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Ideas generated by the CoRise provider steering committee:

Business expense tool: Texting based business expense tracker. Child care providers could text a picture of receipts (maybe answer some questions about it to know whether it is direct or indirect business expense) and get an expense report at the end of the month. Deductible mileage is also hard to track but an important tax write-off. Could the tool help track mileage too? What level of automation could the tool provide in scanning receipts vs.  requiring administrative support?

Collections tool: a billing tool that automatically charges parents tuition and enables them to pay online. To be helpful, the tool would need to be able to automatically charge late fees when parents pay late or pick up their children late (To know when parents pick up late, it would also need a check-in, check out feature). Credit card fees really add up. Can these be reduced or shared with parents (parents would need to be informed/opt-in).

Hub for online tools (1st stage labour platform?): Providers may have to use many online tools to meet all their needs (For example: ProCare for sign-in and billing, KidKare for menus, Tadpole for parent communication, etc). A dashboard that organized these tools would be helpful. Especially if it could display some core data from these accounts and/or support single sign-in. Ideally would include package deals for providers rather than providers having to pay monthly fees for each tool (something we'd need to figure out on our CoRise/ICA end).

Marketing website: a website that highlights the quality of providers’ programs through virtual tours of their home, program, local attractions, etc.

Subpool: A matching app that connects providers with substitutes when they need a day off.

Virtual marketing assistant (part of knowledge platform?): Tool that provides ideas for marketing/communicating with parents and then helps providers post to website, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. all at once or at scheduled times. For example, through the tool, providers might get a suggestion to share a resource on what to do if a child is biting and then could easily share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. with one click.


From email sent to CoRise May 6, 2019:

A couple of these overlap with other partners’ needs - in particular the marketing website and also the virtual marketing assistant, which sounds to me like it could be part of a knowledge sharing tool (which in turn could be part of the learning commons).  We were also thinking that the idea for a hub or “dashboard” for all the tools could possibly be a first version of the labour platform, since we imagine the platform would provide a way to compile existing tools and find ways of integrating them. 

Our thinking is that it would probably make the most sense to prioritize co-design of the three tools I’ve mentioned above, since these seem to have the most in common with the needs of other partners that we’ve identified so far.  How does that sound to you?


Meeting notes

In attendance: Michelle, Dana, Cheryl, Anne. Shavon(?), Pam(?)

  • Shavon
    • Working on co-rise project, and also our child care project in Pennsylvania and Virginia(?)
    • Outreach worker on childcare team
    • Help on the ground client facing work
    • Outreach work, marketing type things


Meeting notes:

