User Stories

The reason I chose the name Emily for my persona is not only because it is a popular female name, but also because I know of two that have their children in the same daycare I have my child in. One of which I have interviewed here.


How are you today?

Good. It's a nice day out. I see that you drop your baby off at the same time in the morning, and we talk from time to time, so I’m happy to help.

So, what's your story?

Ha! That’s a broad question. Well, I am from Saugus [Massachusetts] and I went to Wellesley College for undergrad, and went to Yale for Law School. I moved back here [Boston] to work for a small law firm, then jumped to Bain and Company for several years to try my hand at consulting, but realized I really love the litigation. I went back to another law firm and shortly thereafter started my own firm.

Why are you putting your child in a daycare center?

My partner and I work pretty long hours. Although, I could work from home, I felt I was not being a good parent. I don’t want to have to keep putting her in front of the television when I am on a conference call or trying to concentrate on something. We were not giving the quality of attention needed and essentially stealing the quality time from both home and work.

Tell me about your daycare choice.

Oh, we researched all the daycares and nannies thoroughly and we boiled it down to two daycares. They both were very good, but the one we chose came down to talking to other parents first. That tipped the balance. Some parents had two children that were of different ages, and that was important for us to know.

Why not a nanny?

We felt the baby is too young [6 months]. We’d prefer for her to talk and have set habits first.

What do you fear most about daycares?

[Takes a breath] Negligence. Maltreatment. Not knowing or seeing how people are treating her throughout the day.

What's a typical morning for you with the baby?

She gets up around 6am to eat, my partner and I will decide who will feed and get her ready. If it is me, I will nurse her, but my partner uses the bottle. After getting her fed, we sometimes bathe her. We then drive an hour to drop her off downtown.

Do you drop off and do the pick up of your baby?

I mostly do the drop off since my office is here [downtown] and pick up depends on my workload. My partner and I will coordinate that.

Do you fill out paper work in the morning and evening for the daycare?

Yes, there is a sign-in timesheet. Then, there is another sheet I fill out to indicate how the baby slept…asking if the baby was happy or cranky in the morning. The daycare form wants eating times and pee or poop times.

In the evening, it’s the same timesheet, but I sign-out. The other form has basic information of feeding, naps, and pee and poop times. I usually will look through this and talk to the teachers about the questions I have. I take that form home in the evening.

What do you think of the paperwork process?

Well, since you are creating an app, I think this could be automated. I have enough paperwork at work. It would be nice to have fewer forms to fill out.

What would be the ideal daycare app for you?

  • Signing in and out with a touch of a button
  • Giving them our baby’s morning routine with a few options and checkboxes.
  • Progress reports throughout the day.
  • Texting or chatting options with the teachers.
  • An email of the daily form and a compilation of the week.

Short User Stories

  1. When I am away from my baby for 8 to 10 hours, I want to know if she is in good hands.
  2. I would prefer fewer forms to take home. I have a stack of papers from the daycare that I really don’t want to go through as if it were legal documents.
  3. Any type of video or audio of my baby during the day would make me feel better.

User Stories

In this User story, I have attempted to unfold all the pain points and solutions that were displayed in the short user stories. This was chosen to keep one train of thought instead of three distinct issues.

What are you doing with my baby?

Emily is a hard working middle to upper class woman, who has very little time to watch her child during the day, so she relegated to placing her daughter in a daycare center. She attempted to watch the baby while working from home, but it was difficult to give the baby a 100% attention. Knowing that she had to give some attention to the child, this would take away from the quality of her work as well. Her partner also has a demanding schedule, and although she doesn’t usually work passed 5pm, her work during the day consist of a number of meetings. In addition, she also has to travel twice a month.

Unfortunately, because of some extended family issues, which she did not care to discuss, Emily doesn’t have the option to have the grandparents or other relatives watch the children. Her partner’s family is located in Michigan. Additionally, it would be an inconvenience for them to drive from Medford to Saugus and to downtown Boston everyday. Therefore, they researched six different daycare centers and narrowed it down to only two.

