The Care Economy


Carina Care Matching Platform

An easy to use web-based platform that brings good jobs to care workers by matching them with individuals and families in need of care.

Team Lead

Nidhi Mirani

Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization


What is the name of your solution?

Carina Care Matching Platform

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

A mobile first, web-based platform to bring good jobs to care workers by matching them with individuals and families needing care

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Challenge Carina Is Working to Solve  

Carina is working to solve the problem of home and child care workers earning low wages, working limited hours, and experiencing difficulties in filling openings in their schedule. This leads to high turnover rates and worker shortages that make it difficult for seniors, people with disabilities, and parents to find care in their communities. Home and child care work in the U.S. is nearly universally provided by women, largely women of color and immigrants. Cultural biases rooted in racism and sexism have resulted in caregivers being underpaid and undervalued.  

Through collective action, including joining unions, care workers are demanding better wages/rates and new solutions to reach sustainable earnings. Despite historic home care and child care organizing victories and wage and rate gains in some states, care workers remain low-income as long as they cannot fill their schedule and child care workers are not operating at full capacity. At the same time, individuals and families seeking home and child care need to find a qualified caregiver near them. Caregivers and clients alike need free, easy to use, and safe technology tools to connect with each other.   

Scale of the Problem  

Home care is the fastest growing occupation in the U.S. with 2.4 million personal care and home health aides supporting individuals in private homes. These workers, however, earn low pay that makes it difficult for them to support themselves and their families. In their September 2021 publication titled Direct Care Workers in the U.S: Key Facts, PHI reported the median annual earnings for home care workers is a mere $20,000, with 45% relying on some form of public assistance. One of the reasons why home care workers earn so little is that the average home care consumer only needs 24 hours a week of care so care workers need multiple clients to fill their schedule. They require assistance in finding more clients without going through an agency that will pay them a fraction of what is being paid by the consumer. PHI reported that approximately two in five caregivers work less than 35 hours per week and they lack employment benefits and other supports. This has resulted in high turnover in the field. At the same time, people requiring in-home support often experience gaps in care when their provider can no longer provide services.  

Family Child Care Providers (FCCPs), who provide child care and a preschool curriculum in small group settings in their home, are also a critical component of the caregiving infrastructure. Yet in 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that average FCCP annual income was only $23,240 with half needing public benefits. A report published by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance – Addressing the Decreasing Number of Family Child Care Providers in the U.S. – found that FCCPs are often the only access point to licensed care for families who receive subsidies from the state. Most FCCPs operate on thin margins and can only remain profitable at full capacity. The National Center also reported that FCCPs are shuttering at alarming rates with more than 54,000 FCCPs closing their doors between 2011-2017.

What is your solution?

Description of the Solution  

Carina created an easy-to-use, safe, verified, mobile-first, web-based platforms that helps close the care gap by matching primarily unionized home and child care professionals with clients. The platform enables home and child care workers to increase their earnings by connecting them with Medicaid recipients and families needing care. In child care, Carina focuses on Family Child Care Providers (FCCPs) who provide care in their homes. Our home care matching service is offered in the states of Washington (Medicaid/private pay consumers) and New York (private pay consumers) and will launch in Oregon (Medicaid consumers) in June. The child care matching service is available in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington. In the next three to five years, Carina’s goal is to expand the home care platform to two additional states, including Illinois and Pennsylvania, and the child care platform to Pennsylvania. Carina’s platform has been featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review, GeekWire, Nonprofit Quarterly, Center for American Progress, Puget Sound Business Journal, and New York Magazine.  

What the Solution Does: Connects Caregivers and Clients and Fosters Partnerships and Advocacy  

Carina’s care matching platform enables caregivers to increase their income, helps individuals needing care to stay in their homes, and enables parents with children to participate in the workforce. Carina also provides marketing assistance to caregivers who are registered on our platforms. Our staff have even assisted FCCPs in preparing their profiles. We have been conducting a paid advertising campaign for the child care platform on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These ads were a blend of emotional posts speaking to parents’ concerns, personal stories from FCCPs and parents, and testimonials from reputable sources. This resulted in 45,000 unique visitors to the website and more than 60,000 sessions.  

