PITTSBURGH — Talking to a computer has become second nature for adults and children because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch to virtual work, school and more.
Like many things, childcare has also gone virtual
“We’ve navigated every childcare situation,” said Bridget Daley. “We were in daycare, in home, my husband and I watched the first three months, their grandparents, so it’s navigating all these different things.
Daley is an attorney from Upper St. Clair. When her firm offered virtual childcare to make life easier for parents working from home, she jumped on it.
“Octavia took to it,” she said. “There was storytelling, writing, dancing, all these things.”
It’s through a Pittsburgh-based company called Flexable Care, which used to offer pop-up childcare for big events including at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. When the pandemic hit, the company had to pivot.
“We realized that kids were still in a place where they needed supervision in one way or the other, that it wasn’t safe to provide supervision in person, but that supervision can be provided in an engaging and fun way but through a Zoom call,” said Priya Amin of Flexable.
Flexable offers classes like mindfulness, dance, magic and storytelling and all childcare providers are fully vetted and screened.
- The program is tailored to kids aged 3 to 10.
- Group classes or one-on-one sessions are offered.
- Virtual services are available around the country.
- Half-hour or hour increments are available.
- Prices range from $15 to $45, depending on the duration of the session.
For working parents, it solves a problem many can relate to.
“Oh my gosh, how do I keep my 4-year-old from busting in on me while I’m talking to my boss, or more importantly, to your point, if I need one hour of downtime just to get that presentation completed. How can I make sure that my child wasn’t going to come in and say, ‘Mommy, can you play with me?’” Daley said.
A study by McKinsey and Co. found that three to four times as many workers are working remotely compared to before the pandemic. They may not ever return to a traditional office.
Companies that once offered employee perks like parking, daycare or an onsite cafeteria are shifting to meet the changing need.