Our Story

When our friends had their first kids, we were all shocked by the lack of quality, affordable child care in our neighborhoods. Until, that is, they discovered licensed Family Child Care (FCC).

It seemed as though they had stumbled into a secret magical world, where some of the most experienced early-childhood educators run these small-scale programs, offering great individualized care conveniently located in residential neighborhoods, and with rates that are lower than the large corporate centers.

Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

Illustration of provider connected to parents
Illustration of a portrait of a mother, father and child

Wait, why don’t more parents know about this?

Well, in 2019, many parents search for child care online but there’s no great way to discover, research, and contact Providers. Each Provider is their own small business—they might have a Facebook page, but how are you going to find them? There’s no AirBnB for Family Child Care...

Ok, but preschool salaries are so low—why don’t more caregivers do Family Child Care?

For one, starting a small business is complicated! Starting a child care program is harder still. With the best intentions for childrens’ health and safety, the government has created a set of rigorous licensing and home-inspection regulations for Family Child Care Providers.

With any government regulation comes beauracratic challenges, and getting a license from Massachusetts’ Dept. of Early Education and Care is no exception. And that’s all before an educator has to figure out how to market their program to prospective parents, account for revenue and business expenses, register and pay business taxes, and much more.

It turns out that there’s a lot more to opening a FCC than just being an experienced child care professional.

Illustration of a person thinking about starting a Family Child Care program
Illustration of a person at a fork in the road choosing to start their program with NeighborSchools instead of doing it on their own

NeighborSchools as a movement, a community, and a platform was born.

Our mission is to help experienced educators launch and operate Family Child Care programs. In doing so, we aim to increase access to affordable, high-quality child care for parents everywhere. Children get amazing ECE programs, parents get a trusted partner, and providers can earn a living wage doing what they love. It’s a win-win-win.

Our Providers

Neighborschools providers are united in three foundational ways:

  1. They believe that child care is not babysitting, and providers are not babysitters. They are early-childhood educators, and they take this role in the lives of young children seriously.
  2. They are passionate about and dedicated to working with young children. This isn’t a job; this is a calling and a career.
  3. They believe that the in-home setting, smaller ratios, mixed age-groups, and more individualized attention—the Family Child Care difference—is a recipe for a successful child care experience.

Beyond that, each provider and their program is beautifully unique. Some come to NeighborSchools with 10+ years of experience in Montessori pre-schools. Others are certified early interventionists who are ready for the next chapter in their career. Others still are devoted mothers or grandmothers with a passion for childhoood development. Some live in the same New England towns that their great-grandparents settled 100+ years ago, and others are recent immigrants from as far afield as Colombia, Ethiopia, or Bangladesh. Their stories, their dedication to children, and their ambitions to be small-business owners are what make them so special.

We encourage you to meet these incredible indivduals. They are your neighbors, and they may be the perfect child care partner for you and your family.

Still have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected].

Our Team

We are a team of technology entrepreneurs who have surrounded ourselves with leading Family Child Care experts. Our founders have experience building world-class technology platforms, and our Advisors have decades of experience working at every level of early-childhood education.

Brian Swartz
Co-founder, CEO
Bridget Garsh
Co-founder, COO
Cedric McDougal
Co-founder, CTO
Courtney Troy
Partnership Manager
Aubrey Hartnett
Provider Success Coordinator
Emmett Moore
Senior Software Engineer
Olivia Guptill
Partnership Associate
Tanner Ackerman
Partnership Associate

Our Advisors

Carmel Craig
Former Deputy Director of EECRead Carmel’s story
Linda Schumacher
FCC Expert, Trainer & CoachVisit Linda’s website
Laynie Leek
Experienced FCC ProviderRead Laynie’s story