A key feature of Carina’s model is our partnerships with labor unions, state and local governments, and advocacy organizations that are invested in improving outcomes for care workers and care seekers. Details follow.  

Labor Unions. Carina’s labor partners encourage their members to use Carina, introduce and recommend the service to their employers and local governments, and provide funding for the matching service. Carina’s labor union-based approach ensures that Carina is a gateway to good union wages, rates, and benefits for all caregivers registered on the platform. Additionally, Carina is part of a larger labor strategy to improve caregiver wages and benefits and provide quality care to care seekers.  

State and Local Governments. Carina’s state and local government partners encourage individuals and families seeking care to Carina, introduce the service to community organizations, and provide funding for the matching service. Washington’s Department of Social and Human Services was Carina’s first government partner for the home care platform and facilitated our launch by including the matching service as a resource for the state’s Medicaid consumer directed program. One of the earliest contributions to Carina’s child care matching platform was $40,000 from the Los Angeles Mayor’s Fund. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also facilitated extensive connections to employers and frontline workers. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh funded a pilot for workers needing care during non-standard hours and participated in a press event announcing their partnership with Carina. When schools re-opened in Los Angeles in April of 2021, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) partnered with Carina to help teachers and other school personnel find home-based child care. Most recently, the New York Department of Health partnered with Carina to run a pilot program to create an online home care marketplace that launched in November of 2021.  

Advocacy Organizations. Carina’s transformational impact is through our partnerships with organizations that advocate for caregivers and their clients, fund and operate care delivery programs, and create policies that provide caregivers with access to good jobs and care seekers access to quality care.   

Overview of Processes and Technology Our Solution Uses  

Carina performs all design and development in-house with a team that is majority women and people of color. Carina’s technology can be accessed by anyone with internet access through a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer and across different browsers. Carina has a simple three-step process for users: 1) register, 2) search and connect, and 3) match and authorization. An overview of Carina’s matching service follow.  

Free: Is and will always be free to use for families and providers, with no ads or selling of user information.  

Easy to Use: Mobile-first, web-based platform.  

Accessible: The child care platform is available in English and Spanish with plans to expand to several other languages, while the home care platform will be available in Spanish in the near future.  

Safe: Built for safety and privacy of both the families and caregivers, including building to a HIPAA compliant standard on our home care platform. 

Control: Enables home care providers and FCCPs to highlight the unique aspects of their programs and control their profile.  

Quick: Takes just two minutes or less to connect to a caregiver, five minutes or less to create a provider profile, and five seconds or less to update provider profile status.  

Relevant: Only shows individuals and families the caregivers who have real-time openings and are nearby.  

Accurate: Uses an innovative text solution that allows providers to continually update their information with a single text from their phones, rather than having to log on each time.  

Supportive: Includes ongoing, multi-lingual user support.  

Equity: Combats harassment, abuse, and discrimination through a user reporting system.  

Note: More details can be found in the question on core technologies later in this application.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Carina’s care matching platforms serve the following constituencies.  

Home Care Workers

There are 2.4 million home care workers in the U.S., and home care is projected to be the fastest growing occupation over the next decade. According to a September 7, 2021 report published by PHI titled Direct Care Workers in the U.S.: Key Facts, 86% of home care workers are women, 63% are people of color, and 31% are immigrants. The median age of home care workers is 47, with 34% being 55 and over. Fifty-three percent have a high school degree or less. Carina is serving home care providers and Medicaid/private pay recipients in the state of Washington, private pay consumers in the state of New York, and Medicaid recipients in Oregon starting in June of this year.  

