FAQs

April 30, 2016

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT CAREPOOL – HAVE A LOOK AND SEE IF THEY ARE ENLIGHTENING IN ANY WAY. PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO SEND US ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE AND WE WILL BE MOST DELIGHTED TO ANSWER :)

 

What is CarePool?

CarePool is a mobile phone application, or app, which allows parents and their network of family and friends to communicate about arranging ad hoc child care.

All parents need help sometimes. Time out to do the shopping, go to the doctor, get some work done, or meet a friend and talk about something other than their kids! However, organising that help is not always easy. There’s a lot of coordination, follow-up and general awkwardness involved. In addition, not everyone wants to or can afford to leave their kids with paid babysitters. CarePool helps you to access your own network of people who want to help.

For people wanting to help out, their offers can sometimes get lost in all the coordinating and guilty feelings and often result in people not being able to help.

CarePool is a communication tool designed to allow parents to ASK FOR help and their friends and family to OFFER help in an easy, gorgeous, respectful and fun way. It encourages parents to help each other out more often. Breaking down barriers, enabling communication, encouraging reciprocity and building community.

What does the CarePool app do?

Using the app, you can:

  • Send a request for help minding your kids within your network in a fun and non-imposing way
  • Make offers to help the people you care about by minding their kids on a specific date and time in an easy and friendly way
  • Track responses
  • See who you have helped and who has helped you in the past
  • Build goodwill!

Down the track, we hope you will also be able to:

  • Thank the people who help you out
  • Add events directly to your calendar…
  • …and much much more!

But I can send a group message already. How is CarePool different?

Group messaging is good for many things, but CarePool has three distinct advantages:

1. It helps coordinate requests for help. CarePool will allow you to set up your care request (or your offer of care) and keep tab of the responses. You will be able to specify the type of help you need and send out a request. You will be able to coordinate your requests for help in one place, rather than sending out messages to one or more potential carers…. waiting for responses… going back and forth with details…

2. It makes offers of help more tangible. Sure, family and friends may have offered their help on many occasions before, but our experience is that parents are hesitant to take up these more casual offers. It’s like if someone said to you “Hey, I’d love to bake you a cake. Just let me know when you’d like me to bake it for you.” It probably feels lovely that they want to bake you a cake, but how easy is it to then say “Hey, that cake you mentioned, could you bake it for me on Thursday?” On the other hand, if they said “I’d love to bake you a cake and I’m going to bring it round on Thursday. Is that OK?” then you’re much more likely to be enjoying some lovely cake on Thursday! Similarly, CarePool will give budding carers a way to offer help in a more concrete way, which parents might find easier to take up.

3. It encourages reciprocity, care sharing and care swapping. Your goodwill is more visible to those who you have helped, encouraging them to offer help to you too, or making you feel more comfortable about asking for help. Our vision is that CarePool will encourage more care, more help, more sharing, more often.

Group messaging has existed for a long time. But let’s be honest – is it still difficult asking for help? Is it still rare that people take you up on your offers? Our research seems to show that it sure is. Our aim is that CarePool will help remove what we see as a huge barrier to getting the help we need.

What about my kids’ safety? And my privacy?

The wellbeing of kids is at the heart of CarePool. That’s why with CarePool, you select carers from your own trusted network of friends and family. People that you know and trust. CarePool does not provide a mechanism for connecting with strangers, or unknown paid carers.  Parents must ensure that they know and trust all people they add to their network.

Let us be clear, CarePool is not a carer provider. CarePool does not vet or approve carers. CarePool is a tooll which helps your communicate with and access the resources in your own existing network of friends and family (which we expect are greater than you think!).

Please read our section on SAFETY OF CHILDREN for more info. 

As for your privacy, users will be asked to put up some personal information on CarePool to assist them in using the service. This may include your personal profile, location, and the names and ages of your children, if you wish. You will only share information about yourself and your children with the people you choose. This information will not be available to the general public. In addition, this information will be safely and securely stored on our server. See out privacy policy for more information.

How do I sign up?

Simply download the app from the App Store or Google Play, download the CarePool app and follow the sign up procedure. You can sign up with your Facebook account or email address.

How do I send an offer or request for help to a friend who does not have CarePool?

Easy. You set up an event in the app, and when it comes to selecting the recipient, you can add a new contact and your friend will receive an invitation to download the app to view the event you sent. You can add new contacts to your ‘Care Pool’ (pool of potential carers or people you want to help) via your telephone contacts (make sure you have the email address of the person in question in the contact card in your phone).

