Oak Tree Home Care opened in New Zealand just over 12 months ago and are committed to helping young families for whom English is a second language adapt to the New Zealand education system.
They have a large number of Chinese, Korean and Pacific Island families in their care. Manager Stephen Dallow and his team have been extremely successful thanks to their focus on empowering grandparents to become home based caregivers by providing them with training and resources.
Stephen and his team began using Educa to document learning and share it with families mid 2015, and found having the ability to enable different languages in Educa such as Chinese has made a huge difference to their non-English speaking families.
“A lot of our families are not New Zealand born and have a lot of relatives are overseas. Educa provides a way for them to stay connected and engage with the child’s learning, no matter where they are,” says Stephen.
STRENGTHENING COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES
Oak Tree Home Care now operates in multiple locations throughout New Zealand. As they grew, Stephen and his team became frustrated with the traditional ‘hard copy’ style of documentation and communication.
“Paper portfolios were being left at home and forgotten, and we were receiving little or no feedback from families. We also had a lack of educator feedback on the child’s development and progress between each home visit,” says Stephen.
“After seeing a presentation about Educa at the Home Based Association Conference, we saw first-hand that those frustrations would be overcome.”
Fun activities at Oak Tree
IMPROVING OVERALL QUALITY
“The ability to approve or auto approve learning stories has increased the quality of our documentation,” says Stephen.
Knowing the story will be read by peers and management has encouraged educators to put a little more time into documentation, ultimately creating a better story for the child.
The staff at Oak Tree also find the ability to download each child’s profile as they leave extremely handy, as families often want a copy of the child’s profile to keep.
BETTER INSIGHTS INTO ENGAGEMENT
“Educa reports provide us with statistics around overall engagement,” says Stephen.
Now parents and overseas family members are commenting, notices about trips and workshops are being seen and acted upon, and nothing can get lost!!”
We asked Stephen to share the single biggest reason he would recommend Educa, and here’s what he had to say: “It works, its user friendly, it’s easy to engage with families.”
A big thanks to Stephen Dallow for sharing his insights with us. If you are looking for a home based service with expertise in helping multilingual families, get in touch with the team at Oak Tree.