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Managing a childcare centre can be fulfilling and wonderful in many ways, but it also comes with a variety of unique challenges. To run a compliant and successful centre, every childcare provider needs the following helpful tools to encourage enrollment, maintain good communication, meet national quality standards, and keep all the moving parts working smoothly together.
More so now than in decades past, families are seeking out opportunities for child care by doing an online search. To ensure that your centre attracts the potential enrollees you are looking for, it is important to make your website beautiful and easy-to-use. People want to find the information they are looking for quickly, so spend the money necessary to build a site that presents important details simply and intuitively, free from typographical errors and confusing content.
If possible, offer the ability to enrol directly through your site and make your contact information clear and easy to find.
Online Communication Software or App
As you are well aware, creating collaborative relationships with families is essential to your centre's success. Mostly, the families you serve depend on you to communicate with them about their children's progress and well-being.
While a face-to-face conversation is important from time to time, having the ability to quickly communicate via an app or other software can also save you a lot of time and money. You may consider setting up a secure social media page for some of your centre's “community” aspects, including activity photos and interactive engagements.
Automated Emailing System
A weekly newsletter can be a great way to communicate general information to the families you serve. Rather than maintaining extensive lists of email addresses, consider utilising an automated emailing system instead. Often, recipients can simply opt-in or out, granting you the ability to focus on creating the newsletter content.
Additionally, the use of templates or a saved history of your communications all in one place can serve as another way to save time and prevent you from “recreating the wheel” each month.
Running a thriving daycare centre often means that you have gathered lots of information that requires storage and reuse. Instead of keeping paper files with activity plans in the centre's backroom, consider using a convenient cloud storage option such as Google Drive. Each childcare provider can be given access to the documents as needed and pull them up on a device in a matter of seconds.
To encourage high standards in all 13,000 approved childcare centres in Australia, the National Quality Framework (NQF) has set benchmarks that must be tracked and met regularly. Instead of worrying over paperwork and trying to keep track of it over time, utilise compliance software to make the process simple and effective for each childcare provider in your centre.
Cleaning Tools and Protocols
There are many reasons to establish simple and effective cleaning protocols in your childcare centre outside of the crayon shavings or messy nappies. However, there are many modern tools and products that can improve what and how you go about keeping things sanitary and comfortable for each child in your care. Air ventilation system, disinfecting lamps, and special toy cleansers are only a start, but items like these may improve your centre in an important way.
Whatever your protocols have been up to this point, consider the improvements technology could make to your current classroom or care centre. Simply training your staff on the use of an iPad could go a long way to facilitating activities, tracking compliance information, and communicating with families.
Armed with these seven essential tools, any daycare provider is sure to see marked success and improvement in the way their centre runs.