They certainly considered the nanny circuit, but felt the baby was too young to have one stranger over the house with the baby having no ability to speak. This logic was consistent with their concerns of wanting to know what the baby was doing throughout the day when they are not around to watch. Emily felt that having a more established structure was best for organizational purposes. They thought it was best to have their baby around other children as well—for the “future social aspects”.

Each morning Emily wakes up around 6:00am to nurse her baby and starts her day off there. She takes some time to cuddle and “talk” with the baby, then changes the baby’s diaper, cleans her up, and puts an outfit on her. Some days she eats breakfast at the house, depending on if her partner cooks something, but most days she just grabs a granola bar, yogurt, and coffee. If she is rushing then she has nothing, she’ll settle for the coffee at the office. She alternates this process every other day with her partner.

She drives the baby to the daycare in Downtown Boston. There is no parking lot for the daycare so she has to find parking, sometimes double park, and run in with the baby. There is anxiety of double parking and giving her baby over to the teachers, especially if she is running behind time. Filling out paperwork doesn’t help with her anxiety and she would prefer to press a button that gives the daycare notice that the baby is present. If she is rushing, she could update the baby’s status at the office. She would go to her office and check off if the baby was happy or grumpy that morning, and can select the times in which she ate. The daycare would have the updated information instantly.

During the day, while Emily is at work, she gets notifications (optional) that her baby’s diaper was changed at specific times. She also gets the feeding schedule. To note: there is an option for Emily to have video monitoring on, she elects not to do that because of the meetings. However, shortly before Emily’s lunch time, she gets a video notification. Unfortunately, she couldn’t look at it until lunch. Now, lunch time has arrived, so Emily sits down at Cosi, while eating her salad, she opens up the app, selects the video message, and it has her baby outside playing and looking cute. This warms Emily’s heart to see her baby smiling, cooing and playing. When the short video clip ends, a floating heart comes up that says: “Hi Mommy, I love you!” This was a preselected phrase that the daycare teacher chose on her side.

No trees, no clutter

Emily reads through legal documents all day-everyday— it is the nature of her business. She has one paralegal specialist and an intern who help to sift through papers and other online documentation, but she still has paper work. Although her office is a little more modern than some of the older and larger law firms, it is inevitable to have trailing paperwork. She was relieved to not have to take any more paperwork home and get all the documents digitally. Although the app notifies her real-time about her child’s process throughout the day, she gets an email at 6pm that gives her the run down of the days activities. She can print this via .pdf or choose to save it.

At the end of the workweek, all the data in the forms are compiled and pulled into spreadsheets and graphs for her to analyze. The daycare providers and the pediatricians also can see this. Emily’s partner is a business analyst, so she enjoys looking at the statistics to identify any trends. She is delightfully having fun viewing the trends for the week, month, or even several years. Emily’s partner is much more Liberal leaning and is adamant about saving Brazilian trees and keeping their home less cluttered with paper. “I love my Kindle and Kindle App. Every book and paper should be digitized,” she said.

On the daycare’s side, this has kept things less cluttered as well. The Director of the daycare is ecstatic about saving money and time. The cost of buying long reams of paper is virtually excluded from the expense cost. More importantly, the average time doing paper work for her and the teachers have save upwards of 45 minutes a day. This valuable time is spent on the children or talking with parents. They would go through a ream [500 sheets] per week. In addition, buying and loading ink cartridges can be a pain point. At times, they would have to hire a contract technician to come in and help fix the printer since the Director didn’t want to pay the premium Ricoh contract cost. They print the forms every Monday morning and pray to not have to deal with printer issues to start their week off.

I see you!

The option to video monitor your babysitter, nanny, or daycare provider is becoming increasingly common. Emily goes to work and sometimes sits in her office all day with limited meetings. She looks at her schedule and realizes that it will be a day that won’t demand for her to leave the office, or she has only one phone meeting. She can select the button that will request video monitoring. The daycare will get the request and has to accept the “Facetime-like” request. Emily has two large monitors in her office, so instead of watching it on her phone or tablet, she elects to have it playing on one screen via the web app. Emily knows that she cannot pay close attention to the video all day, but has peace of mind knowing that there is something monitoring the activity.

