A new way to access child care

Story by Patricia Merrick


Photos by Sergei Belski

Spring 2024

Thanks to one innovative Airdrie resident, those looking for child care or a last-minute babysitter can access providers through a new online platform called LiiT Care Connect.

Lulu Mashonganyika used to run a dayhome in Airdrie and created the LiiT Care to ease the burden of finding child care for parents after she had several asking if she knew any babysitters who were available outside of dayhome hours. The website operates similarly to Airbnb, except it’s for child-care services rather than accommodations.

“LiiT Care Connect is revolutionizing the child care-finding experience by bridging the gap between parents and vetted caregivers,” says Mashonganyika. “Our platform facilitates safe, convenient and diverse connections, addressing modern child-care needs.”

Those looking to provide child care can create an account on the website and list services parents might need, such as before-school care, after-school care and transportation.

“[The platform has been built] by an Airdrie mom for the Airdrie community and beyond,” says Mashonganyika.  “Specifically, parents living in urban and suburban areas where there is often a higher demand for child-care services due to work schedules, dual-income households and a lack of extended family support.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are either working from home or in the office part-time, so they might only need child care once or twice a week and that can be hard to find.

“It’s not that easy to access flexible child care. It takes a village to raise a child and, for millennials especially, that village is not easily accessible,” says Mashonganyika. “And it’s not just having time for work, but also time for self-care, going out with your partner, and also for women who are trying to run or build their business.”

There are several services available for last-minute needs, whether it’s Airbnb, Skip the Dishes or Uber, but accessibility to child-care services has been lacking. Mashonganyika says Airdrie residents most commonly post in groups on Facebook to look for sitters, but are only assured through word of mouth.

With LiiT Care Connect, those who upload their services are screened and required to provide a police record check and first-aid certification. If they are approved, they can list their availability, pricing and services.

“I used technology to build something that would help parents and service providers connect seamlessly,” Mashonganyika says. “It’s not just a transactional platform — it’s building a community.”

Mashonganyika, born and raised in Zimbabwe, has lived in Airdrie for 11 years. She closed her daycare to have more time to focus on creating the online platform, which launched in October 2023. LiiT means “little” in the Philippines and also happens to be the initials of her first name, her husband’s first name and their two boys, aged four and seven.

“I had to give my all and I figured that LiiT Care Connect would provide services to everyone instead of just six kids,” she says. “Airdrie may be considered a small city, but I believe it’s a mighty community full of amazing, diverse families that would benefit from flexible child care.”

The online platform can work anywhere in the world, but Mashonganyika is focusing on building it in Airdrie first. It’s free to access and list services, but it’s a per-transaction, commission-based service.

“Airdrie’s 2023 census identified nearly 20,000 residents are under the age of 17, representing 25 per cent of the total population,” says Jessica Williamson, economic development officer with the City of Airdrie. “We see significant entrepreneurial activity working to identify problems and build solutions for this growing segment of our population.”

To access LiiT Care Connect, visit