Tanda x Kidsoft Partnership

Meet Kidsoft’s newest integration partner, Tanda

Kidsoft blog banner_Tanda

Kidsoft has teamed up with workforce management software Tanda to leverage the best of both worlds so that you can collaborate with staff in a smarter way and eliminate unnecessary paperwork. Tanda’s integration helps you make time for what matters the most – the children. 

As a global market leader in workforce management, Tanda is committed to changing the quality of work in childcare centres with an industry-leading compliance system which can automate your awards, payroll, and certificates. Say goodbye to having to spend hours double-checking for complex Children’s Services Award compliance. Plus, get notifications when your centre licenses and qualifications expire so that your blue card and first aid certifications are always up to date. 

With a helping hand from Tanda, centre leaders can easily nail the NQF ratio requirements. By cleverly compiling insights from attendance and booking data, Tanda supports centre leaders with better managing educator-to-child ratios and staying within budget based on your centre’s specific service and labour costs. This partnership also expands on current Kidsoft offerings with the introduction of an intelligent rostering system, ‘selfie’ time clock, attendance-to-payroll integration, shift swapping and much more. 

Here’s how you can integrate with Tanda in a few easy, simple steps: 

1. Connect Tanda to Kidsoft
Contact the Kidsoft Customer Success team to coordinate the connection of your Kidsoft account to Tanda.

2. Import Data
Kidsoft connects to Tanda’s API and automatically syncs your demand data or bookings, and attendance data.

3. Create Data Driven Rosters
Use Tanda’s Predictive Workforce functionality to clearly identify compliance risks, and optimise your roster to stay within budget.

4. Optimised Compliant Rosters
Control your staff expenses by knowing how many employees are needed to meet your educator-to-child ratios.

5. Automatic Roster Creation
Automatically generate the ideal roster based on ratios, wage cost, employee availability and more using Tanda’s Cognitive Rosters.

6. Cloud-based Live Insights
Accurately report on your educator-to-child ratios using Live Insights, which tracks your compliance in real-time and determines your under-roof and room ratios to eliminate risk of understaffing.

Together with Tanda, Kidsoft is taking the next step in creating an even more seamless user experience to best support our community. We strive to help simplify the compliance process for childcare centres so that you can spend more time with the little ones in your care.

To learn more about our Tanda integration, or contact our friendly customer success team to discuss connecting your service please click on the below links.

Social Media like with man

4 Social Media Engagement Strategies for Childcare Businesses

Social Media like with man

When running a childcare business, you’ll have a million and one tasks to get through every day. Whilst you may know that social media is an important aspect of your business, it can feel daunting. 

That said, how you engage with existing and prospective parents will be paramount to the success of your business. 

Here’s how you approach your social media engagement with some tried and tested strategies that really work.

First things first
Before you start, it’s worth doing some groundwork.

First of all, identify your goals. You know you want to boost engagement, but what does engagement look like to you? It may come in the form of:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Hashtags
  • Click-throughs to your website
  • Mentioned (tagged or untagged)
  • Increased followers/audience growth

Get a current snapshot of your data so you can measure success later on. 

Secondly, get familiar with your audience, as this will determine the strategies you choose. 

One audience type — or persona — might be existing parents; another might be prospective parents. Others might include current staff, potential staff, governing bodies, other local community groups, schools, and so on. 

Work out who you really want to be engaging with on your social media so you can target your efforts into that specific audience. 

Thirdly, being a childcare business, you need to be very clear on your privacy policies. There are clear safeguarding concerns around consent and sharing information and images on social media, so make sure these are fully understood. 

Fourthly, determine the platforms you want to use. Identify where you’re more likely to get engagement from the audience you’re trying to reach. You may consider some of the following:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • TikTok 
  • YouTube

Engagement Strategies that Work
Now you’ve done the groundwork, you can start to plan out your engagement strategies. Here are 4 of the best for a childcare business: 

1. Create and share valuable content
The best thing you can do to build engagement is to create and share the kind of content your audience wants to see. 

