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Playground childcare management app announces $3M seed round

Editorial

10/26/2021 | Sasha Reiss

We’re thrilled to announce today our $3M seed round led by Human Capital and Bedrock Capital!

Our mission at Playground is to make excellent childcare accessible to all. Today, the early childcare industry is suffering from a shortage of providers who can do the vital work of caring for and educating the over 24 million children aged 0-5 in the United States. In California alone, there are fewer than one million licensed spots available for 2.8 million childcare-aged kids.

Playground began with the question, Why haven’t more early childhood centers opened when there’s an obvious need for more providers? As people with deep knowledge of this industry—our founders come from generations of early childhood center directors—we already knew that answer. Centers worry about more than the health, happiness, and education of children: they’re also running a business that has to grapple with managing finances, maintaining licensing compliance, and building community. While some tools exist to assist with aspects of running a center—from enrollment and communication to billing and payroll—these tools aren’t well integrated, and they’re not designed specifically for these centers.

That’s where Playground is making a difference and resetting expectations. Playground enables early childhood administrators, teachers, and parents to spend the bulk of their time and energy on the kids, not on ancillary tasks. 

We build every tool needed to run a center smoothly, and we ensure that those tools work seamlessly with one another. We design not with a generic user in mind, but with the specific and unique goals of administrators, teachers, and parents at early childhood centers. By switching from pen-and-paper or older management software to Playground, administrators save up to 40 hours a week on repetitive back-office tasks like managing paperwork and finances. Administrators and teachers now get to devote their time to the heart of their work: developing curriculum, building community with families, and—above all—providing excellent childcare. Playground is already in centers across the country, from home daycares serving their first few families to enterprises operating on a national scale.

This round of funding will help us accelerate our product development and scale our operations by growing our engineering, marketing, and sales teams and bolstering our customer support capabilities. Additional engineers will enable us to expand our product offering and build more time-saving features for our centers. A larger customer success team will guarantee the same dedicated support that our users have come to expect from us. So even as we grow, the changing needs and continued success of our centers will always remain at the core of our efforts.

We envision a future where excellent childcare is guaranteed and every early childhood center has access to the best educational architecture. Playground makes this vision a reality. 

Thanks to Human Capital and Bedrock Capital, we’re able to keep advancing toward our goal. When we asked Cofounder and President of Human Capital Baris Akis why the team wanted to back Playground, here’s what he said:

“Your team is uniquely positioned to make childcare more accessible and impactful in a meaningful way. You were (literally) born into a family of preschool educators and administrators, and it’s clear that your upbringing in the space has made you exceptionally knowledgeable and extremely passionate about making it infinitely better.”

We’re excited to have advocates like Human Capital and Bedrock Capital, and we can’t wait to bring on even more teammates to help us bring this vision to life.

Know of a center that could benefit from using Playground? Excited by our mission and want to get involved? Reach out to us at [email protected]. You can also view our job postings here.

We’re grateful to everyone who has joined us so far, and we look forward to continuing this journey with you.

The Founders,

Daniel, Josh, and Sasha

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