Our teachers enjoy the fact that they can customize their lesson plans using ‘drag-and-drop’ from the large array of activities to choose from,” stated Debra White
Dickinson, ND & Columbus, OH (PRWEB) November 02, 2016
This week app developer LifeCubby™ and early childhood curriculum developer, FunShine, announced the release of their long anticipated software integration. “We’re thrilled to bring this to the early childhood community,” stated Beth Ehlis, CEO of Funshine Express™ and FunShine Online™. The Dickinson, ND, curriculum company has seen a lot of changes since they began shipping curriculum packets to child care providers throughout the United States over 20 years ago. “Everything’s digital, now,” Ehlis shared, “so we’ve adapted.” The adaptation to which she is referring is a project that has taken over two years to complete, and the results are an innovative digital lesson planning tool specifically designed for the child care market.
“Our teachers enjoy the fact that they can customize their lesson plans using ‘drag-and-drop’ from the large array of activities to choose from,” stated Debra White, the Director of Operations for Valley Child Care and Learning Centers and Cactus Preschools in Phoenix, AZ. “With FunShine, each domain is addressed, and the curriculum meets our state early learning standards,” she said. Once users build their digital lesson plan, they can print their Materials List, Resource List, and all the Lesson Cards needed for the activities of the week.
Taking it to the next level, after teachers build their lesson plans in FunShine Online they can import their plans into their LifeCubby account to share with their parents. “The Family Engagement Initiative is a requirement in most states, now,” said Sue Testaguzza, CEO of LifeCubby. The Columbus, OH software developer has been providing family engagement apps for child care centers since 2011.
“We’re very excited to have a bridge between FunShine and LifeCubby,” Testaguzza stated. “It’s a logical next step for both of our platforms.” Teachers use the LifeCubby Classroom App on iPads and Android tablets to document meals, daily routines, and share photos and videos with families. Parents get a free app for their phones for reviewing photos, videos, daily sheets, newsletters, and other types of communication from their child’s teachers.
In the hot space of educational documentation apps, LifeCubby is well positioned with over a thousand classrooms and a 4.5 out of 5 rating from Capterra. Most Capterra reviewers have listed LifeCubby as ‘Extremely Likely to Recommend.’ “We have been using LifeCubby for over two years,” according to one reviewer, Sherry Pomeroy, the Administrator of Northfield Presbyterian Church Day Care. “The staff love the ease of reporting, and the parents love that they can see things their child does as well as see their report during the day,” she stated. “I love the quick response time whenever I have an issue,” she commented on LifeCubby’s Customer Service. “Overall I am quite pleased with our LifeCubby experience,” she wrote.
“I really like the in-app messaging with the teachers,” said to Cheri Bourne, a parent with two children at a child care center that’s been using LifeCubby for over 5 years. LifeCubby gives parents a live, real-time connection to their child care providers. “The teachers are usually pretty prompt about responding, and it helps my husband and me stay connected to our children while we are at work,” she said.
Assessments are also a key component of both LifeCubby and FunShine. According to LifeCubby researcher and customer service executive, Laura Poast, “LifeCubby’s newest Vine Assessments offer child care providers a continuum from birth through pre-kindergarten.” Teachers use LifeCubby to post evidentiary links to children’s assessment indicators, showing parents how their child has been learning and growing along the Vine’s 21 goals.
“We’re providing the total package, from lesson planning to daily reporting to observations to assessments and back to lesson planning again,” stated Ehlis. “It’s a circular cycle that teachers do continuously.” Ehlis announced that the Vine Assessments will be embedded into FunShine curriculum in 2017.