What is the story of littleSonder a comunity for parents & childcare providers? Well like any good story it started from our friendship. Because first we were coworkers—two software engineers talking shop. Then we were friends, sharing books to read and watching bad movies about vampires. Now we are business partners, running a website centered on children. As with any good idea, we started with one thought, “PayPal® for childcare providers.” Together we started researching. We talked to providers and parents and listened to their real life issues—issues that went beyond our initial idea. We took that information, researched the competition, looked at a lot of data and began to dream of a different kind of parent website. A place where parents and providers could meet, connect and organize the information they both need. Thus was born littleSonder.
The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
We are littleSonder a community for parents and childcare providers.
I’m an average person who wanted to own a business—but not any business, a business that helps people improve their lives. Like a lot of parents in the 90s, Jack and I bought a computer to ensure our children were familiar with technology. I immediately fell in love with technology and eventually earned a degree in software engineering.
I developed a passion for Internet research when my husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer. How do you understand insurance coverage? How do you collect benefits? What are hospital billing practices? As an engineer, I’m familiar with researching solutions for complex problems. When we couldn’t find our answers on the Internet, we were fortunate to have great friends who were experts in those areas. But what about people who aren’t as blessed? What about the families of small children being told that their insurance was denied. Who helps them? Jack ultimately lost his battle with cancer, and our family began the difficult journey of building a new life. I look at life differently now. I want to help others. That’s what motivated me to create littleSonder—a community that simplifies complex problems for parents and childcare providers.
Here at littleSonder, you can easily connect with the right people to help you in your life journey. And if you’re really fortunate, you do it with a great friend and business partner like Katie.
My professional background is that of a software engineer by trade. But to the people close to me I’m a friend, mother and wife. I have two amazing children. And through their eyes, I am shown new ways to view the world around us. We all love sports; house favorites are hockey, baseball and soccer. But we watch all Minnesota sports teams. I love being outdoors. Growing up, I did all things outdoors with my dad: hunting, fishing, sports. I bow hunt in the fall, but not as much lately. I love sitting out in the tree stand and taking in all nature has to offer. And taking a small break here and there from the craziness of life is nice at times.
But in these unprecedented times I am humbled by how many people are rising to the challenge. The fact is that no matter what challenges life throws at me, only I can decide how to come out the other side. So, I put in the work, day in and day out, to bring others a little joy. And a helping hand where possible.
Michael Livingston has a doctorate in child psychology from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development. He has taught college courses in developmental psychology, the psychology of motivation and emotions, and research methods for over 30 years. His specialty areas include social and emotional development of children, parent-child relations, and the impact of technology on children. In addition, Dr. Livingston was trained as a preschool teacher at the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory Preschool at the University of Minnesota.
Read more about Dr. Livingston and his new textbook on his website www.drmichaelglivingston.com.