Monday, January 26, 2009

Why doesn't day care use a social network?

Stupidly, I forgot my phone today. This is particularly dire, as I am at a new job and don't have a desk phone or company mobile yet. So my cell phone is the only way school and daycare folks can reach me. (I have asked my husband to call in to make sure everyone's OK. We'll see how fast he jumps on that IM.)

Anyway, it occurred to me, as I browsed through the daycare center's antiquated site, looking for a phone number, that a day care center might be wise to leverage social networking technology. How convenient would it be if Little Tots Academy had a group on Facebook? Let's count all the benefits here:

  • I could network with other moms, maybe even a few dads. Not only would this be any easy way to set up playdates, it would make me feel less like the newest mom there, which I am.
  • The owners could easily post reminders and notifications - "We're closing early for a staff party," or the dreaded "Tuition is due."
  • Owners and staff could easily reach parents (especially parents who've forgotten their phones!) on a one-to-one basis: "Awstin is sick. Can you pick him up ASAP?" or "Iain cut off his friend's ponytail during art class today. Can you pick him up ASAP?" or even "We have donuts today. OK to give him one?"
  • Events could be posted for all to see, as could important news items, like a coxsackie outbreak in the area, carseat recalls or other relevant news.
See where I'm going with this? It just seems like such an obvious benefit to me, and all the parents at daycare OBVIOUSLY work - most of us, I'll wager, with computers in front of our noses all day - so reach and relevancy should be good.

I'd say I'm going to jump on this and talk to my daycare directors about it ASAP, but I know how overextended I am, three kids, staying healthy/fit, peforming, writing a new cabaret act...not much time for freelance work. But on the otherhand, this daycare does cost more than $500/month more than the old one, so a barter deal may be well worth overextending myself!

We'll see!