She's not the stern and demanding homework taskmaster now. She's back to the loving mom who smiles that her son is glad to see her when she walks in the door after a long, busy day, thanks to Back2Family's much-needed after-school services.
This is a scene that's being played out over the last year and a half in a number of busy homes in Lincoln and Omaha thanks to the up-and-coming company which claimed the SBA's InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge in March at Lincoln's Southeast Community College Entrepreneurship Center.
InnovateHER sought to unearth and empower entrepreneurs, developing products or services with a measureable positive impact on the lives of women and families, had the potential for commercialization, and filled a need in the marketplace. As demands on women and families grow in this country, the need for products, services, and technology addressing those needs increases.
During the competition in Lincoln, Delley offered a business plan pitch explaining her idea, and as a result of being the winner from Nebraska, contended for one of the final ten national slots in Washington, D.C. during National Small Business Week May 4-8.
Solving a problem for busy families
Delley said she'd gotten the email announcing the competition forwarded to her from a friend.
"And when I read the description and what they were looking for, it almost felt as if it were written for us," she said.
"I know the challenge parents face every evening when school gets out and when parents get home," said Ty Delley, who started the business two years ago.
She spent some 20 years in the corporate world juggling both her professional and home life before she started a consulting career of her own. But as the demands of home life and work life tugged her in too many directions, as she writes on her web site: "one afternoon, my husband found his iron-willed, focused, 'get things done' wife in a blubbering heap in our home office.”
She gave up her consulting career, and refused to take a part-time job she couldn't be passionate pursuing. Instead, she hit upon the idea not only to solve her own dilemma but those of busy families in the area.
"You have that to-do list, and it's overwhelming. There's always that stress point every day, worrying about after school care and knowing once you leave the office you have another full-time job waiting for you at home; homework, dinner, kids’ activities, laundry, and the list goes on," Delley explained. "It's just about understanding the challenges parents have every evening. Although we provide childcare, we’re really in the business of family care."
Demand for face-to-face, personal and flexible service
Back2Family doesn't offer speedy meals-in-a-box or a gimmicky time management app for a smartphone. Instead, families get personal, face-to-face service from hand-selected “Family Partners,” with a back-up standing by just in case, with specific talents matched to their needs, interests and activities.
"We even help acclimate families who have adopted children from foreign countries," Delley said. "Rather than race through the to-do list every night, we give them the chance to have that focused time they need."
According to a Labor Department survey released in 2014, nearly 75 percent of mothers with children between 6-17 years of age are in the U.S. workforce. The hours spent commuting, cooking dinner and doing household chores add up, resulting in a significant decrease in quality, purposeful time parents have to spend with their children.
Delley explained Back2Family provides families "with the flexibility to create care for their children that best meets each family’s needs." With carefully-screened employees on staff as needed to meet demands of its clients, the business offers after-school transportation and help with the toughest homework. Family Partners also will run brief errands, do some dinner preparation and even give a quick tidying-up to a busy home. Yes, they'll even start the laundry.
"There's only so much time you can spend together when that to-do list waits for you," Delley added, "so we wanted to let families spend the time together in the evenings purposefully."
As she started Back2Family, Delley consulted Zack Zimmerman, Lincoln director for the Nebraska Business Development Center for business plan advice and counseling. She incorporated in May 2013, but it wasn't until the start of the school year in the fall that she grew to nine families.
And even if one of her employees doesn't have an active client, she still offers ongoing personal and professional training.
"We are being very thoughtful about our growth because of the logistics involved in helping families manage their lives and the challenge of finding the right person for the right family," she said. But that doesn't mean Delley isn't ambitious.
"With the technology and franchise model we’re developing” she said, “our goal is to build this across the country."