It’s about creating a safe environment to find child care.
249smiles was created with the backdrop of random Craigslist posts and people telling us to look in the phone book for centers. What can you learn from the phone book besides for a name and address? How scary is it to talk to people about caring for your child who have no photo, no information, no parent references? And why are these the only resources to find care for our dearest loved ones?
With 249smiles the search is safer and just makes more sense! Our providers can upload photos of themselves, their employees, or facilities, they can give you important (need to know) information, you can get a sense of their philosophies, other parents can leave comments and ratings of the providers, and most importantly, you can contact those parents to ask specific questions about their experiences with the babysitter, nanny, or daycare provider.
It’s about making the important connections with other parents.
We found (in our own experience and in research) that parents don’t generally make the child care decision alone or based on an advertisement…they decide to entrust their child with someone because another parent told them about their great experience with them. The got a good recommendation from someone they trusted. They heard it from the mouth of another mother “yeah, my child went there and we all loved it!” We base our decisions on other people experiences and 249smiles supports that!
It’s about finding the best child care.
There are many different types, styles, and philosophies of child care and that’s great! There’s no universal ‘good’…we know different characteristics are good for different families. That’s why 249smiles believes transparency and sharing are key in this process. Child care providers have the opportunity to really show what they’re all about and give you the information you need. Learn from what they tell you and from what they don’t. Ask them questions in the comment section of their profile so you can help other parents in the process. When you see a child care provider doing something you love, make sure you’re asking other providers if their doing it too! This is the only way child care providers know what’s important to parents.
Cool things child care providers are doing now:
- Step Up to Quality (for Ohio child care centers)
- Stars for Kids Now (for Kentucky child care centers)
– and you can help us earn money for JumpStart, a national early education organization that works toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.
Just visit http://playspacefinder.kaboom.org/teams/2764-249smiles to join our team and start entering information about the places to play in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky into the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder. For every valid playspace you enter, $1 will be donated to JumpStart. Plus every valid playspace you enter gets you a chance to win a trip for four to meet Dancing with the Stars’ Julianne Hough and other great prizes! So what are you waiting for!
Help KaBOOM! find great places to play across America, help 249smiles.com help JumpStart, and help yourself win a chance to meet Julianne Hough. And don’t forget that this is an awesome resource for parents…so let’s help each other!
We’re excited to announce our first news story! Today, Soapbox Media released a piece about us fabulously written by Melissa Sheffel with photos by Scott Beseler.
Thanks Soapbox! We <3 you!
We’re excited to announce a partnership with 4C for Children, the child care resource and referral agency for Southwest Ohio, the Miami Valley and Northern Kentucky. We have identified several key areas of integration to continue serving the parents and child care and early education providers of the Greater Cincinnati area. This partnership brings together the deep expertise of 4C and the cutting edge ;) technology of 249smiles.
We launch our private beta site late last night. Chaz was out of town so we weren’t able to do much celebrating, but we’re excited about the release none the less. If you’ve made it this far you deserve a peek inside!
We’ve opened up part of our site to childcare providers prior to launching! Providers can claim their profiles early to get them ready before parents begin searching the site.
What you can do:
- connect your profile to your website
- add your contact information
- describe your business
- add photos of your facility
If you haven’t recieved notification from us and would like to get set up before we launch in March of 2009 please contact us!
We were awarded an Imagining Grant from CincyTech to help fund development of our childcare solution. The Imagining Grant Program was established to assist young companies in Southwest Ohio and to promote job creation in the region.
We’re excited to work with CincyTech in this venture and value their guidance over the last several months.