Two siblings set up a web-based platform for extra-curricular activities to keep children engaged safely outside school hours
Conscientious parents have always been concerned about how to keep their children productively occupied out of school hours. And since the lockdown has made online or televised class attendance the norm, the worry over how to keep children safely engaged has only grown.
Enter Playydate, a web-based platform that connects educators with parents for local extra-curricular activities for children from eight months to 15 years of age in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chandigargh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune and Thane. Though the platform launched last year, it has seen more activity now owing to the current physical distancing norms.
How does it work?
Parents simply visit the website to find a class, select a convenient time, and book online.
A variety of free trial classes are on offer for children to decide whether they would like to learn Kathak or coding in their spare time. With 1,000 educators offering classes and workshops on Playydate, at any given point of time, there are over 500 classes and workshops available across more than 30 categories. Close to 10,000 parents book classes regularly, and over 20,000 transactions are made on the Playydate platform.
Aditya Rajadhyaksha, co-founder, Playydate. Photo: Special Arrangement/THE HINDU
Started by Mumbai-based siblings Aditya and Anagha Rajadhyaksha, Playydate lists activities as diverse as STEM projects and storytelling to dance, drama and craft.
Anagha is an MBA graduate from Columbia Business School and a co-founder of the PING, a multi-channel network in India that partners with YouTube India. Aditya founded a marketing firm, Quest, in 2007. He also founded identity and access management startup, VerifyMe.
“Our mother has been a teacher for the last two decades,” says Anagha in an email interview. “We have had the opportunity to observe her process closely — how parents find her class, get in touch, register, communicate. It made me realise that gaps exist in this unstructured market. We saw a strong need for a credible platform that could showcase India’s best educators and programmes to a keen and discerning parent community. That is how we began.”
The platform works with a group of community managers to identify the best educators in their neighbourhood. Often, the teachers are recommended by parents themselves, though the Playydate team takes a merit-based approach to select tutors. There are no paid promotions.
“The biggest verification in this space is a mom’s word, and that is what we give importance to,” says Anagha.
She adds, “We have a robust ratings and review system (carried out by parents) which is integrated on the platform. So the ratings and reviews determine how teachers get promoted across our social media platforms.”
Extra-curricular activities are essential to children, especially in an age when technology-based education has assumed greater importance across the world.
“For our children to thrive in the coming decades, they will need to be armed with skill sets that go above and beyond the mark sheet. Learning how to find solutions for a problem and thinking on your feet will be some of the must-haves for future generations,” says Anagha.
She adds, “Holistic development doesn’t mean you have all the answers, it means you have developed a mindset and skills to address the questions. This is where extra-curricular activities play an important role.”
For more information and/or to sign up, visit playydate.in or WhatsApp the team at +91 8928062560.
Anagha Rajadhyaksha, founded Playydate with her brother Aditya. Photo: Special Arrangement/THE HINDU
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