Updates about the New Website

In December 2014, BPN became a 501(c)(3) non-profit and embarked on a year-long project to move its website from parents.berkeley.edu to berkeleyparentsnetwork.org. We are rolling out the new website in phases. 

Nov 13, 2015

The first Weekly Announcements newsletter was mailed today. Next week we expect to start mailing weekly Marketplace and Childcare newsletters.

Nov 10, 2015

Events and Announcements are now on the new website, and we are working on a weekly newsletter for those to be mailed from this site.  We have also created a new Tutors & Teachers Available message board. We have moved about 40% of the content from the old website to the new one.  Currently we are working on optional newsletters for Childcare and Marketplace, and continuing to move content to the new site. 

As of today ...

Total Number of Subscribers = 7,762

  • Parent subscribers: 7,119
  • Daycare/Preschool/School subscribers: 171 ($35 - $250)
  • Nanny & sitter subscribers: 230 ($35)
  • Teen babysitters: 83 (free)
  • Tutors & Teachers: 20 ($35)
  • Non-Profit Organizations: 19 ($0 or $150)
  • Businesses: 9 ($250)

Sept 24, 2015

New types of Community Subscriptions are now available: classes, camps, and groups, individuals such as tutors, non-profit organizations, and businesses. See Community Subscribers. Shortly we will be moving all the pages of reviews for classes, camps, and groups from the old website, and we hope to have Events and Announcements rolled out by early October.

As of today ...

Total Number of Subscribers = 6,469

  • Parent subscribers: 5,948
  • Daycare/Preschool/School subscribers: 131 ($35 - $300)
  • Nanny & sitter subscribers: 280 ($35, free for teens)
  • K-12 schools with reviews: 246
  • Daycares & Preschools with reviews: 691
  • Advice pages: 586

August 4, 2015

Added childcare, preschool, and school advice from the old website. Right now we are working on transferring classes, camps, and groups, and then setting up announcements and events.

As of today ...

Total Number of Subscribers = 5,156

  • Parent subscribers: 4,752
  • Daycare/Preschool/School subscribers: 103 ($35 - $300)
  • Nanny subscribers: 179 ($35)
  • Teen sitter subscribers: 50 (free)
  • K-12 school reviews: 244
  • Daycares & Preschool reviews: 674
  • Advice/FAQ pages: 582


May 21, 2015

As of today ...

Total Number of Subscribers = 3,323 (10% of current BPN)

  • Parents: 3,088
  • Daycare/Preschool/School: 92 ($35 - $300)
  • Nanny: 98 ($35)
  • Teen sitters: 40 (free)

Total Number of Pages = 1,280

  • K-12 school reviews: 244
  • Daycares & Preschool reviews: 656
  • Advice/FAQ pages: 380

(We still have a long way to go, though. Old website has 7,612 pages.)

Childcare message board:

There is more activity on the new site than in the old newsletter. In a typical Childcare newsletter, there used to be:
  • 15 daycares/preschools with openings
  • 60 nannies available/recommended + parents offering share
  • 30 parents seeking childcare
On the new site:
  • 45 daycares/preschools with openings
  • 137 nannies available/recommended + parents offering share
  • 90 parents seeking childcare

Marketplace message board:

Getting a lot of mail from people missing the old Marketplace newsletter as well as various complaints about the new format. We do have plans to add an optional weekly Marketplace newsletter but it has to wait till we finish schools and events/announcements (our revenue generator) which will be end of summer-ish. But we have been tweaking Marketplace based on feedback: changed "post is live" period from 30 days to 14 days; added the first few lines of each post to the "teaser" page; added a new FAQ and new instructions on the main page.

There is increased activity on the new Marketplace in some categories - housing, baby & child items - and about the same level in others.
  • Typical weekly Marketplace newsletter = 120 posts
  • Active postings on the new website = 162 posts
Working on May-June:
  • Schools/preschools:  still have ~500 advice pages to review & publish
  • Set up subscription page for classes, camps, businesses, orgs, etc.
  • Events & Announcements (initially for schools & preschools)
Working on June-July-Aug:
  • Camps, classes, tutors -- reviews and announcements
  • All other announcements/events (from Teens & Announcements)
  • Some sort of newsletter system (opt-in, except for a weekly summary/announcement)

Working on in the Fall: - Q&A advice and recommendations

May 14, 2015

This week we moved K-12 school reviews to the new site, with a search form similar to the one for daycares - you can search for specific types of K-12 schools, such as special needs support, all-girls, and language immersion. A big thank you to the BPN subscribers who volunteered to review and edit all 219 schools!

April 9, 2015

The Childcare and Marketplace newsletters have been running on the new website for several weeks now. As of today there are 244 postings on Marketplace, 211 postings from parents recommending or seeking childcare, 39 postings from available nannies, and 36 daycares and preschools with openings. There are now more postings on the new site than what you'd see in a typical weekly Marketplace newsletter, same for the Childcare newsletter.