Impact: According to a 2021 report published by PHI, median annual earnings of home care workers is $20,200 with 45% relying on public benefits. Because the average home care consumer requires only 24 hours a week of care, caregivers need multiple clients. As a result, they do not need to rely on a home care agency that will pay them a fraction of the fee paid by the consumers. Carina’s home care matching platform enables caregivers to find new clients to fill their schedule for free. Since 2017, Carina estimates the platform has resulted in $80 million in wages to caregivers.   

Family Child Care Providers (FCCPs)

FCCPs offer individualized and responsive care in small groups settings and a warm, nurturing, and familiar environment for children. They also provide full-time and after-school care for a range of ages and family work schedules. According to the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, 90% of FCCPs are women and 40% are women of color. FCCPs are more likely to serve low-income families and families using state subsidies to pay for care. Carina is serving unionized FCCPs and families in the states of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington.  

Impact: In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that FCCP’s annual income was $23,240 with half relying on public benefits. Most providers operate on thin margins and can only remain profitable at full capacity. For example, the average cost of child care per month per child is $500 to $2,000, thus every slot filled could increase a child care provider’s annual income by $6,000 to $24,000 per child. Since April of 2020, 7,105 FCCPs and families have registered on the platform, Carina has forwarded 4,500 parent inquiries to 1,060 FCCPs for a contact rate of 40%, and generated an estimated $1,975,000 in income to FCCPs.  

Seniors and Persons with Disabilities and Their Families

The home care providers on Carina’s platform are assisting seniors and persons with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid. These individuals need help with self-care and other daily tasks because of physical, cognitive, developmental, and/or behavioral conditions. Nationwide 17 million people living in the community require such services.   

Impact: It is widely acknowledged that there is a caregiver shortage, especially in the senior care space due to the aging population. Carina helps seniors and people with disabilities find care that meets their specific needs so they can remain at home, which is often a more affordable option than living in an assisted living facility or nursing home. The unmet need for care has a ripple impact on the economy as family members, especially women, are forced to leave the workforce to provide care. Since 2017, 24,173 verified home care providers, low-income seniors, and people with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid services have registered on the home care platform, and 5 million hours of care has been provided through 10,000 matches in the state of Washington.  

Children and Families

According to Addressing the Decreasing Number of Family Child Care Providers in the U.S. published by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, FCCPs are often the only access point to licensed care for families who use subsidies or need flexible schedules for care outside of the regular work week. This report also documented how families with lower incomes, needing care for infants and toddlers, and who are Hispanic or African American are more likely to use family child care than center-based care. With approximately one-quarter of all children ages five and younger in the United States being Hispanic or Latino, the importance of maintaining this network is critical. According to the Urban Institute, 58% of children from low-income families have parents who work at least some non-standard hours.  

Impact: The matching service enables parents with children to participate in the workforce, especially mothers who left the workforce in unprecedented numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children are provided with a safe, nurturing care in a small group setting. FCCPs often serve as children’s primary caregivers for multiple years and develop close, trusting relationships with them during their critical formative years. Carina has generated an estimated $4,345,000 in income for parents returning to work after finding a child care provider on Carina.  

Labor Unions

Labor unions are always looking for new ways to serve their members, including helping them to increase income. Carina’s home and child care platforms provide unions with a mechanism for assisting their members in finding new consumers and families so they can increase their earnings. In turn, unions provide Carina with a ready-made audience to whom we can offer the care matching service. Additionally, labor unions have negotiated higher pay rates for home care workers in Washington, Oregon and New York. Labor unions representing FCCPs in the states of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington have successfully negotiated higher pay rates from the state for families who are receiving child care subsidies. The unions also negotiate health care, training, and retirement benefits for their members.  

Impact: Home and child care union members feel supported by their union and have a vehicle for increasing income through the matching platforms. This increases the likelihood that caregivers will remain in the union. When non-union caregivers approach Carina to register on the platform, we refer them to their local union so that they can become members and receive negotiated benefits through their union.  


