I am terrible with names. It’s embarrassing to have a whole conversation with someone while running through the mental Rolodex. I was at a networking event and ran into a woman who looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite place her. I just knew that I knew her, but was drawing a blank. She connected the dots for me. We belonged to the same gym and went to a lot of the same classes, but had never really met. I’m so much more social when I’m not drenched with sweat and breathing like Darth Vader.
Her name was Linda Nimmo, and it turned out we had a lot in common. We’d both left high-stress corporate careers. I was trying to forge a writing career, she was building a new business. But we had a lot more in common than that. We’d both spent time on the educational support hamster wheel.
In these days of larger class sizes and performance-based testing, teachers don’t always have the resources to support a child who has a screwdriver in a hammer world. I had been there. Linda had been there too, and she and her friend and neighbor Jamie Finch were doing something about it.
Finding a child service provider, from afterschool programs, to learning resources, to pediatric specialists, is like looking for a needle in…a huge pile of needles. It’s even more confusing and intimidating if your child has a learning disability. There are tutoring programs, independent tutors, testing and evaluation experts, and alternative learning methods. There are camps and specialized schools and non-profit organizations that provide resources for parents. How do you know which combination might work for your child?
You ask another parent.
It really shouldn’t be this hard to find someone you trust with your child. There is a ton of information–unfortunately it’s all distributed. Each parent has their own set of experiences, good and bad, but it’s locked inside the confines of their own social circle. What parents needed, Jamie and Linda decided, was a place that captured all of that information in one place so parents could explore a broader range of choices and feel better about those they pursue. Since it didn’t exist, Jamie and Linda created it, and launched Kidwx.
Kidwx is an information portal where parents can read and provide reviews of child service providers. It’s sort of like an Angie’s List for parents. A subscriber can get information on educational services, remediation and tutoring, enrichment, extracurricular activities, health and wellness providers and support groups and organizations, all reviewed by other members.
“There’s no better advertising than a parent’s heartfelt review,” says Jamie. Kidwx accepts no advertising dollars from service providers. Businesses can subscribe and see reviews so they can address any complaints, but can’t post or edit reviews. Kidwx doesn’t filter reviews, either, so parents get to hear both positive and negative experiences. “That’s the one piece we wouldn’t give up,” Linda said, despite the challenges it posed. “We wanted to stay true to that vision.”
Their passion for this business is heartfelt and rooted in helping children. Linda and Jamie both know how difficult it can be to find the right match for your child. You can spend a small fortune and still not find what you need. When you do find it, it can be a game changer. “We’ve had reviews where a parent has said (this service provider) changed my child’s life.” What rocks more than that?
The women who created it.
Check it out Kidwx here, and meet two women who rock, just like all of you.
Words by J. B. Everett