Some ideas of great shareable content might include: 

  • Videos of activities such as games, sing-alongs, dances, craft sessions, outdoor play
  • Photos of artwork created by the children
  • Instructions for games or crafts — make this a downloadable pdf for parents to print out and use at home. 
  • The lyrics to a special song they’ve been learning at childcare
  • Event announcements
  • Funny anecdotes or quotes from the children. 
  • Competitions — ask parents to upload their child’s artwork and the best one gets to be shared on social media the following week. 

2. Ask Questions
Use your social media to encourage interaction between you and your audience.

When you post or share your content on social media, follow it with a question to prompt a comment. For example “Here’s what we’ve been singing today. What’s your family’s favourite song at the moment?”

3. Respond to comments and questions
It’s easy to put out content on social media and forget to check whether your followers are engaging with it.

Keep the engagement going by responding to every comment you get. It may seem like a lot of extra admin, but you’ll be rewarded by even more engagement going forward. 

4. Join in the conversations that matter
Many businesses make the mistake of using social media to broadcast. Rather than use it as a platform purely to show off who you are (although a bit of this is important too), use it to build relationships and foster a sense of community. 

Reach out to fellow childcare providers. Share their content; the chances are they’ll reciprocate and share yours too. Use hashtags that resonate in the childcare industry. 

By engaging in the broader conversation beyond your business, you’ll demonstrate to your audience that you’re tapped into what’s important and that you have a strong sense of community. 

In Summary
When you next sit down to post to social media, don’t panic. Follow these strategies, and you’ll see your engagement soar in no time. 

Don’t forget to measure success, tweak your strategy and keep going!

Toddler gardening

6 Advantages to gardening at your childcare centre

Toddler gardening

We all know how important it is for children to get outside for fresh air and exercise on a daily basis. But what are the specific benefits of gardening for young children? 

Here, we’ll explore what gardening can do to support young children in their key learning milestones and in their social and behavioural skills. 

1. Gardening helps build fine and gross motor skills
Gardening is a fun physical activity. 

It involves all sorts of tasks such as scooping up dirt, laying new seeds, watering plants and raking dead leaves. These tasks require hand-eye coordination, balance, manipulation of objects — all helping young children develop both their fine and gross motor skills. 

Through gardening, children also develop their sensory skills through touching the earth, listening to the sounds of the garden, observing the different colours, smelling the flowers and herbs, even tasting the fruits and vegetables they’ve grown with their hands. 

2. Gardening supports key learning milestones
Not all early years education happens in structured sessions within the four walls of a childcare centre. 

Gardening is an activity that supports all areas of early years learning: counting seeds, measuring and pouring, using words to describe sights and sounds in the garden, and developing an early understanding of science (weather systems, seasons and how things grow). 

3. Gardening teaches good eating habits
When children get involved in growing fruit and vegetables, it’s been proven to have a positive impact on their eating habits. 

So, while they’re first learning about textures and flavours, there’s a definite upside to introducing horticulture into the mix.

4. Gardening teaches responsibility
Gardening activities introduce a real-life (yet low-risk) application of taking responsibility. 

When children plant new seeds in the ground, they need to nurture and care for those seeds so their roots develop, their shoots grow, and the plant develops into maturity. 

They’ll be taught how to water the plant, give it enough sun or shade, and do whatever it takes to keep that plant alive.

5. Gardening teaches patience and planning
We all know that gardening doesn’t bring instant gratification. Instead, it requires a lot of initial planning and hard work, and the benefits are reaped over time. 

Each season brings a new set of challenges and opportunities. Certain seeds need planting at certain times of the year; different plants need specific types of care depending on the season. Gardening requires categorising, planning and organising, which will stand children in good stead in other areas of their lives. 

The concept of patience is notoriously difficult for young children to learn, especially in the fast-paced, instantaneous culture of the modern world. But activities like gardening help children operate in a long-term framework, where careful planning is paid off over the course of time. 

6. Gardening teaches social skills
When done in a childcare setting, gardening is a great social activity. It invites children to work together, discuss their activities, share a sense of excitement about what they’re growing and when the first shoots might appear.

It’s these social and interpersonal skills that translate into self-confidence and a great sense of achievement that they will take with them into the classroom later on. 

In Summary
Gardening is a fun outdoor activity that all children will enjoy. It gets them out in the fresh air, fosters a sense of the world around them, and builds their self-confidence. 