For the daycare, this is a recording from their phone, tablet, or computer. They set up either one of these hardware devices and place it in an ideal location to view the classroom. The video option acts as a Skype or Google Hangout: any parent that has video authorization [Premium account] can request access and the moderator [daycare teacher] must accept them. All the parents will see the same thing and have the capability of texting as this is going on.

Emily has watched her child throughout most of the morning and goes out to lunch. She then activates the video on her iPhone and sends another request to the daycare. They accept, so she continues to watch the teachers and children while she eats her soup and sandwich at Au Bon Pain.

Daycare teacher

The daycare teacher I interviewed is a friend of mine named Stephanie. In order for her to feel comfortable and open, I will omit her last name and the daycare center she works for.

Thank you for taking the time this evening, I know it's been a long day, so I would like to get right to the point. Can you give me a sense of your daily activity?

Mondays through Thursdays are usually the same, but Fridays are different. When I arrive [7:00am] to the center, I clock-in. Sometimes I will talk to the Director, if she is there, and give her a briefing on some things that may be red flags or even good news. I would only have this type of “hallway discussion” if I did not get a chance to express this in our Friday meeting.

We usually do another sanitize cleaning of the infant classroom, to just wipe down any dust that may have accumulated over the weekend. It’s also useful because we may have missed something on Friday.

At 7:30am the center opens and we will get the early risers storming in. We have all levels at this center: infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. I only take care of the infant room with two other teachers. I wait and greet the parents and usually take the babies out of their car seats. We ask for every parent to sign-in and fill out an individualized plan sheet. It is best for us to know when the baby ate and if he/she is happy in the morning. Most parents just check off happy!

Although we try to abide by a plan, there really isn’t a set schedule per se for the infants. We usually feed the infants by demand. We check the diapers very frequently: after feedings, and every hour. For infants naps are important. We make sure this is done as much as possible.

Tell me about your Fridays.

We have an internal meeting to discuss everything. This is after all the children have left. 6:30pm is usually the time. I always like to get the cleaning of the classroom and the paper work done before the meeting. Sometimes that doesn’t happen.

Is that frustrating to not get the logistics done before the meeting?

Yes. It is a Friday and I love to get as much time with my family and home. My kids are older so they are not with me here in this center, like some other teachers.

How long does it take for you to complete the paper work?

No longer than 20 minutes. Preschool and toddler teachers’ paperwork takes much longer.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have those twenty minutes?

Absolutely! Any time saved is a blessing. Some days I just want to sit down and decompress for a moment, but mostly I want to get home to spend time with my husband and kids. That’s our family night for dinner and a movie.

What do you hate most about your job?

Not much really...I wouldn’t say hate—that would be too strong. Maybe administrative work I guess…but that’s not so bad. Maybe a little more time to decompress, get off my feet. There is no real lunch break in the same sense as an office job. Sometimes the parents can be a bit harsh. I get it. It’s their child. I often wonder if I come across aggressive with my child around other people. Overall, I love what I do.

What is one thing you would change about the administrative process?

Spending time with my family is important to me. I would like to make sure I could get as much time as possible with them.

Short User Stories

  1. I want to make sure the parents are left at ease when they give over their child to us. We work hard to make sure the best care is given to each child and it would be nice for parents to witness that.
  2. I’m not too thrilled about messing with the printer and filling out the reports. Having to explain what we did with the baby throughout the day gets redundant.
  3. Being around children all day everyday is rewarding and a blessing, but being around my own children is something special.

User Stories

In this User story, I have attempted to unfold all the pain points and solutions that were displayed in the short user stories. This was chosen to keep one train of thought instead of three distinct issues.

