ONLINE CHILDCARE SOFTWARE IS NOT JUST ABOUT SAVING TIME
No doubt, using online childcare software saves staff time. Being able to document learning and share with parents in one place is a huge time saver, especially if you are updating multiple children, and even more especially if you are using Siri or other voice apps to dictate the observations.
However, early childhood education services are finding that an online platform has other benefits. Being online presents the service as:
- forward thinking,
- education focused,
- parent friendly.
And most important of all, online sharing makes learning visible. It creates transparency that leads to better understanding of the educational philosophy (it’s not just play!), and parent-teacher collaboration, where families and teachers work together to create new learning opportunities.
Online Raises Your Game
Yes, it takes some training. And yes, many educators are not tech savvy. But, actually, it’s a reasonably simple transition. Anything written — in a Word document, an email, a Facebook post, a newsletter, a checklist or form, or any pictures sent via Shutterfly — instead goes directly into Educa, online.
It takes the same amount of time to document, but then the work stops. Everyone you choose to share with — parents, other teachers, directors, specialists — can see it, react to it, print it, come back to it, share it. You post it to one secure place, and transparency through the web does the rest.
Why Teachers Go Online
There are three big reasons online childcare software works for teachers:
- It creates a collaboration that helps grow learning
- A stronger connection to parents builds understanding of the child
- It’s a time saver
Collaborate With Parents To Grow Learning
Online posts go right to the parent’s phone in a secure, discrete channel using the Educa app. Teachers send photos, observations, feedback, and suggestions in a real-time and engaging way that helps parents feel they have a much closer connection.
The result is authentic family collaboration. Teachers feel the love from parents and appreciate the insights and feedback, Furthermore, they can then use this feedback to individualize their approach for each child. And to pass the baton to parents after hours to continue the learning themes, a 24/7 collaboration.
Stronger Parent-Teacher Connection
When parents feedback about a child’s home life or cultural norms, teachers learn about the child. This understanding can often help them do a better job for that child during the day.
When it’s on paper, you print it, file it, copy it to share with parents, remember to take it home if you need if for something, possibly rewrite it in an email for parents, rewrite part of it to share with mentor or peer teachers and directors and of course, remember where you filed it.
With online childcare software, you write it, job done. No printing, photocopying, emails, etc. Once it is online you can easily share or not share it with whomever you like, access it from anywhere, anytime, download it, send it. And you will always know where to find it at a later date, in that child’s online record.
If you are recording observations, the value of online is even more powerful. Educa allows you to pre-load any curriculum. And so instead of writing observations surrounded by paper with State or other guidelines, In Educa you simply check boxes in pre-loaded guidelines or frameworks, all in one place. See a demo here.
Finally, because everything is online and documented, teachers can save an enormous amount of time during licensing, quality rating or NAEYC or other accreditation inspections. Everything is one click away, available for printing if need be.
Imagine how much time all of this saves. It’s hard to truly calculate, but we have clients that claim Educa online childcare software halves the amount of time they spend on admin, time away from the children.
Why Owners Go Online
Like most sectors of the economy, early education is going through a major transformation — from paper to online. As an owner, going online will help with the three big things on your mind:
- Enrollment – it’s what parents now want and expect
- Costs – you will start saving time and money in printing costs
- Retention – online makes you a better center
Having a real-time connection to parents and being able share updates connected to learning guidelines says something very positive about your center that prospective parents will understand in a nano second.
While the main time-saving accrues to teachers, administrators save time with mass communications with parents, during compliance inspections and when fielding parent questions on a particular child by having it all at your finger tips online.
Finally, retention of families — returning children and siblings. Parents will appreciate the higher service level — the real-time updates, the convenience of access to their child’s record and center materials, forms, etc. — makes the job of winning families back so much easier.
Your Competitors Are Not Standing Still
There’s a bunch of positive reasons to use online childcare software, but there’s also a defensive reason.
Everyone else is doing it or is going to do it.
Your competition will be offering instant updates and convenient access if not today, one day soon.
The complex web of support around a preschooler — teacher, teacher mentors, parents, specialists — makes the value proposition for going online, where everyone can see what’s going on, even more powerful.
And yet, early education is one of the last sectors to move online.
That will change, eventually.
However, today, going online will put you ahead of at least some of your competition.
Where Educa Online Childcare Software Fits
Because online communications is coming to early education, not surprisingly, you have choices.
Our Point of Difference is in Documentation
Educa’s point of difference is not so much in the communications — there are other services that share “moments.” Our area of strength is documentation, and specifically, documentation around child development and learning.
We come from New Zealand, which has had an early childhood curriculum since 1995. Educa makes it easy for teachers to document and share learning, connecting child activities to learning goals. Educa has modules for planning, assessments, observations (group and individual), teacher reflections and more, organized around each child’s individual record.
This depth of field around learning creates the opportunity to collaborate with parents in an authentic and meaningful way. The Educa design makes it easy for teachers to educate parents in the learning that goes on during the day, presented in a way that is compelling to parents. It’s a level of connection and understanding that makes parents part of the learning team.
Horses For Courses
There are all-in-one platforms available. However, as you might expect, they have to make compromises to prevent their software from being too complicated.
This is why multi-purpose software has not done well anywhere in the business world. The preferred choice is “best of breed” — horses for courses. Most businesses subscribe to a number of services, going with the best fit for each specific need. For users — teachers, admins and parents — focused software is inevitably simpler and better matched to its unique function.
Educa’s specialty is documenting and sharing learning.
We believe that transparency around learning is a growing priority in early childhood education, demanded by parents and required by regulators. The question, “what will my child be learning at your preschool?” will come up more often.
See Educa In Action
If your teachers are short of time and/or if you think your parents would value real-time updates on a secure channel, then you might want to consider Educa. To learn more, register for webinar or schedule a live 15-minute demo.