Birdie is a well-tech company working to reduce burnout and loneliness for today’s and tomorrow’s parents.
From on-demand to on-site childcare, we use our technology to bring support to homes, neighbourhoods, and workplaces across Canada.
We are helping to take care of parents so that they can take care of their families.
Our four pillars are:
- Mental Well-Being – strengthening families
- Parental Help – supporting today’s parents
- Child Development – supporting the next generation
- Mother-Good – balancing the scales of responsibility and expectations
Our on-demand division is an app where parents book sitters that align with their needs and schedules. Birdie holds the highest standards for vetting and safety, so parents feel comfortable taking time for their own commitments, connection, and well-being.
We understand that it can be a vulnerable feeling to have someone watch your children, and it comes with a range of emotions on top of the time and energy it takes to find the right sitter. We want parents to have confidence that choosing to use Birdie can feel as close as possible to having a family member watch their children as a new addition to their inner circle. We believe this is the future of parent health. Having Birdie as another avenue for support in the so-called ‘parenting toolbox’ whenever you want it. And we want parents to feel proud that they have made a great choice that allows them to take care of themselves and their families.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a mother myself to two very busy boys (currently five and seven years old). I have felt the pressure of parenthood and found it challenging to keep a sense of self when raising my boys. Becoming a parent is a true paradigm shift in a person’s life, and it helps to have support along the way. I am passionate about supporting parents navigating the journey of parenthood while allowing themselves the opportunity to stay in touch with who they are outside of the ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ role.
I believe we need to give ourselves grace, recognizing that we don’t have to be everything for our children and that it is okay to take some time for ourselves. Research shows it is healthy for children to be exposed to varying caregivers as it broadens their worldview, builds self-confidence, and can expose them to new hobbies and skills. It allows them to shed labels, explore different parts of their personalities, and be seen in different ways by different people.
I also am passionate about supporting parents in the primary, or default parenting role, with their careers – knowing they have Birdie to fall back on if existing childcare falls through or there is help needed to manage complicated family schedules.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Balancing entrepreneurship with raising a family is a very difficult thing to do. Creating boundaries around the time you are spending working and making sure you are present when the kiddos are around (yes, put that phone and email away) is paramount. Personally, I realize now nothing is worth missing those moments that you can’t get back with your family. I would tell myself I don’t have to be a martyr to busyness. Working smarter and not harder is a much more balanced way to approach life.
On the business side of things – I think making sure that everything you do is done with intentionality. Understanding why you are making decisions – and the time you spend working on things – they all must be in an effort to move the needle in the direction you want the business to go. Also, trying as best as possible to live in proactivity rather than reactivity.
What problem does your business solve?
More than two-thirds of parents experienced parental burnout last year. Parents are living farther from their relatives and supportive communities than ever and have busier work and home schedules than any generation before. They then can face unspoken criticism when they are not able to ‘do it all’. Parents have never had more pressure on them.
On top of all this, finding childcare can be challenging. Between two parents’ schedules, after-school care, date nights, sports, play dates, social events, work commitments, plus family time, it can feel like even more work to find and book a great sitter. We eliminate the stress of finding one.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
My business partner Melanie watched her sister struggle to manage three kids among her roles and to-do lists. I myself have felt the struggle while raising my two boys without reliable access to willing family members to help lighten the load.
We believe we are helping build a future that removes criticism around parents asking for help and are building technology to connect parents with support.
What is your magic sauce?
Birdie Sitters are all five-star sitters and go through a rigorous seven-step screening process which includes:
- Social Media Screening
- Interview with a member of our Sitter Recruitment Team
- Enhanced Criminal Background Check
- Softcheck (clears 200,000 databases for name mentions)
- ID Verification and Fraud Prevention
- CPR/First Aid Certification
- Birdie Sitter Training
Compared to our competitors in Canada, no one is offering as frictionless of a route to finding, booking, and paying top-notch, pre-screened sitters. Convenience combined with the highest of standards is the magic sauce of Birdie.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Birdie has growth plans in place not only geographically but also adding to our product suite. We are developing solutions for businesses to help them support their employees in their parenting roles and have our eyes on a few critical markets in the U.S. to launch in.
We also have some initiatives in the pipeline to help support and encourage safe communities across the country. We are helping to re-build the village however we can.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Easily, the biggest challenge we have faced thus far has been the pandemic. It paused operations and then significantly reduced business. We are fortunate that we run quite lean and are quite responsible with our expenses, so we made it through to the other side!
How can people get involved?
To learn more about Birdie Break, you can visit our website at www.birdiebreak.com.
Birdie On-Demand is available in eight markets in Canada currently: Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Banff/Canmore, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and Toronto. The app can be downloaded from both the App Store and the Google Play store and can be found by searching ‘Birdie Break’.
If you have any questions at all, we can be reached at [email protected]