Parents – are you ready to kick off the school year?

Because there are plenty of ways you can proactively make this easier for your kid – and for yourself! Parenting expert Shannon Eis recently shared tips on ways to make the transition from summer to fall on CBS’s The Early Show. And one of her recommendations for staying safe and in touch was a cell phone from kajeet. You can read more about why she picked kajeet here.

Does your back to school supply list include a cell phone? Let us know!

kajeet – the cell phone service made for kids

Parenting Picks Kajeet!

August 5, 2010

Feeling frustrated when it comes to deciding the right time to give your kid a cell phone?

You’re not alone. It’s a challenge that parents in today’s world can’t seem to avoid. It’s also the reason that Parenting gathered a panel of experts together to develop their Guide to Tech Gear for Kids, a list of selected products ideal for easing kids (and their parents) into the digital age. And one of the services highlighted is kajeet!

The Parenting panel liked how kajeet’s family-focused parental controls allow moms and dads to set limits on calls, texts and times when the phone can be used. They also liked the built-in GPS Phone Locator service (free for the first month for new accounts!) and kajeet’s low priced plans. We’re excited to be acknowledged by this panel of experts!

kajeet – the cell phone service made for kids

Have you taken the “No Phone Zone” pledge and promised to do your part to help end the dangerous practice of distracted driving?

If not, now’s your chance. Join the thousands of others who have already agreed to put their phones down and their heads up when behind the wheel in honor of National “No Phone Zone” Day, Friday, April 30. Led by Oprah Winfrey and transportation safety organizations from around the country, today is the day you pledge to keep yourself, your family and others safe on the road by making your car a “no phone zone,” free of the distractions often caused by an incoming call or text.

At kajeet, we acknowledge – and encourage – safe, responsible cell phone use every day. It’s the reason why we give every kajeet customer free, unlimited parental controls that can be customized to suit your family’s needs. Want to manage your kid’s phone so that calls can’t be made or text messages sent during school hours? Use TimeManager to make the phone off-limits for the time block you choose. Prefer that only specific phone numbers can call (or be called from) your kid’s phone? Use ContactManager to designate which ones these are and block all others. Want to know that your kid arrived at his or her destination as scheduled? Use GPS Phone Locator to confirm. These tools are just a few of the many that have helped establish kajeet as the safest cell phone service for kids. (Want another? Download our free parent-kid cell phone use contract here).

Did you take the pledge? What cell phone rules have you put in place for when your kid is driving?

kajeet – the cell phone service made for kids

The Money Issue

April 9, 2010

by Daniel Neal

kajeet the cell phone service for kids

We take great pride at kajeet in having created the best, safest cell phone service for kids™. Normally, we point out that we have free, unlimited parental controls and monitoring, kid-appropriate content, 4 awards from parent organizations, our GPS Phone Locator service…that sort of thing.

But we’ve kept some other things in mind, too. The high cost of living. The high cost of cell phones. The high cost of having kids (I have 2).

The average cost of a contract-based cell phone service in the U.S. is more than $56.00/month. And data-intensive smartphones cost significantly more. That so-called extra “family plan” line you’re considering adding? Analysis done by iGR Research found that the average cost of a “family plan” line is over $44.00/month, and the additional cost of an extra line for a child is over $35.00/month when all costs are considered.

Oh, and with that “family plan,” you can’t turn off the bills when your child goes to camp for the summer… (yes, you can do that with a contract-free kajeet phone).

But money is tight.  And the strain on American household budgets is why many people are turning to prepaid (or “contract-free”) cell phone services. You can find an article from ABC News about that trend here.

We’ve been hearing from parents about the need to spend less on cell phones for their children for a long time.  So here’s how we’ve responded. Kajeet offers contract-free plans that have:

  • No contract
  • No activation fee
  • No termination fee
  • FREE unlimited parental controls and monitoring capability (I know, I already said that)

Allow me to crow a bit about my favorite kajeet contract-free plan: $14.99/month for unlimited text and 60 minutes of voice. This is what I bought for each of my own 2 kids (I also subscribe to our GPS Phone Locator for $9.99/month, but that’s optional).

