Digital School Administration

City of Zurich | My Children


City of Zurich | My Children
Customer since
November 2023
City of Zurich
Initial situation

Before: Offline, Redundant, Inefficient

From the first day of school to the end of compulsory education, parents and caregivers had to fill in and sign the same forms over and over again. School districts worked with their own letters and forms and handled the responses manually.

Efficiency Through Digitalisation

Bettina Goodman, Project Manager at the Department of School of the City of Zurich, and Luciano Leins, Project Manager at the Organisation and IT Department of the City of Zurich, brought Unic on board for this project.

The goal was to set up an online service that would enable anyone with custody of children in the City of Zurich to access and manage information on their children in one central space. To achieve that, all participating institutions had to have access to the information in a single application.

Which User Journeys Need to be Covered?

The variety of family structures reflects general developments in society: In addition to a traditional constellation with two parents in one household who both have custody, there are many other types of families now. This includes single parents, shared custody in separate households as well as children from different partnerships for whom different people have custody.

The school system has adapted and opened up to address the changing needs: Sending your child to a regular state school is no longer the only option. Private schools and homeschooling are two alternative paths covered in ‘My Children’, and they can also be documented there.

Transparency and Individual Responsibility are Key Elements of the Service:

Parents and caregivers have full insight into their children’s data and can manage it independently. This approach ensures that all users are supported, regardless of their specific family setup or choice of education.


Now: An Online Service Rather Than Countless Forms

After we had identified the different user journeys and defined, tested and optimised the underlying processes, we looked into the design. We strongly relied on the design system we had already developed with the City of Zurich.

We combined the individual elements to make the step-by-step process as intuitive as possible for users. We had one clear goal in mind:

“Get any task relating to your child or children in the context of education done in the ‘My Children’ service. From registering for nursery school to submitting important documents or booking childcare – ‘My Children’ supports you with these processes.” (My Children - Page in German)

How ‘My Children’ Works

  1. Parents and caregivers receive a letter sent to the child’s registered address.

  2. About a day later, personalised codes are sent out – one per parent/caregiver.

  3. The recipients scan the QR code in the letter and log into their account with the city. Here, they identify themselves with their code and social security number (AHV number).

  4. Parents and caregivers accept the terms and conditions and are then forwarded to the service area.

The ‘My Children’ section is a service in ‘My Account’. All children are listed here – even those below school age. The current status is displayed for every child, and whenever parents and caregivers need to take action, this is clearly displayed in the ‘Tasks’ section. Since nobody can be expected to monitor this service all the time, users can be alerted to new tasks via email or the Zurich Access App. Users can also apply a filter to determine whether they want information from the ‘My Children’ section to be displayed on the ‘My Account’ homepage.

Facts and Figures on the ‘My Children’ Launch

  • During the first pilot on 4 September 2023, twelve employees of the city were introduced to the system to gather feedback and make improvements.

  • On 13 September 2023, a second pilot took place with 15 school starters from every school district. A total of 160 letters and 320 codes were sent out – one to every person with custody.

  • In November 2023, all children starting school were officially invited to ‘My Children’, which triggered the dispatch of 4,500 letters and 9,000 codes.

  • In December 2023, the invitation was extended to pupils already in the school system. For this, 27,000 letters and 54,000 codes were sent out.

By the time the service went live, more than 17,000 children had been registered in ‘My Children’.

Bettina Goodman, initiator of the project at the City of Zurich, was happy with the result:

The feedback from parents, district school offices, schools and childcare facilities has been positive, on the whole. And we are only just getting started – more services are under development.

Bettina Goodman, Project Manager Department of School, City of Zurich

If you are wondering about parents and caregivers who are not tech-savvy, don’t worry, the City of Zurich has a solution for them as well. If they don’t respond to the invitation or struggle to use the portal, they can still fill in forms offline and on paper, just like before.


‘My Children’ Simplifies Interactions Between Parents and Authorities

‘My Children’ supports parents and caregivers and their children throughout their school years. From the digital registration for nursery school to important notifications such as class allocations and invitations for events, the service provides for efficient communication and data administration. It also facilitates the release of information for class lists.

Users can update their data directly on the platform, which makes new information available to teachers and other staff immediately. Parents and caregivers of nursery school children are no longer required to fill in paperwork – a one-time data submission before the beginning of the school year is enough. The process also becomes easier for parents of older children: After the initial data entry, there is no more paperwork. The platform also enables parents to register preferences for meals or permission for the use of photographs.

Thanks to the required identification by parents and caregivers and two-factor authentication, the data transfer is fast, safe and efficient. The verification by the registry office ensures that only persons with custody gain access.

Teachers and Schools Also Benefit:

Teachers and schools gain access to the latest data on persons with legal custody and their children, which significantly facilitates administration and ensures consistency. Documents are tagged automatically and stored in the records management system of the City of Zurich, which also saves on administration tasks.

What’s Next for ‘My Children’?

By 2026, many more features are to be made available on ‘My Children’. The city wants to enable users to file for subsidies for childcare for preschool and school-aged children directly on this platform. Another plan is to not just list sports and leisure activities and music, dance and theatre classes, but to also offer a booking feature on the platform. The city plans to add additional features such as switching private schools, filing for class allocations and exchanging messages with the district school authorities. The goal is to make the service even more valuable for parents and to make internal administration processes faster and more efficient.

At Unic, we are convinced that the user-friendly ‘My Children’ web application will add value for parents, caregivers and schools, and we look forward to contributing to its further development.

Do you also have complex user journeys or outdated offline processes you would like to digitalise and make more efficient? Get in touch!

Contact for your Digital Solution

Book an appointment

Are you keen to talk about your next project? We will be happy exchange ideas with you: Melanie Klühe, Stefanie Berger, Stephan Handschin and Philippe Surber (clockwise).

Melanie Kluhe
Stefanie Berger
Philippe Surber
Stephan Handschin