But gardening can also support young children in achieving their key early years milestones. From maths, science and English, through to social and behavioural, physical and spatial skills, gardening is a perfect setting to provide a whole catalogue of benefits to young children. 

A Childcare Centre Equipment Guide

Children Furniture

Providing the right childcare equipment is important because it will help keep the children in your care secure whilst also helping them:

  • Reach their developmental goals
  • Develop their curiosity
  • Promote their desire to learn
  • Enrich their experiences

Whether it’s for a centre-based service or any other kind of family daycare setting, here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of equipment needed. 

Furniture and Storage
Any furniture installed in your childcare setting needs to be accessible to children so it’s crucial that you get the right size and height from the floor. It’s also important to ensure that heavy furniture is safely secured to the walls so that it doesn’t topple onto children. 

Basic child-focused furniture includes: 

  • Child-sized table and chairs suitable for both mealtimes and activity times. 
  • Bookshelves and storage units that are within easy reach and at appropriate height.
  • Soft furnishings such as cushions and rugs for children to sit on. 
  • Appropriate sleeping furniture such as beds, mattresses and bedding for nap times.  

Learning Resources
The range of learning materials will need to cover all age groups in the early years setting, anywhere from first skills to preparation for primary school. 

First Skills
Appropriate equipment includes soft developmental toys, teethers, push-and-pull toys, gym playmats and walkers. 

Manipulative and Developmental 
Manipulative play encourages children’s coordination of hands, muscles and eyes. 

Suitable equipment includes tactile and sensory materials such as play-dough, cutters and lids, sorting and posting, mazes and puzzles, stacking and nesting, and lacing and threading games. 

Building and Construction
Building blocks are a great way to encourage children’s creativity and problem-solving skills. They also help to develop their hand-eye coordination, language and logical thinking. 

Literacy and Numeracy 
In early years childcare settings, children begin their understanding of words and numbers. 

A wide variety of books catering for different age groups is essential, as well as a mixture of board books for children to explore and longer story books that can be read to children during story time. 

Other useful literacy and numeracy materials include magnetic numbers and letters, flashcards, wipe-clean writing practice books, and, of course, pencils and paper. 

Role-Play and Home Corner
A well-equipped home corner will allow children to develop their confidence and self-expression, and help them make sense of the world.

Dolls with clothes and blankets, play kitchens with utensils, tool sets and dress-up costumes will all promote imaginative play. 

Music
Music promotes both physical and social confidence. Equipment should include musical instruments for all ages (shakers, tapping sticks, bells, xylophones), as well as CDs or playlists that expose children to a variety of music styles.

Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts lets children develop their creativity as well as their fine motor skills and concentration. 

Arts and craft supplies should include: 

  • Drawing materials including pencils, crayons, felt-tip pens 
  • Scissors
  • Glue, brushes and collage materials such as coloured paper, buttons, beads, fabric, ribbons
  • Paint and paint brushes

Outdoor Play
Not only does outdoor play promote physical activity, but it helps children improve their coordination and social confidence. 

Equipment includes: 

  • Balls of various sizes
  • Push-and-pull toys like prams, cars and lawn mowers
  • Boxes and blocks for construction
  • Ride-on toys such as scooters and tricycles
  • Sand and water play materials, including a sandpit, spades, scoops, funnels, large water containers, floating objects and sponges

Health and Hygiene
Health and hygiene equipment is necessary to ensure that the childcare setting adheres to health and safety standards.

Basic health and hygiene materials should include:

  • Cleaning solutions and sprays
  • Paper, towels and tissues
  • Soap and hand sanitisers
  • Dispensers and waste bins
    Gloves, wipes and nappies
  • Feeding equipment, including bowls, spoons, forks, cups and bottles

Staff Resources
In any childcare setting, it’s important that staff have the appropriate equipment. This should include:

  • Appropriate furniture including chairs, desks and storage
  • First aid kits
  • Teaching resources such as miniature whiteboards, tablets, stationery, reward charts and bulletin boards
  • Visual resources such as white or blackboards and weekly planners

In Summary 
It’s essential for childcare providers to equip their centre or other childcare setting with the right materials to promote learning and development, while ensuring that children are kept safe from harm. This useful checklist provides the fundamental items but keep in mind that it’s by no means an exhaustive list. 

