Startups that help parents

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Dear readers—

There is a new wave of entrepreneurs focusing on a massive yet surprisingly underdeveloped market: supporting new parents.

Quartz senior reporter Jenny Anderson, who has spent years writing about education and the science of learning, today published a deep dive into the business springing around early childhood, a potentially enormous, global market. She provides a guide to what we know works to help children succeed, and a structured look at companies and initiatives targeting different aspects.

This coverage is exclusively for Quartz members. You can sign up here for a seven-day free trial of membership to access it.

Jenny has also covered finance and business extensively, and brings a unique savvy to reporting on the business of education. (Her profile last year of a for-profit education initiative in Africa called Bridge is worth your time as well.)

A few facts that stood out for me in Jenny’s latest reporting:

  • Brains develop 85% of their mass by age three, with 1 million new neural networks forming every second.
  • A recent study found that 49% of parents of children aged five and under used mobile parenting apps, and 60% consulted science-based parenting websites.
  • Globally there are 400 million families with children aged 0-3; about half of them have a smartphone.

And she highlights a few interesting products and organizations:

  • Vivvi, the Four Seasons of childcare, built for medium-size employers.
  • All Our Kin, a US nonprofit that aims to improve home-based care by increasing the supply of high-quality early educators.
  • Wonderschool, a sort of Airbnb for daycare that helps launch in-home preschools and daycares.
  • Lovevery, a stage-based early learning company that delivers packages of simple, well-crafted, expensive toys to parents by subscription.
  • Easy Peasy, a platform with evidence-backed activities for families to discover and play learning games.
  • Huckleberry, which uses AI and a team of pediatric sleep experts to devise individualized sleep plans.
  • ChatterBaby, an early screening device for autism.
  • Cognitive ToyBox, gamified early childhood assessments to help unburden teachers from administrative overload.


It’s a busy moment in the news, with the US-China trade war intensifying and worrying investors, and the UK seemingly headed toward a disastrous no-deal Brexit, among other things. A few things I’d highlight to keep an eye on this week:

  • Whither the markets. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway this weekend disclosed that it was a net seller of equities last quarter, and had amassed a cash hoard of $122 billion, as many find the stock market exceedingly richly valued. The market gains this year have been largely due to increasing valuations rather than improved business performance, and there are many reasons to doubt that can continue.
  • Can Uber ever be profitable? The ride-hailing company reports earnings Wednesday, following its announcement of 400 job cuts last week.
  • Protests in Hong Kong continue, and though everyone knows that China ultimately will gain full control, the unrest is a reminder of the inequality and lack of freedom already a reality there. You can follow our Hong Kong team’s ongoing coverage here, and I’d highlight this piece on the role of the hardhat as a symbol as well.

Quartz members get unlimited access to all of our journalists’ coverage on these topics. If you sign up for a Quartz membership, you’ll also have access to our in-depth guides on areas of business disruption from the role of influencers in modern marketing to the new industry around CBD, and free invitations to members-only events. This week we’re hosting three videoconference calls for members, including one with Silicon Valley entrepreneur and thinker Tim O’Reilly about how to get tech regulation right.

I hope you’ll take advantage of the free trial of Quartz membership and support all of this unique, in-depth reporting.

Kevin J. Delaney
Editor in chief, cofounder