Many caregivers and clients registered on Carina’s matching service live in low-income communities. These include child care deserts where it is difficult to find care. When individuals and families cannot find care, the local economy is impacted because family members leave the workforce to provide care themselves.

Impact: Supporting families to find good care near their homes benefits the entire community. For example, when the care needs of families are met, employee turnover can be reduced, state and local governments receive increased tax revenue as more people are engaging in paid employment, and health care costs are reduced when individuals can avoid higher-cost health care interventions.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

How Carina’s Team Is Representative of the Communities We Are Serving  

Carina is accountable to the communities we serve, and equity and social justice are integral to our core principles and operational values. In fact, Carina’s origin is from a direct demand from home care workers. Carina was created in 2016 to meet the demands of home care workers in Washington state who negotiated for the creation of a new referral benefit to match them with Medicaid recipients so they could secure full-time work. From the outset, Carina has engaged those we serve in the design, development, and implementation of the caregiver platforms.   

Carina is led by an immigrant woman of color, and the majority of the organization’s staff are people of color and female. All leadership team members have personal experience with immediate family members who require home care to maintain their independence and use Medicaid programs. The Carina board includes a care provider, union leader, and is majority female, and almost 50% women of color. The Carina home care call center staff can handle calls in 19 languages and the child care call center staff can handle four languages. Translation services in additional languages can be provided as needed.  

What Carina Is Doing to Understand the Needs of Those We Are Serving and How We Engaged Them in Developing and Improving the Solution  

From the beginning, Carina has ensured the constituencies we serve are involved in the creation, design, implementation, and evaluation of our services. Highlights follow.  

Integrated the expertise of union leaders, caregivers, low-income seniors, and people with disabilities who qualified for Medicaid in advance of creating the home care platform. When Carina was created in Washington state, we partnered with SEIU 775 to reach home care workers. Staff attended community and stakeholder events such as the SEIU 775 Parent Provider Summit, SEIU 775 Leadership Convention attended by 400 home care workers, the annual Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) Community Summit, and Parent Provider and Adult Child Provider Caregiving Training classes. We also met with key advocacy organizations across the state, including Arc of Washington, Disability Rights of Washington, and regional Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).  

Launched the child care platform in partnership with FCCPs and their unions. For the two years leading up to the launch of the child care platform, Carina partnered with English and Spanish speaking FCCPs and the elected boards of their unions (representing nearly 30,000 child care providers) to design and test the child care matching platform based on learnings from our home care platform. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Carina listened to union leaders and FCCPs when they urged Carina to get the child care platform into the community fast to help sustain FCCPs and support essential workers in finding care. Unions that Carina engages with include SEIUs (Service Employees International Union) network of six local unions in five states, the SEIU Educational Support Fund, and a Southern California child care local represented by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).  

Worked with government officials and major employers to better understand the needs of employers and essential workers. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti not only provided funding for the child care platform but facilitated extensive connections to employers and frontline workers. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh funded a pilot for workers needing care during non-standard hours. In the early days of the pandemic Kaiser Permanente contracted with Carina to include the matching service as a part of its Employee Assistance Program to assist their essential workers find care for their children. When schools re-opened in the Los Angeles in April of 2021, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) partnered with Carina to help teachers and other school personnel find home-based child care. Most recently, the New York Department of Health partnered with Carina to run a pilot program to create an online home care marketplace that launched in November of 2021.  

Developed a variety of continuous feedback loops for individuals. Carina released our software in increments alongside rolling eight-week pilots, so we could make improvements and validate our approach before adding on more. We conducted user testing through one-on-one interviews, product wireframes (a simple mocked-up version of a product screen or series of screens and workflows), and other design exercises to better understand the perspectives of individuals and families.    

Conduct ongoing surveys with caregivers and families. Carina put in place a system where an automated survey is sent to FCCPs one month after they sign up on Carina. We also send surveys to FCCPs and parents after a connection. These surveys were developed based on user testing and in-depth interviews with FCCPs in English and Spanish. We have similar surveys in our home care service.  

