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Former SCA & IAB exec launches parenting app, Parental EQ

Former Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) chief digital officer and IAB CEO, Vijay Solanki, has launched a new digital parenting app, ParentalEQ.

The app is designed to support parents who are in need of emotional and social development help for their children aged between 5-12. ParentalEQ takes advice from child psychologists and offers it to parents in an audio format.

Solanki, who left his role at IAB in 2018, worked with Luke Lewandowski, former head of digital technology at SCA and clinical researcher and health entrepreneur, Francisco Fleming to launch ParentalEQ. Fleming has led the core development of the content in the app, with the support of a “Parenting science advisory team”.

Interface of the ParentalEQ app

Solanki said: “Our passion is to build a purpose-driven service. We saw that 50% of mental health issues start before the age of 14 but most go unnoticed and undiagnosed.”

The services offered largely consist of audio ‘lessons’, teaching key concepts for educating and doing activities to help their children’s development.

The app is a freemium service, allowing some free access to both ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Activity’ modules, then moving into a paid monthly or annual subscription. The initial monthly service will cost A$15.99, and the annual subscription will cost $119.99.

The app is currently live with 35 modules, more being added weekly. Early prototypes have garnered 6,000 downloads, largely across Australia and the UK so far.

While the app is not currently open to advertising, ParentalEQ is open to partnerships with schools and corporates. The app’s launch has thus far been supported through video advertising pilots, primarily on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, with pilots being run with schools to promote the service.

“For parents seeking support, there’s a lot of friction. So we want to simplify the psychology so parents can use it. We believe that audio is a great medium to support parents” said Solanki.

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