Applying to preschool in San Francisco is not that different from when you may have applied to college 15 years ago. You have to complete a bunch of applications either by hand or print them out from an online application, and then you have to mail them in manually with a check to each school. It’s archaic and fairly frustrating in the highly connected world we live in (I don’t even own a printer). KidAdmit, an early-stage startup in San Francisco, was born out of the same frustration.
Founded by local mom and finance exec Tejal Shah and her cousin and former PayPal engineer Parth Shah, KidAdmit is sort of like the common application but for San Francisco preschools. As Shah explains, she faced the same challenges outlined above when applying for preschools in San Francisco and thought there was a better way to bring this online.
Some schools have their own online applications, but KidAdmit aims to bring all these into one place where you can store all of your information (and potentially auto-fill this info) into each application for each preschool. You can also pay your admissions fees to each school via the platform.
Beyond just the application, you can search for preschools in your area, save schools to a list, and access general information about the school even if it hasn’t signed up to be part of KidAdmit’s “common app.”
The company was previously focused just in San Francisco, but last week, expanded to include preschools in the greater Bay Area. Currently 25 percent of San Francisco preschools allows you to apply via KidAdmit. Shah adds that this is a huge market when you think about the fact that there are 35 million applications for preschool every year around the country.
It’s also worth noting that the startup has raised seed funding led by K9 Ventures (Manu Kumar) with SV Angel, Wayee Chu and Ethan Beard participating.
I used KidAdmit for several of my preschool applications for my daughter this past year and found it to be super easy to use. I found myself wishing, however, that every school would sign up with KidAdmit — many do not allow you to apply via the site, but just provide general information. But the startup is working on adding more schools, and like many compelling startups these days, has aimed to solve an offline problem online.