“Parents today have to accomplish in just five years what previous generations of parents did in ten,” says Hans Bertram, a family researcher and professor of sociology at Humboldt University of Berlin. Though there are many reasons for this, one of the most common is the desire to have a family and still pursue a professional career. This increases the demand for professional support in rearing and educating children during their preschool years.
Less administration for parents and counsellors alike
In Switzerland, parents can get this support from regional parent counselling centres. A team of qualified counsellors is there to lend a helping hand to parents during their children’s first five years of life. Educational counselling and regular playgroups are just two from the wide range of services on offer. In order to continue devoting as much time as possible to the welfare of the children, the Parent Counselling Centre for the Greater Aarau Region (Mütter- und Väterberatung Region Aarau Plus) set itself the goal of automating its administrative processes using digitalisation. The solution was to develop an app that would run on iPhones, Android devices and the web. Launched in July 2018, the app enables parents to make appointments directly with their personal counsellors, something previously only possible over the phone or on the central website. To make this a reality, the counsellor’s schedules were digitalised and linked to the app. Parents can use the app to find free slots in real time and make booking enquiries, which the counsellors can accept even when not in the office. The parents get immediate feedback on whether their bookings were successful. In future, the system is to be expanded to include appointment cancellations and postponements.
Koblenz-based Brickmakers GmbH also took the special situation of parents into account when developing the app: it was conceived in such a way that it can be operated with one hand, enabling parents holding a baby in one arm to book their next appointment or get valuable tips from a counsellor in chat mode.
A child profile rounds off the services on offer. If they wish, parents can use this function to store any data on their children that could be useful for counselling. In this way, the parent counselling centre can attend to the child’s needs even when the dedicated contact person is not available.
As Doris Feusi – who is head of the Parent Counselling Centre for the Greater Aarau Region and herself a counsellor – says:“The new app simplifies our administrative procedures and enables parents to communicate with us quickly. That means that we, and the parents, have more time to focus on what is really important: spending quality time with the children.”
Excellent digital solutions must not only work, they must also look appealing and, above all else, be intuitive to use.
Based in Koblenz, Germany, BRICKMAKERS GmbH specializes in digitization with a particular focus on the development of mobile applications and web-based solutions. By using the latest technologies, it supports its clients in their digital transformation efforts. In doing so, it accompanies the client from the seed, development and design phase right through to the marketing of the digital product. It helps clients such as Allianz, Cornelsen, Telefonica and Strato to secure a competitive edge and to improve their market position.
The quality standards pursued by the BRICKMAKERS team are reflected in the company’s designation as a Microsoft Gold Partner for Application Development which was awarded in recognition of the numerous successfully completed digitization projects. BRICKMAKERS is part of Acando Group.
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