Report regularly to FCCP and home care unions that evaluate and assess our performance for their members. Carina shares data about the caregiver platforms with elected boards of labor unions. We also share findings and trends to help inform their policy and advocacy work.   

Incorporated empathy-building research into our design process. Carina understands the difficulty individuals may encounter when using new technology, trying to log in to Carina on an old phone with a bad Wi-Fi connection, unable to use one or more limbs, speak a language other than on the website, or unable to use their laptop’s screen reader.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Ensuring decent working conditions and basic rights for care workers, particularly migrant or domestic workers whose labor may be exploited.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Seattle, Washington, USA

Our solution's stage of development:


How many people does your solution currently serve?


Why are you applying to Solve?

As Carina hits our five-year mark, the organization is eager to gain assistance in four key areas:   

Measuring long-term impact. Carina wants to begin measuring long-term potential impact such as the length of care matches, retention of care workers, and helping people return to work and age in place. We need assistance to build and learn from such measurements. 

Scaling. Carina has hit some barriers related to scaling. While our technology can work anywhere in the world, our implementation programs rely heavily on state and local partnerships. We need to create systems that would be easier to replicate and implement. Carina may need to update our business model to scale more rapidly than our current operating model allows. For example, should Carina consider an SAAS model instead of the programmatic model we currently use?

Increasing behaviorally segmented marketing. Carina currently uses traditional segments based on roles and personas, but we have access to the data that should allow us to support and market to caregivers and care seekers based on what actions and behaviors they are taking. 

Building more connections with technology entrepreneurs. Carina has diversified our board but wants to expand our network with other nonprofit technology entrepreneurs. We also need to determine how to best maintain our unique culture drawing from labor movements and start-up technology so the organization can source great talent as we grow.





In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Nidhi Mirani, Executive Director

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

New or Significantly Improved Approach to the Problem  

Carina is not the first care-matching service, but we are different. Carina views caregivers, Medicaid recipients, parents, and families as partners, not sources of revenue. Unlike other care sites, Carina does not charge a fee to anyone using the platform. Additionally, Carina does not keep a percentage of income generated by caregivers based on their use of the platform. While many commercial technology companies have tried to make headway in this space, usually from the care seeker’s point of view, they have faced a variety of issues in figuring out how to extract double-digit returns for their investors. The need for profits has resulted in compromising safety, switching models to becoming an employee benefit or data tracking service, or selling themselves to large conglomerates.  

The table below summarizes how Carina differs from other referral services.  

Other Referral Services are: Mandatory or included without provider consent (e.g. some state licensing agencies require a listing or services scrape the internet for caregivers and list them on their sites without permission)

Carina is: Voluntary and providers make a choice to join

Other Referral Services are: A list of providers sorted by distance

Carina is: A curated list focusing on providers nearby with openings and a commitment to data freshness

Other Referral Services are: Most for-profits charge either the provider, seeker, or both

Carina is: No charge to individual care seekers or care providers

Other Referral Services are: Focused on all kinds of care

Carina is: Focused on care in home-based settings that includes care in non-standard hours and publicly funded care

Other Referral Services are: Focused on logistical information such as hours

Carina is: Information is focused on key care needs and provider skills that enables care seekers to quickly identify and connect with providers who meet their needs

Other Referral Services are: Imbalance between safety vs. usability (e.g. displaying all personal contact information)

Carina is: Balanced to both protect information and prioritize usability (e.g. in-app messaging system to allow for immediate connection while protecting all personal contact information)

Other Referral Services are: Minimal support for providers on platform

Carina is: Designed for care provider success and safety (e.g. multi-lingual, phone-based support)

Other Referral Services are: Accountable to investors or specific administrative departments in government

Carina is: Accountable to care providers, the unions that represent them, and families

