Dearest FAQ

What is Dearest?

Dearest is an online platform that connects families with educational childcare providers. Based on your schedule and individual needs, Dearest helps you find the most suitable provider to work with your children at your home. Some Dearests host educational care at their homes and public spaces. In this case, it would be specified on their profile.


How do you select the providers?

We have an extensive and rigorous screening process when recruiting our providers. Typical Dearest providers are certified teachers at top programs, Masters & PhD students studying education, STEM educators, and are passionate about teaching children. We have 5 layers of screening. Resume screening, scripted phone interview, in person interview, reference check, and background check. Current acceptance rate is 6% out of the applications we have received. 


How does it work - how do I choose a provider and book a session?

Experienced Dearest providers come to your place based on your preferred time, location, specialties, and number of children. Once you’re interested in a Dearest (our provider), you can contact him/her via messages to see if he/she is a good match. Upon confirmation of booking for a session, you can leave your children with our trusted Dearest to have a fun time playing and learning!


How much does it cost to join Dearest, and how much does each session cost?

We believe that every parent should have access to the best educational child care resources, and that’s why joining Dearest is completely FREE. When you decide on choosing a provider for your preferred time slot, the cost of the session depends on individual providers and time duration of your booking, which are clearly specified on their profiles. To pay for our system maintenance, Dearest trainings, and credit card transaction cost, we take a platform fee of 8%. Costs are always listed before you confirm your booking, so there would be no surprises.


How do I pay the providers?

When you send a booking request to a Dearest, you will be asked to input your credit card information. When the booking is accepted by the Dearest, your credit card will be charged. And you are good to go - all of the amount minus the platform fee will be paid to the providers through us. You do not need to pay the providers any tip, travel cost, meal cost, etc.


Are there any additional fees?

There is no additional fees. If you needed to extend the hours in the last minute or asked the provider to buy something on your behalf, there is a function where you can make additional payment on our platform. 


How do you(/can I) track my child's progress?

Our educators plan every session based on your child's learning interests and past progress. After each session, you will receive a learning report that covers the learning goals, activities, schedule, and tips for other educators and parents for continuity. We will be tracking your child's progress over time and across different educators if your child engages in different types of activities through our platform. 


How long in advance do I need to book a session? What if I need someone last minute?

Our service is on-demand, so you can book whenever you want up to 3 hours before the session begin time! However, popular providers may be booked and thus unavailable upon short notice, and so we advise that you book in advance if you have a preferred provider. When you do need to book last-minute, email us at and our Operations Team will try their best to match you with a great Dearest. 


I need someone to come in every day or consistently.

Most of our families end up hiring Dearest educators in a regular way. We recommend doing a shorter session first before scheduling recurring sessions with the educator. This way, you would be able to see how the educator works with your child. 


What is the cancellation policy?

We have a clear 24 hour cancellation policy. You need to cancel at least 24 hours before the session start time. When you cancel in time, we will refund the session fee. We will however keep the platform fee of 8% as we need to pay credit card transaction fee for payment and refund. If you pass the 24 hours, the providers would have made customized session plans and possibly declined other opportunities to be with your child. Therefore, the fee will not be refunded.


Can I reschedule my booking?

Yes. We have a rescheduling function on "My Booking" screen. As long as it is 24 hours before the session start time, you can reschedule. You need to send a reschedule request and the provider needs to accept it. If they cannot accept your rescheduling for any reason, the booking will be cancelled and our Operations Team can suggest a suitable provider for your child. 


Is Dearest available in my area?

Currently, Dearest is available in New York, NY, and focuses on Manhattan. Let us know if you would like Dearest in your neighborhood by emailing us at!