will continue its product development offerings “beyond just caregiving inside the home” and in effort to “expand the family relationships.”