How Carina Could Be Catalytic and Change the Market  

Carina’s leadership team is steeped in successful worker organizing and uses successful organizing techniques and best practices in its care matching services. Prime among those is agency for the users. Carina’s model, in both home care and child care, is built upon the principle that the user should have as much control over their experience as possible. This includes what care options show up in a search, what workers include in their “about me” profiles, and the languages they use. This makes Carina unique from other care matching entities, as for-profits will often limit workers’ ability to control their “brand” and exercise significant, if hidden, control over what the consumer can choose from. Even state-run sites, though virtuous, will often remove worker or care seekers’ autonomy, either objectively, through the need to include everyone equally, or subjectively, as government workers making decisions about who might be the “right fit” for a care seeker. Workers have commented on this as a key factor in their support for Carina.  

Carina gives care seekers, care workers, governments, employers, and labor unions a verified example of what an accountable technology service can look like. This can create power and confidence to demand better. For example, Carina built features and policies to combat harassment, abuse, and discrimination on the platform as the service scaled. What we learned and demonstrated then helped to inform the work of SEIU 775 as it engaged in a major campaign to battle harassment, abuse, and discrimination that resulted in a major legislative win in Washington in 2019.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Goals in the Next Year  

(1) Care workers easily connect to good jobs using and secure work they want to earn more with greater professional stability.   

(2) Care seekers easily connect to qualified care workers by using and receive the care they need.  

(3) Carina’s labor and state and local government partners encourage care seekers and care workers to use Carina and expand access and grow program participation and deepen learning on finding or providing care.  

(4) Generate at least 4,000 care matches and $40 million in income for caregivers and 2 million hours of care for individuals and families.  

Goals in the Next Three to Five Years  

(1) Expand the home care matching platform in two states, including Illinois and Pennsylvania.  

(2) Expand the child care matching platform to Pennsylvania.  

(3) Increase 2022 goals five times: 20,000 care matches, $200 million in income, 10 million hours of care.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Carina tracks the following measurable indicators:  

(1) Searches for care

(2) Connections made between providers and those needing care 

(3) Matches and match rates

(4) Estimated earnings that matches on Carina have generated for home and child care providers.  

Carina uses funnels set up in Google Analytics to track progress through the journey quantitatively. We also measure engagement on text messages and emails and other outreach campaigns, in addition to user activities that lead to new care relationships including registrations, changes in availability levels of care providers, and messages sent. In addition to this quantitative information, Carina regularly gathers qualitative data through user research and interviews. This research falls into two buckets: how the platform is working and the needs of users. Carina has three product designers on staff who conduct regular surveys and interviews to obtain input from individuals, families, and care providers about their experience using the platform.


What is your theory of change?

We believe if Carina can complete the following activities and outputs:  

(1) Build a diverse team that implements equity and inclusion across all initiatives.

(2) Design, develop, and share technology that empowers care providers and care seekers.

(3) Partner with labor unions, governments, and employers trusted by care providers and care seekers.    

Then Carina can achieve the following short- and long-term outcomes:  

(1) Our partners encourage care seekers and care workers to use Carina which will expand access and grow program participation. (Short-Term)

(2) Care providers can easily connect to good jobs using and secure work they need to increase earnings. (Short-Term)

(3) Care seekers can easily connect to qualified care workers by using and individuals and families receive the care they need. (Short-Term)

(4) Through work with our partners, Carina will deepen learning on finding or providing care. (Long-Term)

(5) Care providers can secure greater professional stability (Long-Term)

(6) The care economy strengthens communities and respects and supports workers. (Long-Term)         

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Carina’s platform is a mobile-friendly, web-based application for searching and matching. More details follow.  

Frontend is built on ReactJS, which is an open-source JavaScript library that is used for building user interfaces for web applications. React allows developers to create large web applications that can change data without reloading the page. The main purpose of React is to be fast, scalable, and simple.   

Backend includes databases, APIs, and related systems and is built with a modern data model and microservices architecture on a HIPAA compliant implementation on Amazon Web Services. This improves the performance of complex features like geo-matching, messaging, and notifications.    