  • Anne
    • Ideas I sent were from two different conference calls we had with the steering committee
    • They’re enthusiastic about this process, especially for in-person meetings
    • First conversation
      • Introducing /re-introducing this opportunity
      • Rep of the union was there who knew of their existing tech
      • Asked providers to go through their working life to figure out what tech they had, what they liked or didn’t like about it
      • Pam is the most tech-inclined
      • Some providers don’t use tools at all, but have expressed some interest in doing so with some support
    • Follow up meeting
      • Trying to be very generative, getting ideas on the table
      • That was the email (above) I sent to you all
  • Dana
    • I’d love to hear your thoughts on how this process went
    • Were things that worked well or didn’t for generating ideas?
    • Based on the 3 survey questions right?
    • Anne: Yes, the pre-focus group questions is where we’ve stayed
    • Dana: was that in phone call meetings?
    • Anne: Yeah, they’re all fairly geographically dispersed in Illinois
    • Anne:
      • There were a ton of ideas
      • It’s tricky to balance hearing all the voices in the group and a few participants who used more technology already, who were eager to participate
      • Less successful in pulling in providers that don’t use the technology as much
    • Dana:
      • Some of the questions in the longer session try to get at - what are your challenges in general, and taking that step back and not thinking about digital tools at first
      • What are some challenges in your work, then thinking of features that might help with that
  • Anne
    • List of tech that some providers are already using
    • But some of them are not specifically for at home child care, more for centres
    • Hoping we can talk about the scale of service that we should be envisioning for people, I could use some support in how to facilitate that conversation - a realistic scope
    • Because some people are well versed in these relatively complicated technologies, that I’m assuming that’s outside the purview of the work together - where to identify and how to identify a helpful scope of work, that meets needs - this seems like an important thing to grapple with
    • Is there some scope of activity around your own process that you could share?
  • Dana
    • I think it’s really important to talk about the scope - we don’t want to create expectations of things that aren’t going to happen
    • In terms of activities, some of what we’ve done in the past is allow - give some space for all the ideas to not be limited - but we do have to be realistic in what we can do in this project
    • It might make sense - you’ve already done that - you’ve done the brainstorming, now it makes sense to choose 2 or 3 of those things to focus on
    • But I guess within that - we want to make sure the scope makes sense
    • But with those 3 things we’ve identified - marketing website, virtual marketing asst, hub of online tools - things seems to come up with the other partners so far, and seem realistic in terms of the scope
    • So we might need to rethink the activities if we’re going to focus on those things - the activities described in the document are quite open to all ideas
  • Anne
    • yeah, we’ve gone through - what are the core problems you are all facing - this is from conversations from the past year
    • Not wanting to start from the beginning who have been a part of a number of those conversations at this point, and are eager to get more specific
  • Dana
    • What we can do - going back to the document - do some reworking around more of the 2nd part - activity 2, which is exploring the solutions
    • In the context of those 3 tools we’ve identified
    • That’s probably more useful and realistic?
    • Anne: Yeah
  • Anne:
    • Our next step would be a focus group focused on these activity?
    • Maybe a member of your team might be able to be there?
  • Dana:
    • Yes, it’s a matter of figuring out the budget on this and where the funding is coming from
    • To answer the first part of your question, that would be the next step
  • Anne:
    • 3 ideas that you’ve identified - is it feasible to work on all of them?
    • Hub might be something others can fit within
  • Dana
    • It might be good to prioritize these
    • A session could be focused on one tool
    • If it seems feasible after that one to do another co-design session on the other one
    • From our end, in terms of building things, I think all of those are feasible
    • Ask Ned what’s feasible and what’s not
  • Anne
    • Yeah, for the hub idea - I think a lot of providers have expressed a desire to have 1 place where they can go, have a home base
    • Have some basic information
    • But there’s also a lot of interest in having a single sign on with all the different tools they’re using, something that’s pulling out to some degree the data they’re using and putting it all in one place - ranges from simple idea to something fairly complex
  • Michelle
    • Yeah, integration is a bit tougher
    • What’s definitely feasible within one of these project is a minimal slice - and we plan to continue these slices over time once we get more funding
  • Ann
    • What’s the simple version of this that will get us to the more complex thing of this
  • Michelle
    • Part of the goal is to figure out this simple stuff, but figure out the bigger stuff - helps in getting out the next round of funding to build the bigger thing
  • Pam finally joined! Yay
  • Ann
    • Pam has been a guiding force on this project before I had started working here
    • Played an incredibly role in pulling everything together and providing a lot of leadership and steering our strategy
  • Pam
    • Lives in springfield
    • Daycare provider - we wear many hats - administrator, teacher, social worker - we could go on
    • Very passionate and excited about this
    • Providers can be overwhelmed, and that’s how they burn out
  • Dana
