Education Technology Startup ParentPaperwork Announces Funding Round

Australian education technology startup ParentPaperwork has announced today that it has closed a seed round of funding.

ParentPaperwork is an online platform to automate paper forms in schools, dramatically reducing cost and improving liability management.  The system manages excursion forms, field trip forms, permission slips and many other forms parents need to complete for their children and send back to school.

The amount of the round is not being disclosed, but was contributed by a small group led by Melbourne investor Mr David Broughton, who will also join the company’s board of directors.

ParentPaperwork’s CEO Fiona Boyd says the funding round will be used to substantially ramp up marketing and business development efforts in Australia and overseas:

“ Since launching into schools a few months ago we’ve been extremely pleased at the positive response to ParentPaperwork’s product offering. We now have a great range of customers across the spectrum including independent, state and Catholic schools in Australia plus international schools in almost a dozen countries.

The funding round is perfectly timed. We’ve successfully validated our product and model and shown schools that moving their paper forms online does lead to a significant improvement in productivity and efficiency – and the feedback from parents has also been similarly positive.

With this investment we’ll be able to launch a much enhanced marketing strategy, and continue to develop the ParentPaperwork platform. The product roadmap includes several exciting initiatives we plan to roll out in 2015 which we firmly believe will be very attractive to existing and new customers, and add significant value to the business.”

Schools can sign up for a free 30 day trial at www.ParentPaperwork.com

More information:
Fiona Boyd     fiona@parentpaperwork.com              +61 418 576 409

Lessons to Teach your Kids Over the Christmas Break

The holiday season has always been a bonding time for families around Australia. Being able to share these special moments with your children and create unforgettable memories on Christmas day are some of our fondest and most cherished times.

While there is lots of excitement and fantastic activities for the kids to participate in this holiday season we can also use this time to teach them some valuable life lessons that will carry through into adulthood. These lessons include learning about:

“Giving” and not just “Receiving”

One of the best things about the holidays is our ability to give back to charities, hospitals, the disadvantaged and family and friends. There are a number of creative ways you and your children could come up with way to give back this December including:

  • Have your children purchase and special toy and donate it to another child or group such as “The Salvation Army- K-Mart Wishing Tree Appeal.”
  • Take some time to arrange for you and your kids to volunteers at a homeless shelter or food bank.
  • Create a charity jar that the entire family can donate to. Encourage your children to fill it with spare change or a portion of their allowance?

Developing their creativity

Rather than going to the store and buying readymade cards and Christmas accessories why not arrange projects for your kids to create their own Christmas cards and presents? Not only will your children have a great time and lots of fun creating their pieces they will also be able to use their creative skills to begin a project and see it through to completion. This will test their time management, prioritising and planning skills preparing them for their future careers. Handmade presents are a great unique gift for your family and friends and can be a great bonding exercise for the entire family.

Becoming the next great Chef

These holidays’ families will celebrate the holiday season with a variety of different foods and recipes. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen while your kids sit around bored why not include them in the process? Being able to help will not only keep them busy and engaged it will also build their cooking skills which is an essential skill to develop as they grow older. Who knows these cooking sessions could one day lead to your kids becoming the next great Australian Chef’s!

Here are some helpful links to help you and your kids give back during the holiday season:

The K-Mart/Salvation Army Wising Tree: You can donate, download kids activates and locate your closest K-Mart wishing tee via this link- http://wishingtree.kmart.com.au/

Mission Australia: “Christmas Lunch in the Park” is a fantastic Perth event where in-need children are able to receive gifts from Santa and enjoy a fantastic lunch. You’re able to donate online or participate on the day as a volunteer. ihttp://www.christmaslunchinthepark.com.au/donate-now/

Exodus Foundation: Volunteer, donate or run a canned food drive- http://www.exodusfoundation.org.au/

Coast Shelter NSW: Help the homeless in NSW on Christmas day through a variety of ways! http://coastshelter.org.au/christmas.html

Melbourne City Mission: Make a donation or give a gift to the Melbourne City Mission here- http://www.melbournecitymission.org.au/get-involved/give-this-christmas

 

 

3 Ways to Keeping your Kids Motivated During the Summer Break

There is no doubt that December is one of the busiest months for Parents with the holiday season and end of the year looping. The last day of the terms seemingly creeps up on you when the thought hits… How will I keep my children busy during the summer break? What’s more important how will I make sure they don’t sit around at home watching TV or are on their smart phones playing games all day?

Certainly the summer break can be utilised to learn a new hobby, brushing up on an important subject or creating new experiences that will carry through to your children kicking off Term 1, 2015 on the right foot. Unfortunately some of these solutions are easier said than done with many households limited on time and money during the December/January period.

Here are 3 ways to keep your kids busy with exciting and healthy activities:

Summer Camps– Don’t have as much time as you’d like to spend with your kids with work being busier than ever? Summer camps are a great solution seeing your kids doing activities such as arts, sports and educational based games. They will make new friends, learn from new experiences and go to excursions you may not be able to take them on.

Smart Devices– There is a bunch of great ways to make sure your kids aren’t simply using their smart devices for the latest version of “Angry Birds”. Depending on your child’s age there are a number of free educational based games you can download through the App store that will challenge your children’s memory, knowledge and reading ability. For older kids downloading E-Books through programs such as Kindle will bring a new found motivation for your kids to read the classic greats they might be studying in term 1.

Work Experience– With the current job market being tougher than ever the number 1 factor affecting young graduates the lack of experience. Just because your teenagers are a few years from University doesn’t mean the skills they learn working in retail, hospitality or customer service won’t be relevant in their future careers.  Picking up a casual job or Interning work experience will prepare your kids for the future and may be the x-factor that gets them their dream job many years later.

Have are some links to help you take the next step and keep your kids motivated this summer.

Camp Australia: Running a series of holiday camps across Australia – http://www.campaustralia.com.au/

Auscamp: Outdoor camps and programs- http://www.auscamp.com.au/

Australian Sports Camps: Sports camps across Australia- https://australiansportscamps.com.au/

KidzPhyz: A variety of dance and sports camp across Australia- http://kidzphyz.com.au/

Active8: A variety of programs for kids throughout Summer- http://www.activ8camps.com.au/camps/

Camp Creative: Creative programs for kids in dance, writing, crafts, music, visual arts, voice and much more-http://www.campcreative.com.au/

Apps to download 

Kindle:  Will allow your kids to take interest in classical books while using their smart phone or tablet computer to read them. Kindle can be downloaded through the Apple and Google Play Stores.

Video Science: A growing library of over 80 hands-on Science lessons that are great for home and the classroom. These short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.

EarthViewer: Use your fingertips to scroll through Earth history for the last 4.5 billion years.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy’s materials and resources (over 3500 videos) are available to you completely free of charge.