www.mykidstime.ie is an information website for parents and family-oriented service providers. Founded by two parents, Michelle Davitt & Jill Holtz, in June 2007 and piloted in Galway, the Mykidstime website is now available in Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork, Clare, Sligo, Meath and Wexford, with other areas arriving during 2010.
The idea for Mykidstime came about when Michelle and Jill found it difficult to find information on kids’ activities and classes in Galway and they decided to create a central online information point for parents.
Kids Activities Listings
The website is free for parents to use and has a full range of listings and editorial for activities, camps, classes and clubs, as well as information on services and events for children and families available on each local website.
It is free for the organisations providing family and children services, activities, camps, classes and events (who tend to be small businesses themselves) to have a basic listing on the website.
In addition, Mykidstime sends out monthly e-newsletters on events and things to do, as well as “Books for Kids” and “Mykidstime Food” newsletters. There is strong emphasis on high quality and up to date content; new feature articles and listings are regularly added to the website. Parents can chat online through the MyChat forum, sell small baby or kids’ items through the Buy and Sell direct to another local parent, enter competitions to win local prizes and take up special offers locally.
More recently, Mykidstime has developed a booking service, which allows parents to book camps and classes conveniently online any time, day or night, and helps camp and class providers to reduce administration and cash handling. “It was a natural extension to the website, where parents were there looking up information”, says Jill Holtz, “to allow them to book a camp or class then and there. It saves the parent having to remember to phone next day when they might be busy at home or work. It also means that the camp and class providers get their cash up front, they know the places have been filled and it helps reduce their administration time. We have worked closely with class providers in developing our service so that it meets their needs in a cost-effective way.”
Mykidstime was refined and redeveloped in 2009 taking on board feedback from both parents and providers before being rolled out to other areas. Our model is to find a local associate for each area. They are responsible for the local information and their website and for sending out a localised newsletter. So far, all associates are parents, which also helps as they understand the kind of information other parents are looking for.
Having a local person gather information gives Mykidstime an advantage over other “national” listings websites that are heavily-oriented towards Dublin but lack the local information that parents want and need.
“Mykidstime gives our associates the opportunity to use their skills on a project that is flexible and can be fitted round kids and family. Based from home and using technology, they have the support of the team without the demands of travelling to an office daily”, says Michelle Davitt.
Revenue is generated from ad sales and the Mykidstime Booking service. Providers can reach their local parent audience online, delivering their marketing messages or camp/class places directly. Unlike other forms of advertising, Web Advertising allows the advertiser to measure the response to their advertisement through web stats. These are provided for each campaign run and during a campaign, messages can be changed easily and quickly as often as the advertiser wishes.
“As with any new business, it has taken long hours and hard work to grow Mykidstime.ie to where it is today, but the response has been fantastic from both parents and providers, and as we bring the website to new parts of Ireland, we look forward to continuing our growth and success”, says Jill Holtz.