Thank you to the 60 nannies, and 70 daycares and preschools who have signed up as Community Subscribers, paying a fee that will allow BPN to have technical and administrative support for the first time.

Right now we are working on moving the K-12 school reviews to the new website, so parents can search for schools and post reviews directly to the BPN website. We hope to roll that out in a couple of weeks. Would you like to help? We need volunteers to look over the school pages on the new site and make sure everything was transferred correctly.

Remember, if you'd like to post on the new site or read postings from other subscribers, you will need to create an account there, even though you already subscribe to the weekly newsletters. Go to https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org and click 'subscribe' in the upper right corner.

Comments and suggestions about the new site are welcome!

March 19, 2015

The new website launched last week when we moved the Childcare newsletter there. Today, the Marketplace newsletter was also moved to the new website. The other newsletters will move in the coming months. You will need to create an account on the new website even if you already subscribe to BPN newsletters. Click "subscribe" in the upper right corner.

Feb 24, 2015

We have completed the review of all 500 daycare and preschools pages on the new website, thanks to the efforts of our volunteer editor Berrin Yavuzer.  Berrin is also archiving all reviews of preschools and daycares from January and February newsletters so that the new website will be up to date. We've recruited 20 daycares, preschools, and nannies to test the new site and help us find the bugs. We'll continue to test the new site for the next couple of weeks. We are on track for a launch in March!

Jan 27, 2015

Implementation of the Childcare newsletter is almost complete, and we expect it to go live in March 2015. We have created pages for the 500 daycares and preschools that are reviewed on the BPN website. Reviews from the old site have been copied to the new site, and we have begun the process of reviewing each of these pages to make sure everything was copied over correctly. All of the new technology is in place: subscribers can post new reviews directly to prechool/daycare pages, and anyone, subscriber or not, can search for daycares and preschools using a variety of criteria: city, languages spoken, whether there are current openings, and more. Community subscribers can post information about their programs directly to their pages, as well as including their school on the "Has Current Openings" list.

Dec 18, 2014

Thanks to all who voted for a logo for BPN's new website. Many people commented on how great the logo submissions were, and every logo got votes! The winning logo, designed by Jeni Paltiel, took the lead early on, and received nearly twice as many votes as its nearest competitors for peoples' first choice. It was also the top vote-getter for second and third choices. You can view the winning logo, the Honorable Mentions, and credits for all the logos on this page.

Nov 13, 2014

Software development of the new website has begun, and our wonderful programmer Amit Asaravala of http://returncontrol.com has already implemented
a big chunk of the Childcare newsletter. Amit is not only a Drupal whiz, but he's also a dad and long-time BPN subscriber, so he understands what we need for the new site. You guys are going to love the new website! You will be able to search for preschools and childcare based on whether they have current openings, where they are located, what ages they accept,  what languages they speak.  This part will be public so anyone can use our database whether they are subscribers or not.  In a later phase, schools, camps, and classes will have similar searchable databases too. (A big thank you goes to BPN volunteer Jackie Erbe for quickly putting together the metadata for the daycare database!)  BPN subscribers will be able to login and search or browse babysitter and nanny posts from the past month (these will continue to be for subscribers only) and also post "looking for childcare" and nanny reviews that will remain online for a month.
Subscribers will also be able to post reviews of daycares and preschools directly to the appropriate page on the website (after moderator review, of course).  Your user account will display a list of all the posts you've made, with info about whether each one has been reviewed and published yet.  I think this new website will take BPN into a whole new realm of usefulness, and the databases will provide a level of service for parents looking for childcare and preschools that isn't currently available in our community.

Coming Up:

Upcoming work in Phase One includes setting up a payment system so preschools and childcare providers can upgrade their subscription to Community Subscriber status, which will allow them to post about current availability and openings.  Preschools and Daycares that upgrade will also be able to add information to their 'page' such as hours, tuition, meals offered, and the like. In Phase One we'll also be moving reviews of 500 daycares and preschools to the new site, which will require legions of volunteers (thanks to those of you who have already volunteered for this. You'll hear from me soon!)  This is mainly copy-paste work and it can be done anytime, in little bits or big ones. 

Thank You SO MUCH for Your Donations!

None of this would be possible without the donations we have received from more than 300 of you, totalling over $11,000.  (Here is a list of
donors: Thanks)  Most of the donations have been in the $10-$25 range which is really gratifying when so many of our families are coping with the expensive Bay Area.  Of course we love the bigger donations too! We will continue to have software development expenses over the next six months as we move the other newsletters to the new website. So it's not too late to contribute to BPN's new website. You can donate here.

Logos Logos Logos!

We've posted 26 logo designs that BPN subscribers have submitted so far for the logo contest.  You can look at all of them here:
http://parents.berkeley.edu/Old/logo_contest.html  We'll continue posting new ones to that page as they are received.  In early December we'll ask BPN subscribers to vote on their favorites. If you'd like to submit your own logo idea, see the instructions at the top of that page. We're accepting entries until December 1.

Ginger Ogle