First of all, what do you do and how does your business work in practice?
In simple terms, our business 1Core Solution is a SaaS company that provides child care centers and preschools all the tools necessary to manage and scale their business while keeping their customers (the families) happy and engaged.
The childcare industry is the backbone of our economy, and yet it is an industry that is often overworked, over-stressed, and that requires a lot of time-consuming paperwork.
We aim to give directors and staff their time back by automating as much of the business as possible so they can work with more peace of mind and give their best to the children they take care of.
As far as how this works, we offer a cloud-based management system that allows center directors to manage all the data for their staff and families, including managing the entire childcare enrollment process fully online.
We also have accompanying native mobile apps for different functions. Among them is the family engagement app that allows parents to stay connected to their children while at work, which gives them the convenience of managing payments and other child information.
We also just launched the 1Core Staff App, which allows easy tracking of staff hours, including classroom changes. The app also has built-in eHealth Screenings and QR Code Check-in / Check-out, necessary for the New Normal pandemic.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
The childcare industry has been significantly affected by the pandemic. Many centers had to close their doors because they didn’t have enough enrollment to cover expenses while children were on lockdown. Others stayed afloat but had to reduce staff hours, eliminate positions, and cut out other expenses.
Our business, however, is built largely on innovation, and we believe every crisis brings with it plenty of opportunities. We have a business practice of listening to our clients, solving their challenges, and elevating their child care businesses.
During the pandemic, we were driven to accelerate the innovations even more to accommodate the new needs that resulted from it. We were able to do this fast and effectively because we have managed to keep a loyal team over the years who knows the business well and can deliver results quickly and efficiently.
As far as coping, all our staff has always worked remotely, so business and customer service have continued as usual during coronavirus.
Have you introduced any significant innovations recently? / How does your company innovate?
The coronavirus pandemic has given us several opportunities to innovate and further support childcare centers throughout this transition. In fact, during these pandemic-filled months, we have had more launches than even the year before the pandemic started.
Some of these have included:
- eHealth questionnaires for children and staff to complete before they’re allowed to sign in
- Touch-less sign in and sign out for children and staff
- Virtual Preschool platform, named 1Core Learn@Home, allows centers to continue offering education for children who cannot attend the center in person. This is the first EVER virtual preschool platform designed specifically for the childcare industry. In fact, the platform was selected as an honorable mention in the Fast Company 2021 World-Changing Ideas.
- 1Core Connect App to manage flex scheduling for temporary or rotating childcare staff
Innovation is part of our DNA, so our clients are never worried that we will meet their needs. In fact, many features we have today have resulted from them communicating their needs to us, and we listen and implement what they need. We absolutely love what we do, and we are here for the long term!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
This whole business started out of my own needs as a parent. My daughter Cassie was born with a degenerative liver condition requiring special care in her childcare center. Back then (the year 2000), there was no software to track my daughter’s care or even have clear and accessible communication with her caretakers. Even when managing her medication and the times she needed to take it, I always worried that the paperwork would get lost or that rotating staff could get confused with what needed to be administered.
I figured other parents would also appreciate having the peace of mind I was so desperately seeking.
So I partnered with my co-founder, Swami Venkat, and we’ve been developing this platform ever since. With almost 20 years in the market, I feel proud to say that today we have one of the most robust childcare management platforms in the industry and the highest client retention rates.
You often refer to the childcare industry as the backbone of the economy. Why do you feel this is the case?
It’s really very simple. Small children demand a lot of time and attention, and their working parents can’t give them that AND also focus intently on work. Therefore, most parents need childcare to find and retain a job, and the U.S. economy needs them to get back to work fully.
In a report released by the Committee for Economic Development, it is estimated that childcare has an economic impact of $99.3 billion and supports over 2 million jobs in the United States. Therefore, for the U.S. economy to recover and grow during and post-pandemic, having available childcare is an absolute must.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
With our growing business, we are constantly being approached by potential investors. Some of the offers are quite attractive. While it is tempting to access additional capital, we learned that not all capitals are the same. So far, my cofounder and I have decided to stay agile, independent, and continue the original bootstrapped spirit which brought us to where we are today.
Who are your customers? How do you think you are different from your competition?
Our primary customers are child care center owners and directors. They are the ones responsible for ensuring their business continuity and the proper management of their resources. Our secondary customers are center staff and enrolled families.
Our software supports center directors and owners in providing the best environment possible for their families and staff while ensuring children’s development, safety, and proper care.
What sets us apart is that we view this business as our life mission and are personally invested in the success of our clients. Unlike our major competitors, the original owners of our business (my partner and myself) are still very much involved in the day-to-day operations, ensuring our clients get the best customer service and prompt attention they deserve. Because of this, we can also make changes and innovate much quicker than other companies.
Your final thoughts
Now, more than ever, the childcare services industry needs a makeover. This New Normal has brought about the need to reimagine childcare to allow for maximum flexibility and adaptability. Centers can no longer afford NOT to have the technology that would allow them to serve beyond their physical walls. They need speed, automation, better communication, and a more efficient way to scale and manage business processes.
Our vision is to provide them with all the tools they need to serve, grow, thrive, and do it all with peace of mind.
- Spokesperson: Simon Ho, CEO
- Company: 1Core Solution
- Website link: https://discover.1coresolution.com