Nurseries, daycare centers and pre-schools can no longer ignore the benefits of using technology inside and outside of the classroom. The traditional methods of teaching and storing of documents wastes money and most importantly time. The quality of the teaching and the communication with the parents and other role players are lost if the focus is on paper work instead of providing fun learning opportunities to young children.
If we look at the job descriptions of teachers and managers within the childcare industry very few industries require the amount of paperwork and adherence to regulations as the childcare industry. The requirements range from Governmental guidance to keeping the parents happy and feeling part of their children’s learning journey every day. The amount of paperwork these requirements demand from management and teachers are robbing the children from quality time and interaction with their teachers.
Specialized childcare software is still relatively new to the industry, but if educators and other role players in the sector are realistic this is one of the most important changes that needs to modernize the sector – not only changes to the way that they teach children. The childcare industry has one of the lowest engagement percentages in the use of effective technology to improve quality provision to their clients.
The childcare sector can benefit from specialized software to cut down on operational costs, and adhere to regulatory requirements by using technology to ease administrative tasks such as billing and invoicing, managing staff and staff ratios, monitoring and observing child development according to frameworks, etc. This will allow teachers and managers to teach and not push around papers. Connectivity is vitally important in the era we are living in, why not use specialized software to connect and involve parents in their child’s learning, get permissions from them, and inform them about events and happenings in your setting?
The possibilities to effectively use technology in this sector are endless, specialized software can help managers and teachers to develop and connect with other professionals to monitor their work and their own professional development.
I think its time that we look at alternatives to how we can provide better learning and development not only for the children in our care but staff and people working in the sector – how can the sector grow and keep up with the modern era if we don’t? Benefits of a specialized software for the industry include:
- Efficient and better workflow within the setting
- Improved Learning and Development for the children in the setting
- Monitoring and evaluating Learning and Development of the children in the setting
- Improved communication and effective connectivity with families
The next question is…………. How do you choose the best specialized software for your setting?
You need to start by asking and answering why do you need specialized software?
- The software needs to “take over” some functions
- The software needs to compliment your current system
- The software must make your setting more efficient
- The software must add quality outcomes and help you manage your staff, engage your parents and be shaped around the client – the children in your setting
The features must include the following:
- Be compatible and be able to function on multiple devices
- Provide a sign in and sign out function to staff and children
- Provide online document accessibility and storage
- Provide around the clock connectivity
- Provide a customized parent or family portal
- Provide billing and invoicing
- Provide a link with Governmental Frameworks
- Size of the server storage and size of server storage
- Monthly versus annual fees
One of the key points to remember is that if you choose well, the software will pay for itself in time and operational or administrative costs. Another key point is to familiarize yourself with the technical service and support the company will offer you, your staff and parents using the software. Do your homework and determine your needs before you start to look for a software solution.
Magdelize Janse van Vuuren
Early Childhood Specialist and Management Consultant