Here’s what I get: affordable service, no surprises and very happy kids.

So long as I have the ability to keep them from texting at school and during bedtime (using my FREE parental controls!), they can text to their heart’s content. That’s what kids do. The 60 minutes of talk are more than enough for the few phone calls they make to tell me they’re ready to get picked up and for me to call and check in.  They just don’t talk much. They text. And guess who texts a lot more now? Yup – Mr. Old School.

That $14.99/month plan strikes me as a pretty sweet deal. How sweet?  It’s a savings of $240 per year per kid over that so-called “family plan” add-a-line.

Oh, and did I mention that we are keeping the phone costs down by offering refurbished phones that look and work great? Check out our selection of cell phones here.

And for those parents who just want to have a safety phone in their child’s backpack?  We have a $4.99/month plan. You can see our other no-contract plans here.

Finally – lest you wonder about our coverage and network reliability – kajeet uses the terrific Sprint National Digital Network.

Thanks.

kajeet – the cell phone service made for kids

YouTube Safety Mode

February 17, 2010

by Carol Politi

YouTube has introduced a Safety Mode that filters “objectionable content” prior to display on your browser.  This setting will ensure that content that does not meet YouTube Community Guidelines (e.g., content that includes nudity, graphic violence, animal abuse, narcotics), and comments that include such content, are blocked.

You can turn Safety Mode ON by scrolling to the bottom of the YouTube page and clicking on the Safety Mode link.  This will bring up a menu that allows you to turn Safety Mode On or Off.   If you are logged into Google or YouTube you will also see an option in that same spot on the page that allows you to lock this setting in place for the browser you are using.  See the YouTube Safety Mode video for more information on how to configure this setting.

Safety Mode is similar to the Safe Search mode you might be familiar with using on the Google Web and Image Search pages.    Note that you must set this up for each browser – so if you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc. on the same machine – you must set this up separately for each instance of each browser in order for it to be effective.

There are ways around this:  the configuration is cookie based, your child can download a new browser (these are free and it is easy to do), etc.  While not perfect, it is a giant step in the right direction and an important setting for parents with kids that love YouTube.

Have you tried Safety Mode?  How is it working for you?  Comment here and let us know.

kajeet – the cell phone service made for kids

New Parent Dashboard!

February 2, 2010

by Carol Politi

New Parent DashboardLogin to your kajeet account to see the all new Parent Dashboard!

We have revised the Account Details and Parental Controls pages to make it easier for you to manage your child’s account including monitoring Account Activity, purchasing and changing plans, and controlling the time, features, and spending for each phone on the account.

Please comment here to let us know what you think!

kajeet – the cell phone service made for kids

by Daniel Neal

Three and a half years ago my wife, Heller An, and I met our now 14-year-old son, Alex, through an amazing organization: Kidsave International. Kidsave’s motto is “Because every child needs a family.” Simply put, that is why kidsave exists. It helps kids without families find them.

In their own words:

“Kidsave gives kids who are hidden from public view in foster care and orphanages the opportunity to visit with families and build relationships. We work as a catalyst for change, training social workers, orphanage workers and volunteers to help kids find permanent families, and change practices, laws and public financing to increase permanent family care for orphans and youth in foster care.”

Since 1999, more than 2700 individual children have found parents and lasting connections with adults because of Kidsave programs. Thousands more orphans and children in foster care around the globe have parents and lasting connections because of Kidsave’s training and advocacy efforts.

One of Kidsave’s most successful programs is its Summer Miracle Program.

Our family participated in this program in 2006. Yes, you probably guessed: our beloved son Alex was the child we hosted that magical summer.

Kidsave is now seeking Host Families for its 2010 Summer Miracles Program. If you know someone who may wish to learn about this program, you can find out more here .

If you want information about the Kidsave organization and its other programs, you can learn more here .

kajeet – the cell phone service made for kids