Re-imagining Childcare - Introducing Kidoop

A prototype platform to spark innovation in childcare

Posted on 28th November 2016

Written by Marta Monge

Over the last year, we have been supporting our Near Now Studio members to research and develop ambitious new projects that create meaning and value for people’s everyday lives.

As the outcomes of each project emerge from the Studio, we’re asking the cohort to share stories of how their ideas have progressed and their plans for the future.

Studio members Amy Martin, Naomi Turner and Marta Monge have been working on re-imagining childcare for the 21st century, through new approaches built on trust, flexibility and shared resources.

Here’s the third part of their story.


We have designed a prototype operating model and digital service, called Kidoop. The service, envisioned as a web app, would allow parents to group together to form a childcare co-operative.

Our re-imagined childcare system would see a reduction in costs, an improvement in quality of care and better working conditions for childcare professionals. We have spent the best part of this year thinking about what innovations and interventions could achieve those three goals.

This demonstration of the Kidoop platform gives parents and childminders an insight into what a Parent Childcare Co-operative involves and practical advice on how to set one up.

At this stage Kidoop is just a prototype, but we hope that a resource like Kidoop might help to make Parent Childcare Co-operatives a feasible alternative here in the UK; one that is more flexible, affordable and rooted in community, allowing children, parents and communities to thrive.

What is a Parent Childcare Co-operative?

Parent Childcare Co-operatives are parent governed childcare initiatives that can range from half a day a week session to full time nursery care. Parents with children enrolled within the childcare group are members of the co-operative and elect a membership board that establishes policies and employs qualified childcare workers to run the day-to-day operations along with parent members. Beside their governance role, parents can volunteer as playworkers or classroom assistants, organise fundraising events or be involved in support activities. Parent Childcare Co-operatives are relatively uncommon in the UK but make up nearly 10% of provision in countries such as Canada and New Zealand.

Find out more

The Re-imagining Childcare project and Kidoop prototype form part of a wider project founded by Amy Martin and based at Impact Hub Birmingham called #RadicalChildcare, an initiative to explore, imagine and invest in bold new possibilities for the future of childcare.

To learn more about the project, or to get involved with the #RadicalChildcare mission, visit

Read Part 1 - Getting Started and Part 2 - What We've Learnt.

Stories from the Studio

Find out more about the projects developed through the Near Now Studio over on the Stories page.


Marta Monge