Different Kinds of Childcare Programs

girl and boy at childcare

Australian families have a wide variety of childcare options available, ranging from home-based care through to specialist care for disabled and vulnerable children. 

That being said, it’s not easy for first time parents to make sense of the available choices. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make the right decision for your family. 

Home-Based Childcare 
Home-based childcare is any education or care carried out in the home. This can either be done:

  • Informally by parents, family or friends
  • Formally by nannies, babysitters, or by certain types of Family Day Care (FDC) or In-Home Care (IHC)

Family Day Care (FDC) 
FDC is a flexible form of Early Childhood Education and Care (EDEC) which can be casual, full-time, part-time, overnight, or before and after school, catering to parents who want a more tailored experience for their child. 

It’s carried out in the family home by a network of trained and registered early years educators. These are supervised under the Education and Care Services National Regulations. 

In-Home Care (IHC)
IHC is similar to FDC, except that it’s provided in the family home rather than in a Family Day Care centre. 

Day Care Facilities
Day care facilities provide early education and care for children in a dedicated centre, such as a nursery or a preschool. 

Long Day Care
Long Day Care (LDC) takes place in a dedicated centre either as a part-time or a full time option. They offer a range of early years programmes for children. 

LDC can also be provided as a “wrap around” childcare option for before and after school as well as during school holidays. 

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)
This is a centre-based childcare programme targeted at primary school age children for before and after school, as well as during the school holidays. 

OSHC is usually carried out by private individuals or organisations and typically covers the following times:

  • Before school: 7am – 9am
  • After school: 3pm – 6pm
  • During school holidays: 7am – 6pm

Occasional Care
Occasional care is centre-based and can be accessed on an ad hoc basis, making it helpful for parents who work irregular hours. 

Preschool/Kindergarten/Prep
Preschool (sometimes interchangeably referred to as “Kindergarten” or “Prep school”) is a formal, planned educational programme targeted at children in early years (usually aged between 3 and 5 years old). Preschool can take place in school, a long day care centre, a community centre or even a mobile visiting service. 

Preschool usually takes place on weekdays between 9am – 3pm, similar to primary school hours. 

Activity Groups and Clubs
This describes the range of other childcare options including playgroups, after-school clubs, and parent and child groups. 

Disability Childcare
Parents of children with disabilities can apply to receive in-home childcare services such as Family Day Care or In-home Childcare. 

Early Childhood Inclusion Australia (ECIA) is collaborating with Early Childhood Australia (ECA) to make sure that all children, regardless of their disability, race or gender, have the same opportunities and access to the right childcare. 

They work together to support all childcare services to enable them to offer inclusive, safe and high-quality experiences. 

In Summary
To help you find the right childcare programme for your family, first consider your requirements: how many hours you need, available options in your area, your budget, your family values and interests and whether you want your childcare to be at home or in a dedicated childcare setting. 

Given the wide range of childcare programmes available to Australian families, you will likely be able to find an option that suits your needs. 

Why You Should Invest in Professional Development as a Childcare Worker

Women on Ipad while holding baby

Whether you’ve been working in childcare for a few months or a few decades, one thing’s for certain: you want to provide the best possible care for the children you work with. And if you can do that while also improving your career and self-confidence? Even better!

Professional development will let you do all of this and more. 

Here is a round-up of some of the biggest benefits of professional development: 

Develop Your Skills 
Childcare is a skilled job. You’re responsible for ensuring that the children in your care are safe, happy, and developing their social, physical, emotional, creative and intellectual capacities — and none of that is easy. 

In addition, there are immense differences between the needs of a two-year-old and a four-year-old child, and you might have children from different backgrounds and with different capabilities in your group. Add to that any potential problems at home or separation anxiety, and it becomes clear just how many skill sets a childcare worker might need to use every single day. 

Professional development will help you further polish these skills, whether you’re role-playing behaviour management strategies or honing your child protection responses. In doing so, it will set you up to better nurture the children under your care. 