Keeping you in the loop

It is a Monday morning and Stephanie gets to her daycare center at 6:53am. She places her belongings in a cubby hole/locker and signs-in to the app. All parents that are connected with the app will be notified that the infant teacher is present. The Director also knows that one of her employees has signed-in.

Stephanie talks to some other teachers in the hallway about their weekend. She then proceeds in the infant classroom to wipe down the cribs and countertops for which the baby bottles will be placed. Since she has 15 minutes until the center opens she takes that time to microwave some oatmeal.

The center opens at the usual 7:30am time and there are seven individual parents coming into the building with their children. Two of the seven are infants, so Stephanie prepares to greet the parents and takes one of the babies that she was assigned to. There are six infants and three teachers, so the ratio is 1:2, well within the legal range.

The parent walks to the iPad and presses the button to notify that their baby is present. Now since the parent is not rushing, he checks the box for the baby being a bit grumpy. He also chose the ‘Did not eat’ option.

Stephanie is holding the baby, giving her morning comfort and notices the baby not smiling as much. The parent says good-bye to Stephanie and kisses his child on the forehead.

All morning Stephanie is marking off the amount of poops the baby is having. He is already up to six accidents in the span of three hours. All these notifications are real-time and the parents are getting them. Stephanie marked off that the baby ate only half of what he normally eats by lunchtime and that he “threw-up” once. The mom sees this and text: “do you think the baby is sick?” Stephanie text back: “Yes, do you have time for a call?” The mom calls into the daycare and Stephanie warns that she thinks the baby should go home early. The mom agrees, but can’t pick him up immediately, so she consults with her husband. The father already seen the notifications and the text exchange and had already gave notice to his manager and team that he may have to leave early to pick up his son. He was already packed up and left soon thereafter.

The dad arrived at the center to pick up his child and Stephanie reiterated the policy that the child must be away for 24 hours before they could come back to the center. The dad did not remember this, but looked through the app for the section on daycare policies. This was the policy that his wife signed before the child’s matriculation.

Stephanie sends the progress report to the parents, which end up in their emails. The mom sends that report to the Pediatrician. She contacts the office of the Pediatrician, who is not there, so she spoke to a nurse instead.

This is not a problem because the Pediatrician is in the loop from the daycare app and of course the nurse will debrief her. Therefore, the next time they see her she will be up-to-date.

Looking forward to the weekend

“Happy Friday!” Stephanie happily says to her co-workers and parents. Stephanie goes through the same routine she went through Monday through Thursday, except she had yogurt with granola and honey on top, along with a caramel latte from Starbucks. She meets and greets the parents again. She is also really excited to see the child back since he was out for several days with a bad fever and diarrhea.

The father of the formerly sick child marked off the ‘Happy’ checkbox and the time he ate before he left the house. Therefore, he just needed to notify the daycare that his child was present. He quickly kisses the baby on the forehead and continues on his way to work. Stephanie was already notified that the baby was happy and well fed, giving her more of a reason to have a wonderful Friday.

Stephanie marks off the eating times, the pee and poop times, and uploads a picture of the baby smiling with milk around his mouth. Stephanie gave this a tag: #breastmilkandchill. Everything looked normal and the parents were pleasantly relieved. Mom felt warm inside when she received the picture of her baby. Dad just laughed in his office at the tag!

The day ended on a good note. The mom picked up the child with excitement. Stephanie was happy that all the children were not sick. Lastly, all the children were picked up before 5:45pm. The teachers took 15 minutes to clean up/sanitize the room. They all had a half an hour to do anything they wanted until the meeting. Stephanie didn’t know what to do so she played Candycrush on her Android to relax.

The meeting was 15 minutes shorter than usual because the Director had all the reports compiled and was kept up-to-date throughout the week. She already had all the red flags and good notes and every briefing reinforced the things she knew. The Director announced that with reduction of some of the overhead cost, that there would potentially be a raise at the beginning of next year.

At the end of the day, Stephanie goes home 15 minutes early, has relax time, and gets great news of a raise. Meanwhile, the parents and the Pediatrician get a weekly summary in their inbox, along with statistics that they can view on the app.