Tech platform offers companies childcare recruitment options, help getting parents back to work

As many parents can tell you, finding childcare isn’t always easy, with many facilities dealing with waiting lists.

It’s a problem that the National Women's Law Center reports led to one million fewer women in the labor force in the COVID-19 pandemic.

"So to address this revolutionizing child care, we're making it convenient, affordable, and on-demand," said Alessandra Lezama. "We're a technology platform that enables parents to connect directly with licensed child care providers in all 50 states.

Lezama is the founder of San Diego-based TOOTRiS, which offers companies the ability to provide childcare as a recruitment tool.

She tells us that TOOTRiS is the first and only platform that does real-time childcare enrollment and incorporates services that offer before or after-school programs.

"We recognize that our essential workers needed to be in the restaurants for us to stay open," said Alison Wagner.

Wagner, vice president of human resources for the restaurant chain Urban Plates, recently partnered with TOOTRiS to improve recruitment for its locations, two of which are located in Pleasant Hill and Dublin, at no charge to its employees.

"You never know when a child is going to get sick. You never know when your regular childcare provider might not be available or something comes up in their life, Wagner said while speaking of the benefits the service will provide.

TOOTRiS reports that his database is filled with over 180,000 providers in every state in the United States, which more than 34,000 providers in California alone.

Lezama says they only feature facilities with licenses in good standing with their respective states.

Wagner, VP of human resources at Urban Plates says the tool will be useful even to employees who have no children.

"And even for our managers that don't have children, they need their employees to come in right. So providing the support and being able to say, 'Hey, you know, OK, you're struggling with finding child care? Here's this great resource.'"