Launching in September, the app, which is named UP, standing for Unleashing Potential, aims to support parents and upskill both new and experienced practitioners.
UP, which will be free to parents who use Busy Bees' settings, includes offline activity suggestions for children aged between three months and five years, and professional advice for the adults who care for them.
Some UP resources are also openly available on the Busy Bees website.
Features of the app include:
- Ideas on supporting a child’s development through everyday activities, such as meal times or getting ready for bed.
- A collection of age appropriate experiences to support children’s learning. These experiences are designed for many different situations, including in the bath, at the park or in the woods.
- Activities for supporting children’s individual interests while promoting their development.
- A library of information covering common parental queries and concerns, from potty training to healthy eating.
- ‘Top 50’ songs to share with children recorded exclusively for Busy Bees.
Busy Bees has invested £3 million into the app, which has been created following two years of research and development.
It is hoped UP will help address the issue of school readiness after a survey by the nursery group found many children starting school next month aren't ready and parents commonly feel they haven't received enough advice to adequately prepare for the transition.
The survey, which was conducted this month and included 1,500 parents with children starting school in September, found:
- close to one in five don't know what 'school ready' is;
- 30 per cent feel they haven't had enough advice around school ready;
- 37 per cent are anxious about their children starting school;
- 90 per cent believe it is their responsibility to get their children ready for school;
- half of parents believe it is the responsibility of nurseries to get their children ready for school.
Marg Randles, chief academic officer and co-founder of Busy Bees, said, ‘The content on the UP app helps to create a cohesive relationship between parent, practitioner and child by removing learning barriers to produce the best results.
‘It’s our joint responsibility to ensure our children start school with solid foundations: confidence, independence and a desire to learn. We all owe it to our children to give them the very best start in life.'