    • As we think about the next steps of the co-design process, we can think about how we can figure out what this “first slice” is
  • Ann
    • Next step to do a focus group / session together
    • To add more detail and specifics - work on one of the services to start on
    • One of the potential places to start could be the hub
  • Pam
    • When I think of a hub, I think of a smart home
    • I can always add my doorbell, thermostat - it’s all compatible
    • You can add communication - we can work on one of a time, but it can be added
    • And be able to have a dashboard
    • A discussion board
      • Providers can share information with each other
      • As a provider, I’m always in a house by myself
      • I dont have another adult to talk to
      • It’s easy to talk to another provider
      • Field trips - another provider knows about field trips - tips and tricks
    • We need to get communication going with providers, parents, and more childcare
    • Help is grow into centres.. Into the whole field of early childhood
    • Home base
    • Even my biggest thing is - I have to do everything by myself, hard to find assistance or help. If I get sick I still have to work
      • Even a posting for job
      • I’m looking to employ someone
      • People looking for work can find
      • A lot of providers, centre workers - waiting list - they can’t staff their centre to be able to accommodate them
  • Dana
    • We’re identifying areas of overlap with other providers
    • We’ve recently heard from SEWA - the idea of a dashboard was also mentioned
  • Ann
    • In our next steps, Pam is going to play a role in pulling people together to represent a larger range of voices in the family child care industry
    • If we can plan out that meeting a little bit
      • Different types of people we’d want to see represented
      • Discussion and activities
  • Dana
    • One question I have is what came up earlier - how do we make sure we hear from those who are less acquainted from digital tools? How do we get ideas from them as well?
    • If we are going to have a more focused session - we’re going to think about how to design this hub - what does it look like - what features might be included - just thinking about how to get everyone participating
    • First making sure we have a broad range of people
    • Then getting ideas generated from everyone
      • We can suggest activities we have experience with
      • But wonder if you have thoughts about that, even questions and concerns
  • Pam
    • I agree - some tools, you have to learn how to use it
    • You wanna make it so that people who aren’t computer savvy can use it as well
    • Here, springfield is as not as chicago
    • I know a lot of providers - I know those who don’t use any computers, to providers who use social media and computers all the time
    • How many people?
  • Dana
    • Generally we have between 15-20 people in a room
  • Pam
    • I can get that together
    • Should I include other stakeholders like centre directors?
  • Dana
    • I think it can be helpful to have different perspectives
    • I think it’s most important to have people who actually are using the tool
    • But if the person running the centre is using the tool then yeah
    • So you can recruit?
  • Pam
    • I would just need the tools and activities
  • Dana
    • Okay, We can modify our activities to be more focused
    • If we can do that and then send that to you, call to talk through the details of the activities, modify them as needed
  • Pam
    • I have a question - Ann, the 3 things we picked out - Is it like pro care kit, kit care, are you saying that for sure you know that those can be things to add to the hub? Or those are just examples?
  • Dana
    • Those are things we’ve identified with the most overlap from other partners
    • Are also feasible
    • But feasible in the way of - doing a small first stage of those things, first slice
    • We probably won't’ have a full tool with all the features, but we’ll have a starting place
    • But we also have another developer that we can bounce these ideas off of for feasibility - what he thinks is realistic
  • Ann
    • What’s the basic version of this that would be helpful
    • What's the most comprehensive version of this
  • Dana
    • We want to make sure we compensate participants, that might be a constraint on that
      • If it’s easier to do all our sessions in 2 locations, that’s fine too
      • People in each location or something like that
  • Pam
    • We have a [unaudible] in springfield and chicago -
    • We can communicate with each other
  • Dana
    • Oh remote? Yeah that’s possible too!
  • Pam
    • How many sessions do you think we need?
  • Dana
    • I think ideally, we could explore all 3 of these tools and have 1 session for each
    • I don’t know if that’s within what we can offer people for compensation, or time
      • One session on the hub, or one on the other tool
      • We can even have 2 sessions too - up to what those priorities are


  • Ann
    • Any guidance on the length of the activities?
      • Dana: We had different lengths of meetings
      • We had a meeting that was 10-2:30 - that seemed like a good focus length - good time frame for dropping off kids
      • 5 hours is a good maximum length
      • Ann: A lot of family care workers work long hours, scheduling might be tough
      • Dana; we can work with the needs of the participants


Next steps

  • Co-Rise
    • We’ll take this back to the steering committee
    • It sounds like focusing in on the hub and what that might look like and features it might have
    • We want to get buy in on that in the full group
    • Figure out logistics - are we doing one in springfield? Another in chicago? Or pull them together in one room?
    • Discuss which of the 3 ideas we can focus on
  • IDRC
    • Rework activities to be more focused
    • Map out the details of how many sessions
      • Have an idea of how many session to have, and then to figure out how long they are
      • Send specifics / language around compensation
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