Day care parents line up to log on
Leaving a kid in childcare can be tough - especially if he's in full leg casts.
But Morrinsville-based mother Shay Thompson's mind was set at rest with pictures of her two-year-old son Blake Salmon's day, shared with her through Kiwi creation Storypark.
The secure online platform was created in 2012 as a safe way to share a child's educational journey through pictures, words and video.
It has about 27,000 users, including early childhood centres in Australia.
One of the children with an account is Blake, who spent three months in chest-to-ankle casts following an operation for hip dysplasia - where the bones of the hip joint are not aligned correctly.
He spends one day a week at ABC Morrinsville while his mother, Thompson, works.
"I had worries leaving him, being the way he was," she said.
"For a good three weeks [after he got his casts on] it was just either holding him or sitting him on a chair. Other than that he couldn't do anything else until he gained strength to be able to pull himself around . . . But to be able to log on to Storypark and see what he was doing through the day was fantastic."
Last Friday Blake's casts came off, and while he's still in a Rhino brace he's not letting it stop him.
Thompson said she'd still be logging in every Friday to check out what he was up to, and had friends who wished they could do the same with their children.
Storypark has been at ABC Morrinsville for more than a year, assistant manager Kylie Fraser said, and was set to be rolled out in all Kidicorp Education and Care Centres.
Storypark started with a request from the mother of creator Jamie MacDonald. She runs an early childhood centre in Gore and asked him to make a website which could include parents more actively in their child's learning, chief executive Peter Dixon said.
The online, private community of Storypark grew from there.
"It's that notion of ‘it takes a community to raise a child' and having a space where it's a more appropriate place than social media, and a more specific place to support children's learning."
Last week more than 200 users signed up to the platform each day, Dixon said, and those logging in are from more than 90 countries.