Stay Up to Date 
Child development theory is constantly developing, and so are government regulations. National Quality Standards, health and safety guidance, inclusion programs, early learning practices for gifted children are just some of the topics which may have been updated since you last underwent training. 

Investing in professional development will help you stay informed and ensure compliance. From empowering children with learning disabilities by better meeting their needs to applying the latest childcare theories to play activities, you’ll be able to make sure that your little charges are safe, happy and developing.

Improve Your Career Opportunities 
Whether your aim is a pay rise, more responsibilities, a management or administration role or even to open your own childcare centre, professional development will help you achieve it.

It starts with the small things: impressing your boss with how well you handle tricky situations, how knowledgeable you are about childcare theories and regulations, and how you constantly suggest ways for the centre to improve. Then, when you apply for promotions or a new job, you have both the qualifications and the experience. 

And if one day you strike it out alone? You’ll have all the knowledge you need, thanks to the training you’ve attended.

Boost Your Confidence and Feel Fulfilled 
Childcare workers who have undertaken professional development are more likely to suggest innovative ideas, apply for promotions and handle stressful situations well. They have confidence in their knowledge and abilities, and they know their own value.

Professional development won’t just improve your self-confidence but it will also make your work more fulfilling. You’ll be constantly learning and growing. Plus, you’ll have the rewarding experience of seeing the improved development and happiness of the children under your care.

Professional development is a valuable investment for childcare workers. It will empower you to provide better care and education, advance in your career and know your self-worth.

At Kidsoft, our tools help childcare centres and workers focus on the things that matter, like making sure children are safe, healthy and happy. We do this by simplifying the admin processes and making sure you have all the knowledge you need ahead of each shift. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help. 

5 Things Parents Look For In a Childcare Centre

Woman holding young baby girl

The big first day at a childcare centre can be nerve-wracking for everyone, not just the children. Parents and guardians want to know that their little ones are going to be looked after and cared for in the best way possible. Here are five things that they want to see in a childcare centre:

1. A Warm, Caring Environment
It’s no surprise that a 2019 YouGov Galaxy survey of working mums found that the most important factor for them in choosing a childcare centre was the “warmth of caregiving”.

We know that warm, caring environments help children grow up to be confident, mentally resilient, emotionally mature and kind. It helps them to learn better, make friends, and most importantly, be happy. 

During open days, parents and guardians will pay close attention to the atmosphere of the centre and how attached their children are to the carers and educators. When there are smiles and laughter all around, their minds are put at ease.

2. Valuable Learning Experiences 
Parents and guardians are increasingly aware of the fact that the early years are a valuable time for education. They want their children to have a head start in life, whether that means learning to count, picking up basic Spanish or Mandarin through the ELLA program, or something as simple as working on their creativity and motor skills. 

In addition, it’s also important for parents and guardians to know that their children are going to work on activities that will help them flourish in learning social skills, developing their emotional intelligence, and other soft skills. 

3. Frequent Updates About Their Children
Little updates can put parents’ and guardians’ minds at ease about their children’s time at daycare. Providing them with a video of their child singing the alphabet song, a quick message celebrating that they happily shared their toys today or even a photo of the tower they made with building blocks can make a huge difference in making them feel like their children are happy, growing emotionally, learning and making friends. 

The more a parent and guardian knows about what their child does at daycare, the more they can help them practise the same tasks and skills at home. What’s more, they will feel like they can trust you to communicate with them — whether the information is good or bad. They will also be more receptive to potential bad news because they know that you have their child’s best interests and wellbeing at heart. 

4. Flexibility
Life can be chaotic at times for everyone – but especially for working parents! They need flexibility and childcare that is going to make their life more manageable, not harder. For more than 1 in 3 working mums, flexibility is one of the top three factors they look for when choosing a childcare centre. 

Parents and guardians look for childcare centres that are going to accommodate their ever-changing schedules, everything from being able to amend existing bookings and signing up for half-days, to reshuffling their schedule on a weekly basis. Ideally, this would be without penalties or restrictively long notice periods.

5. Easy Enrolment, Booking and Payments
Is flexible booking really useful, if parents and guardians need to ring you between 3.00pm and 6.00pm on weekdays to make any changes? 

