HopKid – kids here, cars-buses there, lost time everywhere
Team HopKid knows that parents would say a great big “thank you“ if their idea for transporting children were to take off.
Most parents tire of driving their children to hobby groups and school faster than the average Estonian tires of cold January winds. Especially, if there are more than two children in the family – then parents have to acquire the skills of a super planner and fill their notebook in red ink with all the different obligations.
Of course, it is possible to cut down on driving kids around in a big city by teaching children the public transportation system and schedules. But if it`s -15 degrees outside, then the child is not all that eager to take a bus and will rather stay home than go to a hobby group or exercise class. And in rural areas farther away where public transportation comes through once or twice a day, there is often no other option but for the parent to organise the rides. In the worst-case scenario, the child simply does not attend exercise and hobby classes, which deepens inequality and stratification.
This is where HopKidcomes to the rescue.
HopKid is a platform for driving and accompanying children. A group of friends residing in Harku municipality Harkujärve and Muraste villages fed up with friends and acquaintances complaining (and they as parents felt the same way) how driving here and there seems to fill up their days. To map the severity of the problem, they conducted a survey among more than 500 Estonian parents and found that others share their problem – over half of the parents drive their children around almost every day and need help with this. The heads of study and headmasters of rural schools also wrote them actively concerned that children and youth in rural areas have a hard time going to hobby classes or exercise classes in the nearby city without a parent`s help. In some villages, buses run just a few times a day, if that.
That is why HopKid was established, which initiated a platform for driving and accompanying children. The app can be downloaded from Google Play, and since last week from the App Store environment. The first orders came at the beginning of September as soon as the service launched and the number of orders keeps climbing.
After you have downloaded the HopKid platform from the aforementioned environments into your smart device and entered your basic data, you can order a driver-escort for your child. For example, the parent can follow when the child is picked up from a hobby group in real-time on their mobile phone and is brought home and handed over to the other parent. Orders can also be placed for a longer period of time if the parent knows for example that they`ll have a longer business trip abroad. HopKid`s experience is that if the parent has ordered their service more than twice, then they will continue to use it.
Who is driving my child?
Ride providers who have had a previous background check to boost provision of a maximally safe service, can offer their services through HopKid platform.
- Firstly – The driver can only be a parent or someone who works with children all the time.
- Secondly – the driver must fill in a form after which HopKid will check the driver`s background from different registers – criminal register, all kinds of court decisions and other environments where thorough background information is available.
- Thirdly – the potential driver is asked to a training, where the rules of the service are explained and an interview takes place to make sure the driver is suitable.
- Fourthly – if necessary, personality and psychology expertise is involved.
Also, a so-called SOS button is under development and other technical solutions for the child to immediately contact their parent or the HopKid team if during the service, the child feels uncomfortable or threatened for any reason.
In addition, HopKid is developing a ride sharing service application for parents, whose offspring goes to the same exercise or hobby group. Parents can form their own group to conveniently plan and execute giving each other’s children rides. To avoid a situation where for example, the night before a competition, parents are desperately trying to divide up their kids into each other’s cars over the phone or Messenger.
The ride sharing service platform is also meant for schools and local governments to promote availability and access to the non-formal learning they provide.
HopKid`s Team Leader Jana Valliste believes that their platform and idea has the capacity to expand beyond Estonia. “We are looking at markets, for now, the focus is the Baltics and Nordics. ButEstonia is the ideal market for testing. I can also say that we have already received positive feedback from Latvian parents to launch the service,“ said Valliste.
How much does it cost?
On average, one ride and escort service in the city costs five to six euros. Long-distance drives have a separate set of fees, which are available on HopKid´s homepage www.hopkid.ee, where you can find answers to all service-related questions. The platform users including parents, pay the HopKid platform a user fee for the ride sharing service and agree on the fee for the rides with each other. HopKid does not calculate a service fee on kilometres covered during the ride.
Ajujaht is Estonia’s largest business idea competition. Ajujaht was established by Enterprise Estonia, partner SEB and main sponsor Elisa. In addition to the aforementioned, Ajujaht is supported by Law Office Triniti, Estonian Employers` Confederation, Estonian Chamber of Agriculture, Harku Municipality, City of Pärnu, Saue Municipality, City of Tallinn, City of Tartu. Ajujaht is funded by Enterprise Estonia`s European Regional Development Fund finances. Ajujaht is implemented by Civitta Eesti AS, Kommunikatsioonibüroo JLP and Tehnopol.