“Communication and Trust are the two main ingredients for a healthy relationship.” –Unknown
Few people involved in the Child Care industry today will disagree that it is becoming more pressurised and challenging by the day. There are many reasons for this, but let’s look at only a few:
- Our children are growing up in a rapidly changing world characterised by new technological breakthroughs – see the Fourth Industrial Revolution that we mentioned in previous articles as an example – which place new demands on not only children but also teachers. Not to even mention “keeping up with the Joneses!”
- Time pressure – so much to do within so little available time. Teaching children, writing reports, cleaning up, engaging parents, engaging your peers and principals – and then there is your own private life to also manage!
- So many competing curricula to take note of – literally every day there is a new teaching approach or a new curriculum that someone wants to sell to you. How do you know what is best? Am I keeping up with the latest developments, or are my children falling behind? This means you have to be a permanent student yourself, reading up all the time on the latest research and developments in Child Care.
- Parent pressure. As parents, we all want the best for our children – the best Child Care facility, the best teachers, the best ecosystem1 for them within which to develop – and it absolutely HAS to be aligned with best practice!
- Communication – everyone wants a piece of you! Some days it feels like all you do is communicate – with peers, children, parents, cleaners, maintenance staff, governing bodies, etc., etc. Be this verbally, or via e-mail. And if you are in the “lucky” position to be part of management or administrative staff, then there is still all the other software that you have to update, like invoicing and/or stocktaking packages.
We could go on, but you get the picture. Child Care Centre staff are definitely not in it for the money!
They do this work for the love of it.
For the privilege of being involved in raising the next generation – for being involved in getting our children school-ready.
This is their primary outcome.
But somewhere within this new and challenging environment within which Child Care Centres operate, something must give.
It just cannot carry on being business as usual.
The few points we listed above should make that abundantly clear.
One of the tools at our disposal to make life easier for all stakeholders – teachers, parents, principals, administrative staff – is the use of a Child Care Management System (CCMS), or as it is also called, a Child Care Communication System (CCCS).
Most of these systems cost money (some are free, but as mentioned in our last article – be careful of those offerings). So, the obvious question begs: “Why should I, as a school/parent, pay for such a communication tool?”
The aim of this article is to explore the benefits of using a childcare management solution, in the process of answering the question as to why child care centres, and by implication parents, should pay for such a tool.
The Best Childcare Management Solution for Preschool Teachers
Hey, Teachers: We’ve Found the Best Parent Trust Builder on the Planet
As teachers, we know you try your best. You’re working with little, tiny people who sometimes seem unmanageable.
They have to go to the bathroom, they want to ask a hundred questions, they need to do better at learning math.
And you have a whole room of these kids, all who deserve your attention. And you’re giving them all the best version of you that you can. But do their parents know that?
Sometimes parents have a skewed version of what’s going on in their child’s life in the classroom. All they might hear at the dinner table that night is, “My teacher said I couldn’t go the bathroom and I don’t know how to do the math.”
Yikes. That certainly wasn’t translated well. That’s where Parent ApS can be the ultimate tool for parents, teachers, and children to streamline their lives, virtually.
The Parent App. allows parents and teachers to interact seamlessly to see how a child is progressing in the classroom, with activities and much more. It’s the ultimate trust builder.
Parents will be relieved to know that you’re giving their little on the individual attention they deserve, and teachers will be thrilled to have an all-in-one solution to communicate.
So stop with the little scraps of paper notes back to your student’s parents. Don’t worry about late-night text messages from a parent wondering if their child did well on a test.
Parent™ is truly a teacher’s best friend. It lets you stay organized, streamlined, engaged – and on top of what your students’ school life is all about, so you can get back to being the awesome teacher you are.
But yes, the kids are still going to ask to use the bathroom a thousand times a day. We can’t fix that.
Save Time (and Sanity) with Software that Gives You Your Time Back!
For decades, Kindergarten teachers have been fighting an endless battle against mountains of paperwork. Between managing children, documentation, news, communication with teachers and parents, and everything in-between, finding time to breathe can feel like finding a needle in a…well…pretty large pile of needles.
Digital technology is making an incredible impact in Kindergartens all across the world. The secret lies in embracing a comprehensive yet simple system that’s well-structured for better learning, less admin, and more fun for everyone involved.
We get it. You love what you do, and you wouldn’t change your career for the world. Still – you deserve support from people (and a state-of-the-art system) that lightens your load so you can focus on doing what you do best.
The right Kindergarten software solution can save teachers hours every day, so they can focus on spending more quality time with their little students.
Here’s what you should look out for in a digital childcare management system:
- Streamlined communication. Parents have questions, and you have answers. The right solution should deliver instant messaging capabilities to host live chats with parents, teachers, and everyone in-between – strengthening early childhood education. Everything is private, safe, and secure, meaning parents’ contact details are never in danger.
- File sharing. Parents love seeing their kids in action, and there are various important documents you need to share with them – as well as teachers. The right management solution lets you share pictures, videos, documents, and more – all at the click of a button. No more manual paperwork, reports, sick notes – nothing. It’s time to move online.
- Profiles. The organization is the key to a thriving institution that runs like a well-oiled machine. World-class childcare management systems allow you to create detailed profiles for every learner and teacher, under one centralized roof – so you can check statuses at a moment’s notice.
- Calendars. No more bits of paper floating around and getting lost in translation. The right digital childcare management solution means you can access, create, and adjust events, activities, holidays, and more – with results that reflect across the board.
