I was brought in by Teaching Strategies to take some incredible raw material from the original WeeSchool app and turn it into a world class product platform, an entirely new revenue stream, and a mobile-app based digital beachhead for the company for its institutional child-care and pre-K market. We knew millennials are used to leveraging training, advice, and personal data through sophisticated smartphone apps to prepare them for new challenges in their lives, such as preparing chef-quality meals, training for marathons, or modifying their behavior to meet health goals. But unlike not finishing the race or burning an omelet—the stakes have never been higher for these digital learners now turning to parenting. 80% of the brain is developed by age 3—so it’s a bad time to be winging it from day 1. And we found nothing serving this need at all on the market. I had a clear idea of what the product needed to do and confirmed it with proprietary research. I then turned to Mark to once again complete my thoughts in interactive design and functionality, and to push me past my original thinking. With his help the goal was to bring a compelling and entirely unique product to the market that could stand shoulder-to-shoulder in quality with some of the best and most successful B2C subscription apps in the market, like Headspace and Calm.

Celia StokesProduct Lead


I wasn’t especially smitten with the app when I first checked it out. A complete do-over was in play.

But then I saw the original brand and style guide and realized that the tonal approach and creative assets were solid. The typeface was tonally correct and the family had tons of weights available. The color palette was bold and inviting. The illustration was well crafted and fun. Even the photographic treatments felt right.

It may not have been exactly what I’d have done it. But it was good.

The problem, in my view, was how these elements were put together. The whole never seemed to be better than the sum of the parts. The layouts had no focal points. The type was set meekly and without hierarchy. And, perhaps most disappointingly, the experience felt “at parents” and no “of parents”.

I used memories of my own frazzled new parenthood as the lens through which I realigned the user experience and brand with the new product strategy.

WeeSchool “Home” vs. ParentPal “Today”


WeeSchool was originally focused on guiding parents with advice on their child’s cognitive development and milestone tracking through research-based activities, smart shopping and tips.

Our product strategy aligned this valuable advice with realities of day-to-day in-the-trenches parenting. We wanted to be less of a reference and more of a daily helper. So we created simple checklists to guide parents through their days. We made the interface buttons big and easy to press. With one thumb. While holding a crying baby. We even asked parents how they’re feeling. Every day. And we’re tracking that metric over time. To keep the whole family healthy and happy.

Today’s Plan

Provides age-appropriate daily activities, routines and reminders reminders to guide your way.

Your Diary

Manage your child’s day with recommended activities and learning experiences. Track your baby’s health and developmental milestones.


Over 2000 activities, award-winning music, interactive word cards, e-books and videos searchable by topic and age-appropriateness.


Track your own well-being. manage children and additional caregivers and shop for ParentPal recommended resources.

ParentPal was released on April 13, 2020.

You can download ParentPal for free on iOS at the App Store.