Childcare tends to fall on the shoulders of women more often than not. With a notable shortage of affordable childcare options, women are disproportionately impacted and often left with the impossible task of deciding between prioritising their career or childcare.
The women-led Warsaw-based The Village Network aims to improve childhood experiences for enhanced development, to support parents, and, support early educators.
The Polish platform has now raised €3.4 million to create an all-in-one marketplace to encourage child development. The funding was backed by Movens Capital, 500 Startups, Tilia Impact Ventures and Credo Ventures.
The women-run company offers edtech products, an application for running nurseries, preschools and schools, and The Village marketplace.
So how does the model work? The Village Network creates quality centres for childcare that are empathy and creativity centric. The nanny-shares, micro-nurseries, and preschools are parent-led in so-called ‘villages’ – based in community hubs. Parents and teachers working in the villages participate in the original The Village Way courses and regularly improve their qualifications according to the philosophy of nonviolent communication and Reggio Emilia pedagogy.
Aleksandra Kozera, founder said: “From the beginning, the goal has been to create a village all over the world with committed moms, parents, nannies and teachers – enabling children to have an equal start. And education in so-called villages makes it possible. We are already achieving the snowflake effect, when some parents learn about the villages from others, enrol their children in them and open their places. We want to enable multi-dimensional support to open and run villages. That is why we build edtech products and create a marketplace.”
Aside from forming quality childcare and education, the startup is focused on supporting women’s professional development and fostering gender equity in parenthood and entrepreneurship.