Child Care - A Family Affair

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Our Little Treasure is a family success story where four generations have collaborated to build a subscription web site for people caring for young children. Care givers the world over are looking for ways to simultaneously stimulate and engage their young children. Our Little Treasure provides: a daily diary of activities and recipes for care givers, one month at a time. The activities are designed by early childhood professionals, who use a fun filled program to both educate and engage young children.

In my day you didn’t have to worry about all this educational stuff but I’ve noticed at our craft group how often we get around to talking about grand children and how to occupy them.

The Web provides thousands of families the opportunity to operate their own cottage industry, using techniques that until now have only been available to large corporations.

Take as an example Our Little Treasure http://www.ourlittletreasure.com.au

There are four generations involved in this subscription web site and as a family affair it works amazingly well. The original concept was generated by a mother (Sue)/ daughter (Kirsty) combination. “We owned and operated a child care centre together for seven years. It’s not surprising that we should take that experience and want to do something with it” said early childhood trained Kirsty.

Sue who is also a grandmother admits that when her own children were growing-up she operated a Family Day Care unit from her own home. Sue reflects on the power of the net to deliver information into the home. “I’d rack my brain each day trying to find new activities for them to do; the Our Little Treasure web site would have been a God send.”

For many families the cost of producing a web site would have been prohibitively expensive, but not this family. A son-in-law (Justin) with a quick mind fills the need and in less than a month has located the data base management software, set up secure payment facilities and structured the hundreds of activities and recipes into a web library. “I have a six month old daughter and this project has allowed me to spend extra time with her, an experience not too many dads get.” comments Justin.

Photos for the site, no problem; six grand children are co-opted to the task. However, in the end, after much discussion, a decision to use commercially available photo stock is made. For feedback on how to make the site “user friendly” for the thousands of grandparents who each week care for their children’s children, easy, let’s talk to great grandmother (Yvette). “In my day you didn’t have to worry about all this educational stuff but I’ve noticed at our craft group how often we get around to talking about grand children and how to occupy them.” Road testing recipes, daughter two (Leah) and daughter-in-law (Kellie) become involved. Marketing, dad (John), and the rest of the family and close friends get to work: e-mailing, posting and chatting; to friends, relatives, notice boards, chat-sites and generally anyone who will listen.

Does it work? Too early to tell as it only went live yesterday but if family spirit counts for anything it is already a stand out winner. Oh, by the way, 15 minutes after launching their first subscription came through.

Just in case you missed their first press release:

Yesterday saw the launch of a web site where anyone caring for young children (Birth-6 years of age) can access age appropriate activities for them to undertake at home. Activities designed by qualified early childhood experts that will assist in the ongoing development of each child. The site delivers a daily program of activities, a month at a time to its members, including recipe suggestions for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Members will know what developmental areas are being catered for with each activity and a list of materials and instructions are supplied. The emphasis is on readily available resources in the home where possible. This is a resource library that will grow with your family and will keep Your Little Treasure educated and happy throughout their early childhood years.

So now why don’t you visit http://www.ourlittletreasure.com.au and put it to the test?

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John Clarke
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