- Cost-efficiency. You shouldn’t have to pay an arm or a leg (or another leg) to access the convenience your institution deserves. The right solution puts the power in your hands, with life-changing solutions at an affordable price. Parent ApS offers a wide range of packages for all kinds of nurseries, depending on your goals.
So, what kind of solution can give you all of this and more?
Relax – not everything that sounds too good to be true is too good to be true.
Parent ApS is a world-class Kindergarten management system, designed exclusively for busy childcare professionals and specialists in early childhood education.
Parent™ childcare management app works (and looks) like a dream, fusing cutting-edge software with ease of uploading, efficient communication systems, an intuitive design, and so much more.
Honestly, we could talk about Parent™ app all day, but the only way to experience the difference is to try it out yourself. So go ahead! you’ll never know unless you give it a go.
Why the Need for Childcare Management (Mobile) Technology?
- Mobile Communication brings parents and Child Care Centres closer together. It is an excellent way to make the relationship between the parents and the centre more meaningful, providing an avenue for real-time communications and updates.
- Updated Parents. Sending all messages between the centre and parents to a mobile device is an excellent way to make sure parents are updated constantly with important school information, like enrollment times, reminders for holidays, changes to policies, etc.
- Benefits for School Administrators. Paperwork is decreased, reports are updated by teachers and administrators can update their portion quickly and efficiently
- Other Benefits for Parents. Parents often find it difficult to find the time to speak to teachers directly. Online communication enables teachers and parents to discuss a child’s performance in their own time. Informal communication can also sometimes reduce the stress and worry of more formal meetings.
Apart from the above, many child care systems also have the following capabilities, as does the Parent App:
- Check-In Functionality. Track children and staff attendance using automated tools.
- Document Sharing. Share documents with staff anytime and anywhere using your smart device. This can also be done for selected documents with the parents.
- Smart Calendar. Create, manage, and share events and holidays. Send invites with RSVPs to parents and staff.
- Permissions. Assign role-based access to each user from a centralised console.
- Manage Lists. Create, modify, and manage allergy lists, immunisation lists, and more.
- Food Plans. Create daily menus and upload them to the app for everyone to access.
- Children’s Attendance. Quick sign-in tools for children.
- Working Hours. Track employee working hours and get insightful reports on their productivity.
- Billing and Invoicing. you can track each family’s balance and complete invoicing history all from one place.
- Reports. Generate reports on children’s performance – moving away from paper.
So, the benefits are quite clear, and to most teachers, principals, and parents the benefits of using some sort of automated communication system are intuitively evident. But the nagging question about price remains, and with this article, we are happy to address that.
Still – Why Do you Have to Pay?
Firstly, most of the available child care management system (CCMS) software packages – basically all of which operate as some sort of App – must be developed. Software engineers do not come cheap.
But perhaps the most expensive part of the process is to capture the intellectual capital within the processes that a Child Care Centre operates according to.
A business analyst typically must first scope the processes before designing an application.
Second, it is quite tricky to develop a system that is generic enough to be useful to all Child Care Centres, but in the same breath unique and tailorable enough to be suited to your establishment’s specific needs. Parent App is an excellent example of a package that fits the bill, and that can be adapted to your needs.
As to cost? Well – we cannot speak on behalf of all software packages, but we think that adding between $2 and $4 (less than the price of a Big Mac burger) a month to the price of a child’s enrolment in a Child Care Centre, considering the benefits that the school and parents get from this, is really not pricey. And in most cases, vendors are quite prepared to negotiate around economies of scale to suit your specific needs (and your pocket).
So, adding between two and four dollars a month per child is not likely to break the bank. And there are options as to how this may be introduced in your Child Care Centre:
- Negotiate a discount with the supplier, i.e. either per number of children that you may have on the system (economies of scale typically kick in when you have more than 50 children), or in the way that it is implemented (could be phased in).
- Absorb the total cost of the new software yourself as the school, although that would probably be a bit shortsighted, considering the thin margins at which most of you already operate.
- Let the parents absorb all the cost, i.e. increase the child’s enrollment fee by that amount per month. This would in most cases be acceptable to parents, once they are privy to the advantages that the new system will provide them. We suggest going this route.
- Do it in a phased approach – for instance: split the costs 50/50 (or 25/75) between yourself and the parents for the rest of the school year if you purchase a system during the year, with the understanding by the parents that they will have to shoulder the total burden of the cost come the new year.
As you can see – there are various options with which to absorb the new cost item, but rest assured – the relatively short term burden will be more than offset by the long terms gains, once the system is properly implemented and running (an organisation like Parent will gladly assist you in training and onboarding all your children and parents’ details as well, should you require it!).
We think that with this and the previous articles that we have produced, we have made a succinct case for going the child care management system (CCMS) route. In our case, we of course promote Parent App as the optimal solution. Whatever software solution you should choose though, there is likely to be some cost involved.
In this article, we have further illustrated that (a) the costs that we are talking about will not break the bank even for a price-sensitive environment like a Child Care Centre, and (b) that there are various options for absorbing this cost, the preferable option being adding this to the child’s enrolment fees.
- CFI. https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/accounting/overheads/ (accessed on 06 February 2020).
- NeoK12. https://www.neok12.com/Ecosystems.htm (accessed on 05 February 2020).
- Parent. Simplifying Childcare. Revolutionizing Early Education and Childcare Management. https://www.parent.eu/ (accessed on 05 February 2020).
- SchoolMint Collective. Using Mobile to make Parent Communication more Meaningful. 07 July 2014. https://www.schoolmint.com/using-mobile-to-make-parent-communication-more-meaningful/ (accessed on 04 February 2020).