“Almost everyone building a new company in this space is simply building an app,” Brad Hargreaves writes in a Medium post on the topic of childcare. “But my wife and I don’t need apps. We need a place for our son to learn and socialize during the day.”
Hargreaves is the founder of coliving startup Common, which creates shared living communities out of renovated buildings where residents have their own bedrooms but share just about everything else in the building. The smushing together of people into a building solves for the problem of wildly expensive New York real estate, and also creates a community of people.
It’s an innovative idea, and he wanted to find out why there seem to be few of these in daycare. So he looked into it.
“Starting a legal daycare is complicated, subject to a raft of well-meaning licensing and training requirements, codes, ordinances, and paperwork that must be mailed in triplicate to Albany,” he writes. “This alone turns away many entrepreneurs and drives much activity underground … Prospective daycare entrepreneurs must compete with banks, chain restaurants, and other better-capitalized operators for limited space that would hypothetically qualify under existing regulations.”