Tracking enrolments, attendance and fees, documenting children’s learning, staff development and effective hiring are vital when running a successful childcare service. Thankfully technology that has been developed, sometimes specifically for the child care industry, helps make the administration of early childhood more streamlined and efficient for everyone.
In this article, we’ve flagged some great tools that are used in child care centres across Australia that can help you keep everything running smoothly. It’s worth doing your research to find out which are right for your Centre. While implementing new systems and software can be time-consuming and potentially expensive, the return you get in terms of hours saved and reporting ability makes it worthwhile.
Here are some examples to inspire you.
Manage enrolments, subsidies and attendance
A software package like Xplor can ensure enrolling new families, submitting Child Care Subsidy information and monitoring children’s attendance can be done in one place. In fact, Xplor is all-in-one software that has an app where parents can view their payments, make bookings and see the daily observations of their children made by educators. Other child care management software on the market include Kidsoft and Qikkids.
Communicate with families
Creating and maintaining collaborative relationships with families is essential for your centre’s success and contributes to improving your NQS rating. Storypark is an example of an online communication platform for educators and parents to stay in the loop with one another. This secure platform is safe and private and lets educators share photos of a child’s day with their family and maintain an open line of communication about children’s development and education.
Another option for broader communication with all families at your centre or in a certain group is using a private Facebook group. Make sure you are on top of all privacy settings and get written permission from parents to share photos of their child in any group space.
Communicate with educators
A private Facebook group is also a great tool to strengthen relationships between your team members and keep everyone on the same page with upcoming events, special dates and more. Educators can use this online space to chat with one another, brainstorm ideas for the centre or ask questions.
No one likes to be caught out with a typo on a newsletter to families or in a child’s portfolio notes. Try using a tool such as Grammarly to keep tabs on everyone’s spelling, grammar and sentence structure. This gives your educators extra confidence in the work they’re doing and saves time in proofreading and editing.
Recruitment can be an ordeal at times, costing time and money. Jobadder is a recruitment tool that helps you attract the very best applicants while also taking out a huge portion of the admin time associated with the hiring process. Keep all applications and CVs in this dedicated space, manage candidates and more. It’s cloud-based too, so you can access your recruitment documents and details from anywhere.
Teaching staff to be ipad savvy
In centres we often need a camera, music player and computer software as things we can’t do without. Investing in a tablet or iPad can tick all these boxes. In fact, most software will even have an easy-to-use app. Your staff can snap photos for observations or to share with parents, use music services like Spotify or Apple music to create much-loved playlists to play for children and so much more – they just need to be confident with the technology.
If you or your team aren’t confident with digital tools and technology, some simple training offered with many of the software options will have everyone feeling capable in no time.
The bottom line is that you are working to maximise productivity and ensure your team of early childhood education professionals are doing the important work of educating our kids to create a better future for all.