It’s no secret that I am a social over-sharer. I post everything online, especially photos and my kids latest accomplishments. Ya, I’m a bit of a braggart. From Instagram’ing what I made for breakfast to a huge Facebook photo album full of pictures from our latest family outing, it seems at times most things are not off limits for me to share.
Kids are a touchy subject online. I have friends who refuse to post anything about their children, some who are very selective about what they share and then others who are like me who will post just about anything. For my family, posting online isn’t just about bragging (although we do our fair share of that I will admit). We have family who live all over that we do not see often. My in-laws live 1800 km away and see the kids once or twice a year at most! One of the reasons I love social media so much is because I am able to share with them as much as possible, hopefully giving them the feeling that they are included, even in some small way in our lives. Photos, milestones and accomplishments are easily shared in seconds using our cell phone, tablet or home computer.
Even our school shares online. My daughter’s classroom has an Instagram account where photos and short videos are posted daily. As a parent, it’s great to receive updates on how their day is going and more and more childcare providers & schools are using technology to do just that. In some ways, it’s absolutely fantastic.
Of course, there is always that looming thought in the back of our minds about protecting the privacy of our children. It’s truly awful to think we live in a world where this is even something we have to worry about, however the reality is that we do. Whether we like it or not. Even that classroom Instagram account isn’t as “private” as it appears. While the user is private, every time the teacher posts to Twitter or another parent shares one of the links, you no longer have control over who is viewing it.
I am absolutely thrilled to have been introduced to a fantastic website and app called HiMama. Think of the ease of sharing on social media but being able to truly be in control of who is looking. You can easily capture and share milestones, events, photos… and share them on a secure network where you have full control over who views them.
This app is incredibly useful for daycare/childcare centers and even school classrooms as they can update parents in real-time. From what they ate, their potty training activities and even their learning milestones; HiMama bridges the gap between what’s happening in the childcare program and what is happening at home. The parent is kept in the loop about what the child learned or accomplished that day. As a parent, this transparency is a wonderful advantage. You and your childcare provider working as a team – this consistency of course benefits the child’s overall development.
This also removes the “need” for webcams in daycare centers. While the idea at first seemed great, it has become very clear that not only are these webcams easy to hack, parents are missing the benefit of what the educator is providing. They are seeing but probably not understanding what’s going on. Parents are generally put through un-necessary frustration. Childcare workers are receiving more phone calls which interrupt the daily routine and it removes an element of trust from the relationship.
HiMama keeps parents updated throughout the day so they can remain informed. The provider can upload photos, update milestones and communicate with parents in a safe and secure place. Parents can then provide comments below each update in real time.
While my kids are no longer in daycare (and wow, I really wish HiMama was around back then), I love it for another fantastic use: keeping my family informed while keeping my kids and our privacy safe online. You do not need to be a daycare provider to subscribe! I went ahead and created an account for my daughter. I have the ability to invite specific friends and family to join and I can choose who sees what. They can still comment on each item/photo and everything is saved in a diary-type format. From a pc or mobile device, it’s very simple to update and use.
Hi-Mama in my opinion is essential to any daycare. I truly believe that childcare centers will even be able to use their subscription to HiMama as a perk that will bring in new families. I could even see schools using this, especially in the early years such as kindergarten, to keep the parents involved and informed. It’s an exciting app available for iPhone and Android, plus you can access your account online from a PC.
Now how about a contest? The amazing people behind HiMama have provided me with an exclusive prize just for my readers!
Hi-Mama 3 Month Subscription Giveaway
Open to CAN & US
Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Contest closes at 11:59pm on Aug 5th, 2014 – Winner will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected
xo – J