How do I add a new contact to my contacts list (My CarePool) – or delete them?

There are two ways:

  1. You can go to Profile > My CarePool, then click on the phone icon and select the contacts you want to add or delete. (Note: They will not receive any notification that you have added or deleted them, so you can do this freely!).
  2. When you are setting up an event, you click on ‘Add’ to add recipients, and if they person you want it not already in your list, you can click on the phone icon next to ‘Add More’.

IMPORTANT NOTE! In this release, users can only add new contacts who they have an EMAIL ADDRESS for. Lots of people keep detailed contact cards of their contacts, including address, email adress and dog’s birthday, but others (ie. the author) were not so organised until recently.  We know it is a bit of a pain, but bear with us and add email addresses to your contacts who you want in your CarePool. We are aiming for a better solution in the next release :)

How come some of the events on my Dashboard are blue and some are orange? How come some in Past are greyed out?

We have tried to make it easier for you to see which events involve you helping someone else out and which events involve you being the grateful recipient of help. So we have colour coded this:

– Where you are PROVIDING CARE – this event is listed in BLUE

– Where you are RECEIVING HELP – the event is listed in ORANGE

In the Past section, all events that have greyed out text are events that did not happen for one reason of another. They might either have been cancelled by one of the parties, or it may have still been unanswered by the recipient at the time the event should have ended. All events that were accepted and which hopefully did happen will appear with coloured text. We have done this to help make it easier to see what events did and did not happen. Sometimes it is good to have a record of these events too.

We are trying to make the app as user friendly as possible, so we hope that helps!

Can I edit or amend an event that I have set up or accepted?

In this version, we have kept things simple. You cannot amend or edit events once they have been sent, but you can cancel and event and send a new one. We hope to add a function allowing users to amend their events in the next release. Stay tuned!

Can I send an offer or request to more than one person?

There are many circumstances in which a person will want to send an offer of care to many people (eg. my 8 year old thought it might be fun to have a slumber party – why don’t you parents on 2 other kids go out and we’ll mind the kids for the night). Same goes for a request (e.g. I have a last minute doctor’s appointment, any chance any of you three people could mind my little one for an hour on Wednesday?). CarePool allows you to send offers and requests to many recipients. But here’s what happens:

  • a REQUEST can be send to many people, but only one person can accept, so it is removed from other people’s Dashboards once accepted.
  • an OFFER can be accepted by multiple people, so make sure to only send to as many people as you can handle. In a future release, we hope to be able to include a ‘maximum acceptances’ function, which allows the sender to limit the max number of people who can accept.

 

How do I know if something new has happened with my events?  What is the pink dot next to some event listings?

You should get a push notification every time someone sends you a new event, accepts or declines an event you sent, or if they have had to cancel for some reason. There will also be an indicator on your app icon to show that there is something new for you to check out. To make it even easier to see what is new, there will be a pink dot next to all event listings where something new has happened since you last looked at your Dashboard. Once you have looked at the event, the dot will disappear. You will also get emails about some new activity. Of course, you can switch email and push notifications on and off at any time.

The ‘Past’ section of my Dashboard is getting clogged up with loads of events, can I delete some of them?

Yes! Swipe left over the event to reveal a rubbish bin. Click on that and swish! It is gone :) That way you can only have events there that are relevant to you.

 

I don’t have kids. Is there any point in CarePool for me?

Yes! CarePool is just as much for people with kids as it is for people who want to help their friends and family with kids. With CarePool, you can send a concrete offer to someone offering to help out, on a specific date and time, which they can accept with a click. It makes it so easy to say yes. While you will not get the exact same ‘service’ in return, your thanks will no doubt come in other ways.

How much does the app cost?

The CarePool app is free to download. This is because we want the heart of the app to be as accessible as possible for parents and their friends and family. Down the track, we hope to have some cool offers and things to buy available through the app. Stay tuned.

Who is behind CarePool?

CarePool was founded in 2015 by two parents, Sarah Daniell and Amelia McLean. The inspiration for CarePool came from their own personal experiences in organising care for children – both when it comes to asking for and offering help. Their vision is to create an app which helps families develop stronger and more supportive connections with their community. See our website for more information about us.

How can I get in touch with CarePool?

We would love to hear from you with any comments or queries – good or bad.

Email us at hello@carepool.co

Or feel free to connect with us on Facebook or Twitter

 

Last Updated: 1 May 2016