OAKLAND -- As a working mother, attorney Anne Gordon knew that the few minutes she spent picking up and dropping off her children at day care hardly gave her a real picture of how the day had gone. So she came up with a way to use technology to connect busy parents with the people responsible for the children.
"Parents just want that. They want to feel connected," said Deltrina Johnson, owner of Boulevard Little People Academy.
Grand Lake resident Gordon got the idea for a tool to connect parents and day care providers by seeing how much time and trouble it took to get reminders to working parents during the busy drop-off and pickup times.
"As I would drop them off in the morning, I would struggle to get the scoop on what the day had been," she said.
Gordon, an attorney with a 4-year-old and a toddler, also saw that although day cares took lots of pictures throughout the day, it was time-consuming to email them to each parent and often never got done.
The Kinderloop application, which can be viewed on a computer, tablet or smartphone, delivers a grid of photos and comments from the day care providers tailored to the parent, updated in real time.
"From the provider point of view, it really minimizes my time, and gives me more communication to the parents," Johnson said.
The provider tags photos or comments either to an individual child's name or to the group as a whole. Parents can also comment back. Everything is private, but parents can add caregivers or grandparents.
"I can totally see it catching on because of the way it's set up," Johnson said.
A few months ago, Gordon was trying to come up with a design for her idea of a communication tool. She had realized that with the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, there had to be a better way than bits of paper stuffed in cubbyholes. Then she ended up in a meeting with Dan Day. It turned out that Day, an Australian, was trying to do the same sort of thing and already had entered the Australian market. The match seemed a perfect fit.
"They needed someone with experience in the U.S. market," Gordon said.
The company is now in the process of getting another round of investment. In the meantime, Gordon is expanding to a round of test schools here in the United States. The program is free for schools and there is a fee for parent users, but Gordon is confident parents will love the application once they try it.
"Who doesn't want more pictures of their kids?" she said.