Q&A with CEO of Kiddo, Rebecca Dredge on the balance between ambition and motherhood
Ahead of Mother’s Day, we reached out to our friend Rebecca Dredge from Kiddo Babysitters to chat about her business journey so far and how she balances ambition with motherhood.
Tell us a little about you?
I am a Mother of two, two daughters, they are my world. I grew up in Darwin so have a passion for the outdoors, the simple things and a love of food! Such a multicultural place with so much on offer.
I completed University studying Accounting, am a qualified CPA and up until 3 years ago worked in the finance industry. I love being with friends, walking, dining and am the world’s biggest West Highland White Terrier fan!
What has been the journey so far for Kiddo?
It was soon after returning from Maternity leave that I knew there was more to life than the Corporate gig. I had my eyes opened to a world that was nurturing, full of love and I also knew the struggles of motherhood. I have always had a passion for helping others live better lives, so I really wanted to help every parent out there – to have a connected community as a support to rely on.
Soon after leaving my Corporate role, I went on my mission to help parents with a solution to find trusted affordable and flexible care options. I managed to get Kiddo built in 6 months, with no prior tech knowledge. At the same time, I was working to build a community that were ready to use our Platform, we couldn’t launch a two sided platform without Parents ready to use it and we also needed Carers to be ready and available to provide care.
It has been a wild journey, we were featured on A Current Affair, Nine News and Newspapers Australia wide. Kiddo is something like no other – we connect parents to Babysitters instantly. We really save parents time. I try to liken it to when you are searching for a hotel – you aren’t contacting hotels that have no rooms available, you input what you need and AirBnB shows you only matched options that are available – well Kiddo does the same thing!
Since then we have evolved from a just a “Babysitting app”, to one that provides Ongoing care options, short term Nanny solutions and most recently NDIS Care.
We have survived Covid, completed a capital raise, won awards and have also had plenty of knock backs along the way! It has been much like a rollercoaster ride – fear, excitement, highs and lows, and most of time I get off at the end of a day filled with energy and want to do it all over again!
Why did you start Kiddo?
As a returning working mother, I was juggling a 4 day work week. I would often have really important meetings on Fridays that I had to be at. I was often stranded with no option for flexible care for my youngest daughter, I might have only needed her watched for 2 hours, but didn’t want to enrol her at a full day of care.
Again, we were away at the Sunshine Coast, my husband and I were on the balcony and kids were asleep. We could see and hear people walking to dinners, we both looked at each other and reminisced on our ‘old lives’ and how nice it would be if we could just go out again for dinner, but we were basically prisoners in our own hotel room!
There was also another time we needed the girls watched for a lunch, but our in laws were in Toowoomba, a two hour drive away. We didn’t want them to spend 4 hours in a car so we could go to a lunch…..
It really got me thinking, that there had to be a better way. I could order my groceries online in minutes, I could book a hotel room on AirBnB and see reviews ratings, compare prices and do this with confidence, yet why were so many parents in the dark when it came to finding a Babysitter or Nanny.
Kiddo brings the best of so many features and services we already know and use, so parents have more information at hand than ever. They are in control and can select who they want, payment is done in the app and all the checks are completed to give parents further peace of mind.
For me, it was also about empowering our Carers. I grew up in a single parent family, I have had to work hard for everything I have ever had. I first started babysitting when I was young. So Kiddo for me was about providing women, students, seniors a chance to be connected with others in their communities, build a brand and earn some extra income on the side. We have carers as young as 18 that are at University and our eldest is 69!
How do you balance/juggle your ambitions with motherhood?
This is a funny one to answer! People often talk about the balance, the work life balance. Kiddo for me is another child, I love it and nurture it like a newborn!
BUT much like parenting, I have to draw boundaries and make time for other things. Weekends are for being together, dinners are always at the table. Friday afternoon is the day I get to pick my daughter up from her class when school finishes.
Even though I am not there everyday, the one day I get to do it really lights up her face (mine too!). I think it is knowing that my children have a role model in what I am doing and know that I am still a mum.
Whenever you ask my youngest (6) what she wants to be when she grows up, she will always answer with “Vet and a Mum”, “A Mum and a Kiddo person!”. I love the fact that she puts emphasis on both roles and understands that they are both so important.
Do you have any favourite stories or highlights of being a mum?
I think being a mum is truly the greatest gift of all. We have our highs and our lows with our children, but at the end of the day the love we have is unconditional.
One of the favourite things I love, is hearing the pitter patter of footsteps everyday to our bedroom. Our eldest is now at high school and is often sleeping in, so it really is taking the small things and knowing they are precious while they are.
What’s next for you and Kiddo?
Kiddo has a huge path ahead this year. We raised some seed funding with a strategic investor recently, so this will allow us to scale nationally. We have also released our NDIS care function, which I am so proud of. It was a lot of work to get in place, but now we can provide parents a solution for the care of their children, whether it be Babysitting, Nannying, Ongoing or Special needs care.
My goal is for Kiddo to be a household name by the end of the year!