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Ideas sought for Future of Childcare Challenge

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Neighborhood Services

The challenge brings together individuals from a variety of professional sectors to discuss the crisis around the high cost of childcare.

In partnership with Mayor Walsh's SPARK council and Boston’s Office For Women’s Advancement, The Future of Childcare Challenge brings together individuals from a variety of professional sectors to discuss the crisis around the high cost of childcare. The event takes place on April 27 in the form of a panel of speakers and “Challenge/Hackathon", where participants propose ideas and prizes are awarded at the end for the most effective solutions to the childcare crisis.

This Challenge invites community members, creative thinkers, entrepreneurs, students, businesses  — anyone — to submit an Entry to address the childcare affordability and access crisis in Boston. Propose an idea drawing on at least one of the five pillars:

  1. Childcare Affordability
  2. Childcare Accessibility  
  3. Supporting Childcare Provider Professional Development
  4. Employer’s Best Practices for Parents/Guardians
  5. Legislation Impacting Childcare
Entry Guidelines

Your Entry must relate to the childcare affordability and accessibility crisis, and must fall within at least one of the five pillars: Childcare Affordability, Childcare Accessibility, Supporting Childcare Provider Professional Development, Employer’s Best Practices for Parents/Guardians, and Legislation Impacting Childcare. Your solution should be accessible to diverse populations (different economic means, rural/urban/suburban, race, culture, gender, etc.). Your novel ideas, resources, and technologies should encourage collaboration between policymakers, employers and parents and guardians.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:  

Entries are non-confidential and must introduce Entrant’s solution and expertise. Entry attachments may be submitted in .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, docx, .ppt, or .pptx formats. Links to publicly available online videos (e.g., YouTube) can be included in your Entry. Entries must be submitted to sparkboston@boston.gov by May 27, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.

Your Entry must include the following:

A description of proposed solution or technology, including:

  • a clearly framed problem, an explanation of how your innovation solves that problem, including rationale for how it will address the childcare crisis
  • a clear definition of the pricing and business model for your solution, including an explanation of a nonprofit or for-profit model, a distinction between payers and users, vision for the market, and why this solution is different from other offerings currently on the market
  • a plan for how success of the program, idea, technology will be measured and evaluated
  • a detailed estimate of the type and amount of impact the program, idea, technology should drive within the Boston market
  • explanation regarding how the solution will be accessible to diverse populations and communities
  • a clear description of the feasibility of deployment of the program, idea, technology within the Boston market, and
  • any supporting documentation (e.g., illustrations, performance data, preliminary evidence, etc.).
Judging Criteria
  • Whose voices are centered in this project? Parents of color, low-income parents, LGBTQI+ parents, other?
  • How accessible is it likely to be to those who have been centered?
  • How are the emotional needs of the target audience being met? “Emotional needs” might include a soothing and calm environment so the parent can focus on thinking about their child.
  • How are the functional needs of the project’s user group being met? A “functional need” might be a convenient and safe location for childcare.
  • What organizational model is this group aiming towards (start-up, nonprofit, community organization, etc.) and how viable and sustainable is it in that model?
  • How well does this project take historical context into account?

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