A Much Closer Look At Nap Time

Apps ▶ Amer­ica’s day care in­dus­try goes gaga for dig­i­tal over­sight ▶ “I know par­ents who sit and watch their kids all day at work”

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Technology -

Un­less your tod­dler is a big talker, his days at preschool or day care can be largely mys­te­ri­ous. Many states re­quire teach­ers to record at­ten­dance, scraped knees, and un­eaten meals, but it’s easy for com­mu­ni­ca­tion to break down, es­pe­cially with kids who are semi- or non­ver­bal. Now, mo­bile apps with dig­i­tal log­books are push­ing those up­dates into the cloud, where par­ents can track their chil­dren in real time.

Amer­ica’s 770,000 preschools and day care cen­ters take in $53 bil­lion a year, es­ti­mates re­searcher Ibisworld. Some have moved into the mo­bile era on their own: The 900 em­ployer770 spon­sored day cares op­er­ated by pub­licly traded Bright Hori­zons Fam­ily So­lu­tions let par­ents sched­ule backup care via a Bright Hori­zons app. But 9 out of 10 U.S. day cares are mom and pop op­er­a­tions tend­ing to a hand­ful of chil­dren, and IT isn’t a pri­or­ity. So soft­ware de­vel­op­ers saw a mar­ket for apps that could sim­plify the fil­ing of pa­per­work. They say the ap­peal for par­ents was a bonus.

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