WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many parents work. For some, they now work from home or work non-traditional schedules, which means the typical eight to five daycare doesn’t work anymore.

Several Middle Tennessee business owners have come up with creative solutions for parents to find childcare that fits their needs.

One option is customized babysitting right from your phone.

“We offer a great app based platform that families can use anytime they need a babysitter and nanny consistent care. They can hop on and know that they have a vetted pool of caregivers that are ready to help them anytime they need,” said Savannah Maddison, who created Southern Sitters four years ago when she was 18-years-old.

She said it started with her and a few friends who babysat in the Franklin area. The businesses has grown rapidly to serve thousands of families in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama throug a network of 450 caregivers.

Each caregiver has had a background and reference check; they are CPR-certified; and they have at least two years of childcare experience.

“The lack of childcare and convenient childcare for families in the Middle Tennessee area, especially, there’s such a shortage of great providers. And so our goal with our vetting process at Southern Sitters is to do the hard work for the families, and make sure that we are sending the best possible caregivers into their homes,” said Maddison.

The company also offers long-term nanny placement services. Plus, they opened a drop-in childcare center last fall in that’s opened six-days a week in the Westhaven community.

“We’ve seen such incredible growth here in the Franklin area. It’s such a no brainer to be able to say soon we’ll be opening in many other areas in Middle Tennessee, in other states as well,” said Maddison.

Another drop-in childcare center opened last week near Nolensville, and it has work space on-site for parents.

“I thought we could just kind of start this community have a company that moms can go to work, and their kids are well nourished and taken care of while they’re on site,” said Kaela Kinney, co-owner of Olive and Ark.

“There are a lot of moms out there who don’t need full time childcare, they still need to get work done,” said Lesley Duff, co-owner of Olive and Ark. “We can offer that with gymnastics classes and nature walks and gardening and storytime, and parents can take a conference call and then come join in on one of those activities.”

Olive and Ark was born out of a need Kinney and Duffy saw for childcare that doesn’t fit the traditional mold, especially since more parents are working from home since the pandemic.

“We’re really excited. We think moms feel heard and seen when they hear about Olive and Ark. We had 200 signups on our first day, and it was, so we’re actually adding more days and kind of adjusting our hours,” said Kinney.

Olive and Ark’s model for daycare is exactly what fits the needs of Micah Donegan. She’s a mom of three kids and a part-time social media content coordinator.

“There’s so many people that are moving to this area. And there’s such a huge wait list first of all, and so I think like even trying to get your kids in something is hard,” said Donegan.

Donegan added it fits her work life balance of being able to stay involved with her children, but also let’s her get work done in a “peaceful and beautiful environment.”

“A safe place to like bring our kids that can play and learn and have fun while we’re able to get work done without the hustle and bustle of just like you know them running around and asking us questions and stuff like that,” said Donegan.

The elusive work life balance, these creative childcare options are helping parents get one step closer to that.