With tools like iEnrol, iCheck-In, and iParentPortal, parents and guardians can do everything online: enrolment, documentation, payment, booking and more. It’s quick, simple and easy. They won’t need to print off lengthy forms at the internet café or arrive at work late because there was a long queue to pay this month’s fees.

Get in touch with Kidsoft today to learn more about how we can help you provide better services for children and parents alike. A free demo can easily be set up for you to see for yourself. 

No such thing as TMI when it comes to new enrolments

Woman and man with young child

Many of our readers will be familiar with the acronym TMI, which stands for “too much information!” and is usually used when someone is telling us way more than we need to know about a personal or sensitive topic. 

When it comes to children newly enrolled in a childcare program, however, there is no such thing as TMI! 

While parents sometimes feel like they are sharing too much information about how their child sleeps, eats, and behaves, all of these “tips and tricks” are invaluable to educators, offering the next best thing to an instruction manual of preferences and personality quirks. 

Armed with information, educators are much more likely to settle children into care, and help them to be happy and safe. 

Once a family has made the decision to enrol in care, the transition process begins, and often involves two or more short visits to the service, which allow the child to get a feel for the space, and gives the parents the opportunity to ask any questions they may have of the team.

During transition visits, parents often spend time with the child in the room, observing the educators and the rhythm of the day. 

The transition process is also the time when educators can get to know the child’s individual routines, and learn a little more about them. 

Questions such as “how does X like to go to sleep?” or “what sort of games do you like to play at home?” show parents that educators care about them and their child, but also help educators to work with already established behaviours and routines, maintaining consistency between home and care. 

While specifics are recorded as part of the child’s enrolment paperwork, transition visits are an opportunity for parents to discuss things such as sleep, bottles, food and the kinds of activities their child likes.

These visits also allow educators to get a glimpse into how children may respond once they are enrolled in care permanently. Asking parents to step out of the room for five minutes gives educators the opportunity to observe how the child will manage the transition away from their parent, and to plan accordingly. 

While making the decision to allow someone outside of the child’s family to care for them is a monumental step for many parents, relationships are quickly established, allowing children to thrive in care. 

For more information about managing new enrolments, from an educator perspective, please see the further resources below. 

Settling toddlers into childcare 

Promoting positive education and care transitions 

Using mindfulness to help settle children into care

Top Childcare Industry Trends in 2021

Two little girls at childcare

Let’s face it — no one could have predicted the childcare industry trends that would emerge in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the whole world was forced to change the way it operated.

In 2021, Covid-19 is unlikely to disappear entirely, but now that we’re used to the new normal, we can take a better stab at forecasting what the next twelve months will look like. 

It should be an exciting year for the childcare industry. Yes, the effects and legacy of the pandemic will continue to change how we operate, but we’re also likely to see a lot more tech around centres as demand for our services increases.

Supercharged Health and Safety

The first half of 2021 is likely to see the tail end of the pandemic, as people are gradually vaccinated and life goes back to something resembling normal. 

However, in childcare settings, the legacy of the pandemic will likely be a continued focus on health, safety, and hygiene. Parents who have become used to continuously washing their hands and staying at a safe distance from others are unlikely to suddenly abandon this protocol after vaccination.

This is why the big winners in the childcare industry will be those centres who continue to put a focus on health and safety — and go to additional lengths to keep their centres clean. If you’ve installed hand sanitiser stations, ramped up hand washing protocol, or invested in extra cleaning services during the pandemic, don’t abandon these efforts. 

Not only should you continue to ensure your childcare centre is as clean as it can be — you should make it clear to parents that this continues to be a priority. 

Increased Tech to Provide Parents With Peace of Mind 

After a year of living through incredibly uncertain times, parents are going to want and need peace of mind when it comes to their little ones more than ever before. With this in mind, childcare centres should increase their reliance on technology platforms that allow them to quickly and easily communicate with parents — without adding a huge administrative burden onto their staff.  

What will this tech look like? Think tools like iCheck-In that allow parents and staff to check children in and out of the centre, and have helpful communication tools that enable them to leave messages and pick up or drop off notes. This tech reduces work for staff, while also giving parents peace of mind. 

Higher Demand for Childcare

Higher demand for childcare is also predicted in 2021. 

