We’re Elizabeth, Tom and Catalin - the founders of Trustle (https://www.trustle.com). We give parents of young children access to a dedicated expert in child development. When your kid stops sleeping through the night, starts having meltdowns, or is struggling in preschool, instead of frantically Googling things, we give you personal access to someone with expertise, who you can know and trust.
As parents, we know how hard it can be. One of us, Elizabeth, has a 5-year-old and is pregnant while going through YC. (She's amazing! And at the same time it's a heavy load.) We know it can feel that work takes up so much energy that there’s none left over for your kids, and paradoxically at the same time it can feel that all your energy is taken up by your kids and there’s none left for work. We’re all trying to create the best environment for our child, but the day to day reality of that can feel really hard.
And our support systems have changed dramatically; we’ve often moved away from the close-knit communities and extended families that used to be the norm. And when we go online we see an overwhelming amount of advice that’s often contradictory and just doesn’t feel applicable to our specific situation.
As well as being parents, we have a background in child development. Elizabeth is a clinical child psychologist, Tom has worked extensively in EdTech, and Catalin has applied ML to child behavioral health out of Stanford. We came together because of a shared appreciation for how crucial the home environment is for a child’s development, and a shared confusion as to why support for parents is so impersonal. We can’t think of another field that is as complex as child development where outside support and access to expertise isn't the norm.
So we created Trustle! We want to bridge the gap between parents and expertise. Whether it’s to solve a specific problem like sleep or behavioral challenges, or it’s to proactively prepare the right environment, Trustle gives parents a dedicated coach.
When a parent signs up we ask a few questions and match them with a suitable expert who is then available through video chat, phone, and in-app messaging whenever the parent needs them. All our experts have a least a decade of experience working with families and young children, a minimum of a master’s in early childhood development, and go through a fairly rigorous selection process.
We deeply appreciate how personal the parenting journey is. Our role is not to push our own beliefs. Instead, our coaches get to know families, and then use this relationship, paired with knowledge about child development and learning, to come up with solutions that work for their children, their goals, and their beliefs.
On the experts’ side, we use technology to amplify their ability to work with parents. First, technology can make them more efficient. We can create an automated ‘assistant’ for the coach that can surface the right information at the right time, and support the coach by preparing repetitive and unambiguous tasks. Second, we'll keep them up to date on the latest in child development research, as well as using the power of the network by giving coaches access to each other's learning and experience.
There’s no one-sized fits all ‘solution’ in raising children, which is why there is so much impersonal, contradictory information online that leads to parents feeling confused. We want to help parents cut through that, and figure out what works for them.
We know there are many parents on HN, including those with young children right now - we’d love to hear about your experiences and needs around this. And of course feedback and ideas!