Geo-based job and provider search, including the time it takes to travel via public transportation, is created using Mapbox.  

Customizable text and email notifications using Twilio and Amazon SES.  

Auto-populate provider training and credentials via custom APIs with training providers.  

Home care consumer verification via custom web service with state database.  

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration through Hubspot and moving to Salesforce.  

Language localization via Locize.  

Data collection, analysis, visualization, and monitoring through Google Analytics and Google Data Studio.  

In-app training via Walkme.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Behavioral Technology
  • Big Data
  • GIS and Geospatial Technology
  • Software and Mobile Applications

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?


How many people work on your solution team?

Full-Time: 23, Part-Time: 2

How long have you been working on your solution?

5 years

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

To reflect the cultural, language, and programmatic diversity of the caregivers and clients using Carina’s matching service, Carina uses human-centered, equitable design and agile product development to build worker power and fight discrimination in the care space. One of our first steps as an organization was developing organizational values to reflect our commitment to racial equity, bringing equity into every discussion and decision, and identifying and implementing key practices that establish Carina as a just and equitable partner in our community. For example, Carina:  

Provides in annual racial equity and microaggressions training conducted by outside facilitators specializing in organizational racial equity change. Staff also have access to optional sessions on power and privilege analysis, shared language review, and equity leadership skills. Additionally, staff participate in equity trainings conducted by Washington State’s Department of Community and Human Services for their grantees.  

Builds tools for people who are most often left out of today’s technology solutions. Our platform increases access and economic opportunity for women, people of color, and immigrants who have been historically marginalized and are most impacted by our nation’s broken care system. Caregivers do not have to sacrifice their autonomy or part of their income to use Carina’s platform.  

Developed and implemented an industry-leading program that prevents and responds to sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination. Carina also informed the work of SEIU 775’s Taskforce on Workplace Harassment and Working and Washington state’s anti-harassment, abuse, and discrimination of caregivers legislation.  

Created a searchable filter for LGBTQ-friendly caregiving. This allows care workers to identify themselves as experienced and enthusiastic about working with LGBTQ households. We also have a category for individuals who wish to identify themselves or their households as LGBTQ-inclusive.   

Designed a proactive approach for equity in the care space with University of Washington graduate students on a capstone project to ensure platforms foster diversity, equity, and inclusion. They evaluated our product through a DEI lens and shared recommendations on feasible interventions and created a toolset for all organizations. This toolset is available at: Carina encouraged the students to present their findings to the technology community. Their workshop about their work with Carina can be found here:  

Invested in a custom-illustrated design suite that reflects the population we serve. Models used for the illustration are real individuals and care workers. Whenever feasible, we do custom photo and video shoots of Carina users.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?


Talented, diverse, skilled, and committed staff.  

Strong partnerships and relationships with home and child care providers and their unions, major employers, and government agencies.  


Trust from home and child care providers and other partners.  

Time and practices that enable our team to succeed for users.  


Design, develop, share, and evaluate technology that empowers care providers and care seekers.  

Build a diverse (e.g. women, BIPOC, LGBT) team that promotes equity and inclusion in its practices, policies, and product.  

Partner with values-aligned institutions (labor, government, employers) that have trusted relationships with care providers and care seekers.  


Powerful, mobile-first, web-based care matching platforms for home and child care providers.  

Paid marketing campaigns about the availability of the platforms.  


Care Providers: Care occupations are among the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. Despite historic home and child care organizing victories and wage and rate gains in some states, care workers remain low-income as long as they cannot fill or replace their work hours/capacity.  

Care Seekers: Individuals and families seeking child care must find a qualified caregiver near them. There is a lack of easy to use and safe tools that are free for individuals and families to find care.  

Unions: Labor unions are seeking ways to creatively sustain current union membership and grow the union and worker power by attracting new members. These unions are seeking ways to help care workers maximize their earnings potential and to grow the union by driving care delivery through a unionized workforce.  

