Parenting Mobile Apps
So you want to develop a parenting mobile app to exploit the commercial opportunities of the mobile app on demand services market. It’s a good bet. On demand services businesses like Uber have been very successful.
A great emerging target market is that of selling convenience to modern parents particularly with their children. The majority of mothers are in work. In 2014 87.7% of families were reported to be working families. This was the highest percentage since records began in 1996. [National Archives] The largest percentage increase in working families has been among lone parents with dependent children. [Citizens Advice Bureau]
Research demonstrates that although majority of parents don’t rely on smart phones or other digital devices to keep their children occupied a majority do use them for managing daily life. [Parenting Digital Research]
According to a report by OFCOM almost 50% of children aged 5 – 15 surveyed own a mobile phone. This rises to 80% for kids aged 12-15. 56% of mums are worried about child safety when they are out and about and 34% are also worried about child safety online. [OFCOM Report Children 2014]
Challenging family routines with embattled working parents or single parents has increased the issue of child safety and how to best manage parenting. This has led to opportunities for a growing number of successful mobile app businesses that target families with on demand services to help parents manage their children.
These services range from babysitters to picking up the groceries. There are numerous successful examples like:
Mama Bear – a mobile app that provides parents with information about the location of their children; what they are texting; what’s on their social media; and even if they are speeding.
Mom Maps online – started by a mum in San Francisco that allows parents to quickly find full or discounted activities for kids, by age or type of activities.
Parent lane app – guides parents with personalised information on the overall development of their child from birth till 8 yrs old. An app based social platform for baby care and parenting.
Book Jane – a Canadian mobile app for on demand childcare launched on the 26 September 2016.
Urban sitters an app that originated in the US which uses social media to match parents up to babysitters within 24 hours that has raised £23 million in funding to date.
There is also: Bubbles; Fatherly; Sitters.co.uk and many more that have not made this list.
For a child care babysitting app to be successful it must earn the confidence of parents. As you might imagine the childcare sector is robustly regulated with strict mandatory requirements for children care providers to adhere to. Registration, training, supervision is all legislated for. Note also that the requirements differ depending on which country you are in within the UK. So Scotland has a different regulatory regime to England.
The primary legislation to consider includes the Children Act 1989 (as amended by the Children Act 2004) and the Childcare Act 2006.
The sector is regulated by Ofsted. Depending on what kind of child care the provider is offering. Everything from food to toys and equipment standards are regulated. There are also consumer protection regulations under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 to be considered.
Additionally, privacy and data protection will be a primary consideration for app providers in this sector.
If you have an idea for an innovative mobile app and you would like advice on the barriers to entry of that market do get in touch.