Having children of their own, a small team of Wellington individuals were tired of the manual, paper-based management of the daycares they had been using. There had to be a better way - making things easier for daycare staff in their activities and, at the same time, allowing parents to check up on their children in a more fluid manner. From these thoughts, Web Industries was brought in at ground level to help turn the idea into reality.
The scope was broad and complex - build a responsive web management system for daycares that allowed for both parents and staff to view/manage/maintain a child's day to day interactions within their daycare. Using Drupal 7, we built an application which allowed:
- The creation of Parent accounts, with associated 'approved' Contacts
- The creation of Child Profiles, including information on:
- General information such as age, gender and ethnicity
- Attendance information, on which days and times they would be attending
- Preferences information, such as their likes, dislikes and food preferences
- Health information, such as any allergies, their immunisation status, food restrictions and any medications required
- The management of daily attendance by Staff, with a Check-in and Check-out system
- The recording of daily events by Staff, such as any health or accident issues, sleep tracking and toilet issues
- The creation of Stories and Galleries covering the child's experiences, which could be shared with wider family members using an Invitation system
- Email and SMS notifications associated with a range of the above events; including the ability to send custom Alerts and Emails
The application needed to remove the need for offline, paper-based processes, securely capturing and storing all necessary reporting information in the cloud for later review. On top of this, it had to allow for administrative use, and we provided a Chart-based dashboard allowing the quick and easy review of key metrics and taking follow-up action.
This all had to be accessible to a wide-range of user-types, all within an easy-to-use interface that worked across common devices and browsers. Following the initial build and roll-out, we later reconstructed Pekaboo using Drupal 8, which included a full re-theme using a super slick Bootstrap admin theme.
The takeouts on this project are all related. To start, childcare and the associated administrative systems are complex - for good reason. Real care and attention needs to be given to both the complexities of the sector, but also the associated security and privacy considerations.
The project evolved over time, and in part, that included new requirements to meet particular compliance standards. That happens, but the second takeout is that if there may be any compliance requirements at some stage in the future, it is easier to bake those in at the beginning of the project.
And lastly, while requirements can at times seem complex, the underlying technical approach doesn't need to be. The above general scope requirements were all achieved using contributed Drupal modules, with a few custom modules to tie everything together.