Time2Talk2BabyTM is an audio coaching app I am developing that sends parents of 0 – 3 year-olds daily reminders to talk, read, and sing to their child. While talking and reading to babies right from birth is vitally important to parent-child bonding, infant development, and learning, most parents don’t talk enough! That compromises their babies’ potential and puts them at risk for delays in development, lack of readiness for kindergarten, and difficulty learning to read. And, if a child isn’t a proficient reader by the end of third grade, they are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
Say something – quick!
Various campaigns are promoting the need to read and talk to babies, but for many parents it isn’t as simple as that. If talking to a baby right from birth is not something they have seen others model, they may feel odd or awkward to talk to a child who is not yet talking. And, what if you don’t know what to say? If you’re like me, if someone asks me to tell a joke, every single joke I’ve ever heard flies out of my head – and I just stand there, grasping for words.
Being a new parent is, well, stressful!
It can be the same way for parents who are encouraged to talk to their babies! Combine that with sleep deprivation, stress, uncertainty, and being overwhelmed by the reality of having this tiny new person in their life, and you can see why parents may struggle with what to say and do. And that’s under the best of circumstances, when parents have the security, resources, help, awareness, and understanding of the need to give baby lots of experience with rich verbal stimulation! That’s why they need this app!
Parents who struggle with more than just words . . .
Unfortunately, many parents in the U.S. don’t have enough resources, help, awareness, and understanding of what their baby needs. What’s more, many have additional factors that diminish the likelihood that they are talking a lot to their babies. For example, if a parent has one or more of the following characteristics, they definitely need some guidance and encouragement, because the likelihood that they aren’t talking much to their baby is VERY, VERY high.
Factors that lessen the chances of a parent giving their baby a rich language environment.
* didn’t graduate high school
* has low level reading skills (43% of adults in the U.S. read at the 4th grade level or below!)
* wasn’t read to as a child
* is a teen
* a single mother
* suffers from depression
* was raised to believe you don’t need to talk to a baby until they start talking
* lives in poverty
Babies born into poverty
Currently, 49% of all 0-3 year olds in the U.S. are born into low income households, which increases their risk of poor development. That’s why their parents need this app!
DEVELOPING THE APP
Is it clear yet that I believe ALL parents can benefit from this app? But, here’s the problem.
I am a Small Fish in a BIG, BIG Pond
For the past year I have been working on this project: writing, producing, testing, and getting people’s input. It took awhile to find the perfect technical person: some folks who were interested didn’t have enough experience in producing apps, and those who did said I was too small a business for their time and so weren’t interested. That’s why I’m so pleased to have connected with Luke Irvin, of Irvin Media, (www.lukeirvin.com) based here out of Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s young, hungry, talented – and a perfect fit. By the way, a big thanks to the Venture Center (www.venturecenter.co) folks who got us connected.
Moreover, I don’t have the backing of Johnson & Johnson like Text4Baby does, or the Bezos Family Foundation which has created Vroom. (Which by the way, are both text-based apps, and if a parent doesn’t read well, they won’t get much help from it.)
Anyway, that’s why I need YOU.
They Like It, They Like It!
So, how do I know this idea is any good? The pilot test I conducted was very successful. Here’s some of the results:
90% of participants found the content to be engaging, easy to do and understand, and – they learned something.
Overall, great feedback and support! Here’s some of the things they said about how much it’s needed.
This app is something that virtually all parents can benefit from, but it’s especially important that new parents who need a little extra support and encouragement have access to it. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it will be free! Some more thoughts about how much the pilot participants liked it.
– See more at: http://startsomegood.com/Venture/words_to_grow_on_llc/Campaigns/Show/time2talk2baby#sthash.SUEIIsgC.dpuf