Hello! 👋

This year was an exciting step for Illuminate — our first full year! Like many this year, we focused on growth in 2021. At the onset of 2021, and as schools continued to navigate the pandemic, our goal was to develop tools and resources for after school programs that could help drive innovation and growth in unprecedented times. This strategy led us leverage more data, hold more conversations with industry leaders, and innovate our own resources to adapt to new realities.

2021 also provided the fun opportunity for us to share some cutting-edge product information on the Eleyo platform — continuing to create a complete solution for the after school industry.

And guess what? It's all laid out below in our Year in Review. Check it out to learn what we built, what we thought about, who we connected with, and much more. It's all at your fingertips.

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Inspiration, Inquiry, and Innovation

Jan. - Feb.

Every January and February, our minds are buzzing with new strategies and techniques to implement in the new year. In 2021 we applied this energy to conversations around marketing strategy for enrichment programs and building our favorite annual resource that reflects on the past year in after school.

Key Content

2021 After School Report
A long-form blog post to help the after school industry gain insight and rise above the uncertainty of 2021.


Coffee and Inspiration: A brainstorm of new marketing strategies for 2021
A discussion with after school leaders to cultivate how enrichment programs are embarking on new marketing strategies in 2021.

Now Available with Eleyo: Apple Pay
February brought an exciting product update for Eleyo as we introduced Apple Pay, one of the easiest and fastest-growing ways to pay on the web.

“We believe adding Apple Pay is another important step in helping school districts keep pace with the ever-changing technology demands of their communities.” — Steve Novotny, Co-Founder & Software Developer, Eleyo

Streamlining Sign-In / Sign-Out and the Future of After School Team Structure

March - April

The spring saw continued product innovation from Eleyo. In March, we unveiled our new Child Care Attendance app. Later in the spring, we engaged with Michael Seppi of Parkway-Rockwood C.E. on how his team created opportunities from the ongoing disruption of the pandemic. And, in the spirit of forward momentum, we cultivated a program growth guide, a growing list of resources to stimulate and inspire growth in 2021.

Key Content:

Eleyo's New Child Care Attendance App: So Much More than Sign-In / Sign-Out
Unveiling Eleyo's new Child Care Attendance app, the most integrated, robust frontline technology in the child care industry. More importantly, we break down what the new app means for child care leaders, staff, and parents.

Webinar: Restructuring — How to do more with less ft. Michael Seppi
During this 45-minute webinar, Michael Seppi speaks to how Parkway-Rockwood C.E. has created opportunities from disruption to unleash new potential.

The Grow Live Blog: A Cultivated Program Growth Guide
We cultivated a growing list of resources for the after school industry, including team structure, new technologies in after school, optimizing online presence, and more.


Preparing for Back-to-School. What's changed? Also, a Focus on Data and Digital Experience

May - Aug.

In late spring, our focus shifts toward prepaging the after school industry for the ever-important time of back-to-school season. In 2020, we created a tool to help programs plan for and optimize their next registration season. This year, we optimized that tool. Along the way, we developed additional resources that focus on the power of digital experience and the importance of data-driven decision making.

Key Content:

Registration Workbook
An interactive PDF that guides after school professionals through a strategic registration plan fit for after school and child care programs. In 2021, we applied refreshed content and interactive digital elements to elevate the Workbook.

The Eleyo Book of Reports
Eleyo's guide to all things data, the 2021 Book of Reports contains over 12(!) new Eleyo system reports added to the platform this year, a breakdown of available module reports, and a user guide on leveraging custom list view for reporting capabilities.

Cool Catalogs and the Digital Experience
With the school year approaching, we wanted to discuss some foundational elements and best practices for creating cool digital enrichment program catalogs.

Making Time for Measurement and Analytics
Measurement, when your program is at its busiest, is challenging. We uncover how Eleyo is an ally when it comes to quick, impactful data analysis while discussing the balance of urgency and importance in relationship to analysis and reporting.

Child Care Attendance App Update: Preview Mode
In August, Eleyo released an exciting update to the Child Care Attendance app, Preview Mode. Designed as a new way to train site staff for the fall, Preview Mode allows app users to preview sites before they start, including the ability to preview the site on days during which no classes are scheduled.


Getting Back-to-School; Getting Back on the Road

Sep. - Dec.

Back-to-school season is always an exciting time for us. As programs open up for the fall, we investigate how their recent registration seasons have gone. Also, fall 2021 was the first time in a year and a half that we could hit the road and see some friendly faces.  

Key Content

Back-to-School Study
How have programs adapted to change since Fall 2020? Has community response to before and after school care changed since Fall 2019? We wanted to find out. This study breaks down data from 45 program leaders around the country on industry evolution since the pandemic began.

Eleyo on the Road: Arizona, Michigan, and Minnesota
October proved an exciting month for the Eleyo team. Nearly two years since our last in-person event, Eleyo hosted User Groups in Arizona and Michigan, along with three days of in-person sessions during the Minnesota Community Education Association’s (MCEA) annual fall conference. Dive in to see who we met and what we learned!

Eleyo Releases New Interactive Dashboard for the Child Care Attendance App
Eleyo's latest Child Care Attendance app update of 2021 was a fun one. We were excited to unveil a new interactive dashboard for the app with real-time updates.

Thank you!

Thank you for following along on our research and content journey in 2021. Our goal is always to provide a platform for you to visit and learn, think critically, and well... have fun! We hope something we produced this year helped you and your team.

And on that note... if you haven't already, we invite you to participate in our annual After School Report survey! The survey will develop initiatives, learnings, trends, and best practices from after school directors and coordinators around the country. Eleyo will package all survey responses and distribute our annual After School Report in January.

2022-23 After School Report Survey
This short survey gathers initiatives, learnings, and best practices from child care, after school, and enrichment coordinators and directors across the country.