Governments: State and local governments face a crisis with demand for home care, of which Medicaid is the largest funder. Child care continues to be in crisis with many communities being classified as “child care deserts.” Progressive governments are seeking to build a sustainable care system that ensures its constituents have access to safe, quality care and there is a thriving workforce to satisfy the growing demand for care. The unmet need for care has a ripple effect on the economy overall as family members need to step in and provide care, thus leaving the workforce.  


Carina offers an easy-to-use, free, and safe online care matching platform where people who need care can search for care near them and find qualified care providers with openings who have access to good wages.   

Carina is not the care provider itself. We are a service to make this process more effective, efficient and equitable by providing good information and connections to both sides of the marketplace for good jobs and quality care. 

Carina’s model is based on working in partnership with institutions that are invested at the systemic level to improve outcomes for care workers and care seekers. While we work to match individuals, our transformational impact will be through our partnerships with organizations that can: 1) advocate for care providers and their clients and/or, 2) fund and make programs and policies that will support care providers in gaining access to good jobs and for care seekers to access quality care.  


Primary: Labor unions. Our model relies on unions with the power to organize employees and can market the availability of the home and child care platforms to their members and provide seed funding. Labor partners also ensure good jobs or a path to good jobs and help build supply on the platform.  

Operational Only: These are organizations that directly use Carina to help us operate the service. Examples include Washington state Home Care Referral Registries, Korean Women’s Association (KWA) Cares, and Catholic Community Services.  

Funder Only: Provide financial backing for Carina’s work. Examples include the Group Health Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, New World Foundation Quality Jobs Fund, David & Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Marguerite Casey Foundation.  

Referral Only: Spread the word to their network/constituents about Carina. Examples include Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), senior hubs, and the Los Angeles Unified School District.  

All of the Above: Examples include SEIU 775, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), New York Department of Health (NYDOH), and child care worker unions (Local 99, 925, UDW, 521, HCII).  


Owned Media: Media that is owned by Carina includes (optimized with search engine optimization strategy, including the blog), email, SMS, and social media channels.  

Earned Media: Organizational partnerships (website and email referrals), social media (original posts, shared posts, cross-posting, hashtags, and tagging), review websites, user-generated content, and brand ambassadors.  

Paid Media: Purchase ads that will bring visitors to the site, reach or conversions through search engines, display ad networks, or affiliate marketing. Includes Google and Bing ads and printing flyers.  


Labor (staffing) - Scales well.  

Paid Advertising - Does not scale well.  

Hosting and Software Fees - Scales well.  


Inclusion of funding for Carina as an employee benefit for union members in collective bargaining agreements. These are typically multi-year and fixed pricing.  

Contributions and contracts directly from/with unions. These are typically for a single year and fixed pricing.  

State and local government contracts and/or contracts with employers. These are typically, multi-year and fixed pricing.  

Grants from private foundations.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Since Carina’s users do not pay to participate in the matching service, Carina has identified numerous ways to sustain this work including:  

(1) Securing funding via collective bargaining agreements as an employee benefit for working families in need of care or as a job matching benefit for care workers.

(2) Receiving direct contributions from home and family child care unions so they can continue to offer Carina as a service to their members.

(3) Entering into agreements with large-scale employers for them to cover the cost for their employees.

(4) Obtaining state and local government contracts won through RFPs or sole source contracting opportunities, in addition to state and local government funding through Child Care and Development Block Grants, new infrastructure funding, and congressional earmarks.

(5) Forming partnerships with training funds as they apply for state Department of Labor funds for training and placement.

(6) Securing grants from foundations, particularly over the next five years.        

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

Carina has raised the following for the home and child care matching services:  

$1,000,000 from private foundations

$2,700,000 from collective bargaining agreements between labor unions and employers

$2,000,000 from state and local government

$200,000 from labor unions

$10,000 per month from Google for ads, in addition to receiving access to tools to help us build effective campaigns that will be displayed on Google Search when families are searching for child care.


Solution Team

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