We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Chang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, how do you think about risk?
My approach to risk is that you almost always have to take the risk to get the larger reward. Founding WeeCare was a very risky choice. I was a new mom and making the decision to create a startup meant that I was giving up the reliable, steady income I had in my previous role. When taking a risk, you have to weigh the risk and the potential reward. The reward in founding WeeCare would be potentially solving the issues in childcare not just for my young son, but for every child, family, and childcare provider – and I believed that was worth the risk. My life has been made up of more risk taking than most, whether through career changes or moving to a different side of the world. Taking risks has actually advanced my career and opened up the possibility for many more opportunities because I made a decision to take chances. As the quote says: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
What should our readers know about your business?
WeeCare is the largest network of in-home childcare in the United States and works as a marketplace where families and providers can match with one another for childcare. Parents are provided with matchmaking services for touring, enrolling, and receiving tech-enabled photo and video updates of their child once enrolled via our app. Providers receive full service support – our team handles marketing for their daycares, enrollment and tuition billing, and provides them with thousands of early childhood curriculum lessons to help them run their in-home preschool. What really differentiates WeeCare from other players in the childcare space is our vast experience in both sides of the market – we work with both parents and childcare providers. Especially now, people are finally realizing how critical childcare is, and our team at WeeCare has been given a unique opportunity to support families during the pandemic because we specialize in the in-home daycare space. People are finally seeing the value of smaller class-sizes, like those provided through home-based childcare.
Building WeeCare was not easy. It takes a different type of mindset to be able to experience the highs and lows of a growing startup, even within the same day, and to know that you are really dedicating your whole life to the mission of the company. There are always going to be challenges and things that don’t work out and that is okay. You just have to take things step by step and not let the challenges overwhelm you. It is important to keep your larger goal in mind to help you remember why you are doing what you are doing. For me, remembering our mission helps me get through the biggest challenges. Our mission at WeeCare is to make high quality, affordable childcare accessible to all families. Along the way, I have learned that childcare really is one of the most important things that people should be focusing on, but it is such a large problem that you need multiple partners involved, whether that be businesses or government. You need a collection of changemakers to be able to create a holistic and real solution to the childcare crisis we are currently facing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles with friends for me is all about food. Pre-COVID, my best friends have come to visit and we would plan a whole week’s itinerary centered around the best hole-in-the-wall places we can find: the best street tacos, avocado toast, and sushi bars. We always end up in the Valley for food.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, my Co-founders, and our team definitely deserve shoutouts. My husband is so patient and supportive – to help me balance my schedule as WeeCare CEO, he has completely shifted his schedule to make sure our children are taken care of. As CEO, you get a lot of the credit, but so much of WeeCare’s success comes from my WeeCare Co-founders, Jesse Forrest (CTO) and Matt Reilly (CMO). It was so important that we built a unique product that didn’t rely on third party sources, and from our first few months they made that possible. I’d also like to give a shout out to our team at WeeCare who work endlessly to make sure our customers have an incredible experience and are supported.
Other: WeeCare’s full directory of licensed home childcare across the United States: https://weecare.co/daycare-near-me
Images by WeeCare