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    Updated on Oct 25, 2019. Posted on Oct 22, 2019

    I Let My Son Test Out This Service That's Like Uber For Kids And Here's How It Went

    Don't worry, I met the driver beforehand!

    Hi, I'm Krista and this is my family. Since my husband and I both work full time (and live away from family), we sometimes find ourselves in situations where we need last-minute help with our 10-year-old son, Evan.

    Currently, Uber and Lyft drivers are not legally allowed to give passengers under 18 years old rides alone.

    Uber and Lyft have similar policies stating that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. If the driver suspects a passenger is underage, they can ask to see identification.

    So, when I recently came across this app called Kango – a driving and babysitting service for kids – I thought it was worth checking out.

    I really loved that all of their drivers and caretakers have passed background checks, fingerprinting, and a DMV record check. There is a $9 membership fee, the minimum ride fare* is $16, and sitters range from $15-$20 per hour per child.

    kangoapp.co

    There is no minimum age to ride and people over 18 are able to use it as well. *The minimum fare covers the first five miles and, after five miles, each additional mile costs two dollars.

    Once you download the app, you fill in your personal profile and each one of your children's information – including whether or not they need a booster or car seat (Kango provides these free).

    kangoapp.co

    Kango suggests uploading pictures of your children so the driver/caretaker can easily recognize your child if you request a last-minute ride or care and they have not met in advance. In the event a parent does request a last-minute ride and the kid does not know someone else is picking them up, the parent contacts the school (or the place the child will be at) and tells them the first and last name of their driver so proof of identification can be made.

    So, while they do allow on-the-spot ride requests without a meeting beforehand, I didn't like the idea of my child not knowing someone else would be picking him up. In addition, that would put him in a situation where he would have to get in the car with a stranger – something I've taught him his whole life not to do! So, I opted to meet the driver beforehand with Evan so he felt comfortable.

    BuzzFeed

    My driver told me that most parents request a meeting beforehand and typically schedule their rides several days in advance.

    After we both felt comfortable with our driver (she was very nice and talkative!), I scheduled my son rides to and from school one day. In the notes section, we requested the driver we met.

    Kango / BuzzFeed

    In the morning our driver showed up in the same Kango-branded vehicle we met her in.

    BuzzFeed

    Not all drivers drive the Kango vehicles, however. Just like Uber and Lyft, most drive their own car and have stickers in the windshield.

    I was able to monitor the whole ride as they were driving by watching their location on the app. After Evan was dropped off, I got a notification:

    BuzzFeed

    Since picking up kids is trickier than dropping them off, I was a little nervous about how it would go. However, I knew the driver could contact me and vice versa through the app, so that did make me feel better. The drivers park and walk up to find the child if needed (hence why uploading a picture of your kid is handy). In addition, all drivers must wear a pink, Kango-branded shirt. So, Evan knew to look for the woman in a pink kangaroo shirt.

    Kango / BuzzFeed

    At the time I scheduled the pickup ride, I opened my app and saw them on their way home! When they arrived, the driver made sure I was there and my son got inside safely.

    The ride on the way there and the ride on the way home ended up costing $18 each. We live three miles from the school, so overall it came to $6 per mile 😬. Out of curiosity, I wondered what it would cost for a babysitter. For a four-hour window, I was quoted between $64-$92.

    Kango / BuzzFeed

    Overall Thoughts:

    My son liked the ride, he said the driver was friendly and made sure he put his seatbelt on. I really liked how they offered a meet and greet beforehand. I also like that there's an option to schedule out rides or care and an option for last-minute rides or care. Another plus is that they park and get out of the vehicle to get your child if needed. All that being said, I don't think I would be sold on this idea until my kid was in high school and had a cell phone. I also think their prices are pretty high. This app could be very helpful in a last-minute or emergency situation, but not something I – personally – would use regularly.

    HOWEVER, this service IS a plus because it is easily accessible, immediate help for parents who need it!

    TBS

    Kango is only available in California, but they do have plans to expand. Currently, they offer rides throughout the San Fransisco Bay area, Los Angeles County, San Gabriel Valley, Orange County, and San Diego.

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