As September inches closer, parents across the country are making decisions about sending their kids back into the classroom.
Maven Health, a tech-enabled women’s health company, has created a new digital tool designed to give parents information about sending their kids into school. Dubbed the COVID-19 Child Care Decision tool, it helps parents access risks. It was codeveloped with author and economics professor Emily Oster.
Parents walk through the benefits and risks of sending their kids to school versus keeping them at home for virtual learning. Caregivers are prompted to take an assessment which includes questions about family health risk, children’s learning needs, social interactions and the family’s means to pay for a home tutor.
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At the end of the short quiz parents get a suggestion about sending or not sending their child to school based on the preferences answered.
WHY IT MATTERS
Today there’s no consensus among lawmakers or medical professionals regarding whether or not children should go back to schools.
The CDC reports that, as of July 21, children accounted for 6.6% of reported COVID-19 cases, and under 0.1% of COVID-19-related deaths. The agency, which published a page called “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall,” also notes that children are far less likely than adults to suffer severe symptoms. Death rates are lower among school-age kids than adults, the agency wrote.
However, a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association found that during the last two weeks of July 97,000 children tested positive for the virus.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for states opening up schools. In Georgia, 925 students and teachers were directed to self-quarantine after at least 59 students and staff tested positive for the virus.
THE LARGER TREND
Maven was first founded in 2014 and was developed to help link women and families to providers. It started up as a service for women to book video appointments with OB-GYNs, midwives, therapists and nutritionists. The service has since morphed. Today it offers digital health programs for women and kids, as well as on-demand access to health providers.
It scored $10 million in Series A. financing in July of 2017. Just a year later it raised $27 million more in a Series B round. And in February, it raked in an additional $45 million in Series C funding. It’s clear that Maven is looking toward the pediatric space. In June it acquired parent-child relationship app Bright Parenting.
ON THE RECORD
“There is an extraordinary amount of uncertainty facing everyone right now, particularly working families,” Kate Ryder, founder and CEO of Maven, said in a statement. “We codeveloped this tool to help support parents as they make important decisions for their family, and hopefully bring them more confidence and peace of mind.”