THE CHALLENGE: Child care is prohibitively expensive for low-income parents and often keeps them from working or going to school. Most families do not receive subsidies and work odd hours, which few providers accommodate. Parents are left with few options.

THE OPPORTUNITY: The purpose of the Gma Village is to provide low-income families with an affordable care alternative that is responsive to shifting schedules. The service leverages an invaluable community resource - grandmas - to build a network of trained providers and helps parents and grandmas build informal care relationships. 

How it works: 

 

1. Join: To join parents need to sign-up, create a profile, and agree to our terms of use. Grandmas need to do the same in addition to getting a Trustline background check and attending a training. 

2. Connect: Members can connect in person at our events or through our online platform where parents can browse through Gma profiles and post a child care need.

3. Care: We provide members with resources to support the care, including recommended interview questions and contract agreements; however, the details of the care are worked out between the parent and Gma.  


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Gma Village a child care center?
No, the Gma Village is not a child care center. We connect parents and grandmas and support the informal care relationships but we do not provide a childcare space.

Where does the child care take place?
We support parents and grandmas to connect for care that will take place at the providers home or out in the community. 

How much does the care cost and who pays for it?
The Gma Village is not involved in the payment however we do emphasize that the service is for low-income families and should therefore be affordable. As of now the recommended rate for care through the Gma Village is $5/hr plus $2 for each additional child. Parents are responsible for paying the grandma directly for the child care. 

I'm a parent. Am I eligible to join the Gma Village? 
Parents are eligible if you meet the following criteria: 1) You are looking for occasional or off-hour babysitting care in Northern Alameda County, 2) You identify as low-income, 3) You can pay Gmas directly, usually in cash, 4) You can attend an orientation phone call, create an online account, and review materials sent to you over email. Get started here! 

I'm interested in becoming a Gma. Am I eligible to join? 
Gmas are eligible if you meet the following criteria: 1) You identify as a "grandma" and have experience caring for children. 2) You can provide care in your home, preferably 15 or more hours per week. 3) You can send and receive text messages to arrange care with parents. 4) You can attend an orientation and training. 5) You are willing to receive a background check. 6) You can log-in to our platform at least once to agree to our terms of use and fill out your profile (we can provide assistance).  Get started here! 

What happens if someone does not follow the Gma Village norms?
It is important that all Gma Village members honor their agreements. If a Gma Village member does not follow the terms and conditions they agreed upon their membership may be revoked.


Our Values

Nurture the children:
Members provide safe, nurturing environments for children to thrive. 
Be respectful:
Members honor one another's time and diverse values.
Support one another:
Members work to build relationships of mutual support. 
Keep open communication: Members respond to messages, communicate about schedules, and share honest feedback with one another. 


Gma Village Norms

All Gma Village members agree to a set of norms that have been put in place for the safety of the children. In addition to our Terms of Use, these include: 

  • Parents are responsible for interviewing, selecting, hiring and paying Gmas
  • Care will take place at the Gmas home or at another location in the community
  • Gmas may only care for children from one family at a time, unless she is also caring for her own grandkids
  • Parents will pay Gmas directly for their child care services
  • Gmas will ensure the emotional and physical safety of the children while in her care and will provide proper supervision at all times.
  • Gmas will not smoke during care
  • If driving the children, Gmas will abide by all traffic and safety rules, including child passenger safety laws, and will maintain current licensing, registration and car insurance
  • Each member will honor the agreements made regarding payment, timeliness and other responsibilities
  • Information will be kept private and will not be shared without member's permission