A seasoned professional and serial entrepreneur, Amitabh Kumar is the co-founder and brain behind the Wranga platform. As a leading voice of change on gender rights and online safety, he has led many successful pan India campaigns on online safety and has also worked with leading social media platforms on tackling such issues. Under his leadership, more than 500 workshops on online safety have been conducted across the country till date. He currently serves as a trust and safety advisor for Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, ByteDance among other companies.
The pandemic changed several things around the world. Parenting and parent-child relationships were among the most affected by this catastrophic shift. When the pandemic began and parents started to adapt to working from home as a way of life, it came with the added benefit of being able to spend more time with their children.
But while working within your four walls comes with its perks, it has its set of challenges as well. Taking care of young ones while also managing work and other household responsibilities can get tedious pretty fast. Young kids, especially those below the age of 10, require constant attention and monitoring. And switching on the computer or TV and letting your children spend time in front of screens as you focus on work is also not an option. Increased screen time, after all, comes with its fair share of medical and psychological problems including posture issues, attention deficit disorders, and eyesight problems to say the least.
This is where technological advancements come into the picture. Startups across the country are working on innovations that are touted to revolutionize child-care and help out parents by taking some of the load off their shoulders. Not only this but these advancements are expected to improve medical care for children and also enhance their learning and education. And as parents pursue a balance between parenting and their careers, these new tech-enabled solutions are only expected to increase in the future.
From babysitting to healthcare, nutrition, and even digital parenting, a diverse range of products and services are now available for both parents and children. For instance, there is now a platform that helps young parents across the country connect safely to discuss their day-to-day problems and concerns in raising young children. In times when families are becoming smaller and more isolated, having someone to connect with and discuss your problems comes as a boon. It can help parents make more informed decisions as well as pass on their wisdom to newer parents — a great benefit of using the Internet is learning from others.
Since we are in one of the most data-driven phases of parenting, these solutions can bridge the knowledge gap and help parents make data-driven logical decisions for their children. The emergence of dedicated apps has been witnessed in the recent past that provide an ecosystem for digital parenting. This allows the guardians to raise children in a safe and positive cyber environment and helps them get access to content, apps, and games that enable them to introduce the internet to children safely and efficiently. Thus equipping them to educate their children about the internet in a healthy way and make informed decisions about their lives. Such apps have empowered parents in the post covid period to better manage what their children are exposed to even if they cannot be constantly monitoring their usage of devices and the internet.
Apart from this, you can now find products and services in the market that also cater specifically to the healthcare and nutritional needs of children. From maintaining and keeping track of your child’s health record to checking their symptoms online and on-demand pediatric consultations, tech-enabled childcare services have made lives much easier for parents in modern times. And because one in every five kids in India is pre-diabetic and we have the fastest-growing obese child population in the world, the need for such platforms is now more than ever. There are also specialised startups that create child-care products such as skincare and food to help both the children and parents out even further.
Besides health, education is another sphere where technology has made life a lot easier for parents, teachers, and children. With gadgets seeping into our everyday lives and children spending an increasing amount of time on their phones, tech-enabled educational platforms are in high demand. These not only help to educate children but also entertain them at the same time — helping parents get a positive-sum result out of their children’s time spent on technology. According to IBEF data, India is now the second-largest market for e-learning after the US! This massive shift just proves how important tech-enabled child-care is in the Indian landscape.
Although the growth and trend of tech-enabled childcare were initially observed in the United States, with on-demand home-care and cooperative childcare apps like Helpr, Komae, and Wonderschool gaining in popularity, India is slowly catching up with increased investor interest and the rise of new-age startups in the field. And while it is still in the early stages, in the next few years we can expect tech-enabled childcare to become the norm, at least across urban India.