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T Lab + ROC Project Summary

PUBLISHED: Oct 09, 2018

T Lab, Tipping Point’s R+D team, researches, prototypes, and tests new social services in partnership with our grantees and the Bay Area community at large.

“[My need for child care has] prevented me from finding employment I’d prefer.”

“I had a management position at work and I had to voluntarily demote myself because it wasn’t feasible and expectations were too high when having a kid.”

Stories like this are all too common for low-income families in the Bay Area working in industries with after-hour shifts. In Alameda County alone, our T Lab team estimated that there are 21,000 children in need of after-hours care[1].

Unfortunately, the cost of care in the Bay Area can be up to 76% of a low-income family’s earnings[2]. In 2015, over 1.2 million children in California (ages 0–12) were eligible for subsidized early care and education, but did not have access to it due to lack of slots available[3]. Lack of access to high-quality care widens the child achievement gap and often forces parents to choose between a job and staying at home with their children.

Through T Lab’s partnership with Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, we worked with the community to develop and test two new ideas that would increase the supply of after-hours care:

· Concept 1: Child Care Provider Professional Development. A training for child care providers to gain expertise in the tools and resources unique to licensed 24-hour child care. A plethora of day care trainings exist, but nothing for 24-hour child care.

· Concept 2: Parent Care Exchange. A service for parents in the restaurant industry to share care responsibilities with each other, leveraging an online matching platform and in-person meet-and-greet events.

After a two week prototyping phase, community members who participated reported positive experiences and said they would advocate for these ideas to come to life.

“I enjoyed it. I think it’s majorly positive and innovative and so incredibly needed in our community.” — Parent participant of the Parent Care Exchange prototype

While T Lab’s role was to help ROC design potential solutions, we need the support of the broader community to turn the concepts into pilots. If interested in learning more, check out the summary report and contact Vanessa Huang at or Bryan Malong at

We are committed to sharing our findings with the field. Please download and share our research results and resources if it might help other efforts in the fight for better child care and economic mobility for low-income families in the Bay Area.

[1] US Census Bureau “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012,” August 2013; Pew Research Center, “The Rise in Dual Income Households,” June 18, 2015; American Community Survey, 2016

[2] May 2016 US Census; 2018 Children’s Council San Francisco for daycare.

[3] Child Care and Development Programs in California: Access and Funding Since the Great Recession. California Budget and Policy Center. Web. 2018.

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