Technology Innovator of the Week: Infant/Toddler Family Day Care

Happy Monday, dear friends! It's time again for our great new feature: The Technology Innovator of the Week. We're so excited to learn more about nonprofit organizations that are using technology to make their work just a little easier and we love learning about these organizations and sharing a little more about them with you!

This week's Technology Innovator of the Week is the Infant/Toddler Family Day Care.

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Infant Toddler Family Day Care (ITFDC)  has been a trusted early child care and education resource for families in the Washington Metropolitan area since 1983.  ITFDC is committed to help parents and early child care teachers provide early care environments that will help children learn the social and emotional skills that are essential to success to school.

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In August 2010, ITFDC redesigned its website. The new website uses Web 2.0 standards in a limited fashion because of funding. In 2011, ITFDC incorporated social media to its overall marketing strategy to improve our outreach to parents and child care providers. In 2012, ITFDC reviewed and customized its Google adwords campaign. In addition, ITFDC placed ads on other online sites such as care.com and dcurbanmoms.com. ITFDC  helped its child care providers set up personal web pages on our website. The ‘MEET OUR PROVIDERS’ section now has links to over 40 providers’ web pages. Parents now can review each provider’s background, training and child care philosophy. ITFDC partnered with Razoo for online fundraising on Facebook. This online fundraising helped ITFDC raise over $400.

Winnie Lau, a project specialist at ITFDC, answered a few questions about the new web strategy that ITFDC has implemented over the last few years.

HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY MAKE YOUR WORK LIFE EASIER?

Our new web system allows us to communicate with parents, providers, and the child care community in a faster, easier and seamless fashion.

HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED THE WAY THAT YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES BUSINESS? 

We have tried many ways to use technology to increase donations.  We have partnered with Razoo for online fundraising last year.  This year we have utilized our web site/Facebook page to reach donors for our various fundraising events; ex., California Pizza Kitchen, Macys, and Amazon.

Prior to our presence on Facebook and our web site's redesign, it was very common for our organization to send out messages to parents, child care providers, donors, board members by regular mail or email.  Now, important messages such as events, fundraising, and training are posted on our website and Facebook page.  Messages are broadcasted in a much more timely basis.  Additionally, our ability to reach others not associated with Infant Toddler Family Day Care has greatly increased as messages can be re-posted, shared, or sent as links.

HOW DO YOU USE TECHNOLOGY TO ACHIEVE YOUR MISSION?

Our mission states that we are ‘a network of professional child care educators’.  We have been advocating using technology to achieve this mission.  We encourage our child care providers to set up their own web pages.  It is another way for providers to reach parents in a personable way.  We also encourage our providers to take courses/webinars online as part of their professional development.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION? ARE YOU A SOCIAL MEDIA FAN? IS THERE A PIECE OF HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?

We are a big fan of social media especially Facebook.  We would like to share more videos of our events, trainings, and child care-related topics onto Youtube.  The software that we cannot live without is CMS – which is our wordpress tool – we use it almost every day to update our web site.  We also like to use VerticialResponse for generating our eNewsletter.

IF YOU HAD AN UNLIMITED BUDGET FOR TECHNOLOGY, WHAT CHANGE WOULD YOU IMPLEMENT?

We would modify our current database into a web-based application so that we can integrate it into our web site.  This would allow for real time searches for child care providers/trainings etc.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE TECHNOLOGY PLANS?

  • Further expand our social media sites (Facebook, Youtube)
  • Integrate more fully with our social media sites (Facebook, Youtube)
  • Offer training/webinars online
It sounds like ITFDC is doing a great job integrated web-based technologies and social media to increase its reach in the area. If you're interested in learning more about ITFDC, check them out at their Facebook Page or feel free to add your comments and questions over on our Facebook Page!
If your organization is interested in being featured on a future Technology Innovator of the Week blog post, please email smorgan@501ctech.org. Remember, technology innovation, no matter how big or small, happens every day and we want to celebrate it.
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