Why? First off, this follows the general trend of more and more households having two working parents and two incomes. As many families have struggled to survive financially during the pandemic, this trend is only set to increase as the world gets back to normal. 

Furthermore, as the pandemic is predicted to continue through much of 2021, parents are increasingly reluctant to leave their children with their own parents. Older people are at a higher risk of mortality should they catch Covid-19, and with children going to school — and typically not being great at social distancing — exposing grandparents to the little ones is a less attractive option. 

Early Education

Over the past few years, childcare centres have transitioned from places to simply drop off the little ones when you’re busy, to early education centres. This trend is set to snowball as competition ramps up and parents demand more than ever from childcare providers. Care centres that formalise their early education curriculum and encourage their staff to gain qualifications in this area will be the big winners. 

Tech to Boost Productivity

Productivity-boosting tech has long been used in the business world, but since the advent of AI, these types of tools are able to help more and more businesses. With childcare providers now able to significantly boost their productivity without increasing their manpower, more and more childcare centres will be investing in this tech. 

For instance, iEnrol hugely increases a centre’s sales, marketing, and administrative capabilities, while also making communication with parents much quicker and easier.

In general, having the right tools in place to streamline your processes will be more important than ever next year. Reach out to us to learn how Kidsoft can help!

5 Ways to Save Time as a Childcare Centre Owner

Childcare Teacher

Being a childcare centre owner means juggling a million different things at once. From dealing with suppliers and budgets to recruiting staff and keeping parents happy, there often just doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to get to the end of that gargantuan to-do list. 

However, there are a number of ways you can claw back time, without cutting corners when it comes to your service. In fact, boosting your own efficiency and productivity — as well as that of your centre — often comes hand in hand with improving the service for parents, their little ones, and your team.

With this in mind, here are our top ways to save time as a childcare centre owner. 

1. Electronically Track Attendance

These days, there are so many easy-to-use tools that can streamline the essential day-to-day tasks of childcare centre staff. Using an electronic system to keep accurate records of attendance is one of the easiest ways you can save yourself time. 

A great example is iCheck-In, which allows both childcare centre staff and parents to electronically check their children in and out of the centre via a handy platform which is accessible via tablet, mobile, and other touchscreen devices. It also gives you a handy overview of attendance at a glance, with real time classroom ratios that deliver peace of mind. 

2. Streamline Communication

When you’re running a childcare centre that caters to a large number of children and parents, the level of communication that needs to happen can feel astronomical. There’s the urgent communication about sickness, injury, or bad behaviour, and the general reports of what the little ones have been up. 

Then there’s the logistical communication — pick up and drop off notes and booking amendments — as well as communication around events or wider centre news. Whatever method of communication you prefer, the most important thing is to decide on a system and stick to it. This way, you won’t miss important messages from parents, and you’ll save precious time. 

3. Manage Bookings and Payments Online

Perhaps the most admin-intensive task for any childcare centre owner is managing bookings and payments. With so many children to take care of — all with differing schedules — using a digital booking platform that incorporates payments too is a huge time saver. 

If this sounds useful, take a look at iParentPortal. Parents can use this platform to manage their child’s booking, payments, and documentation from their phone. As well as making bookings, they’re able to amend them and notify staff of absences, while you can send invoice reminders through the tool too. As well as massively slashing your administrative burden, the platform makes it super easy to manage bookings and services based on ratios. 

4. Use a CRM

There’s a reason that pretty much every big business in the world relies on a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. While childcare centres may feel a lot more personal than corporate giants, CRMs can work wonders when it comes to bringing new families to your website and registering. 

iEnrol is a powerful pre-registration CRM specifically designed for childcare centres. It works to drive parents to your business, and then allows them to complete registration and view waitlist information online. 

This gives childcare centre owners a deep understanding of the level of demand for their service, allowing them to forecast and make big business decisions — such as recruiting more staff or moving to a bigger premises — with confidence. On a more day-to-day level, this tool is designed to save you time, while also helping you to accurately resource your centre.

5. Delegate Effectively

Sometimes you just can’t do everything that needs to be done by yourself. Give yourself a break, and delegate some of your tasks to your team. Look at each staff member’s skills and personality and work out which tasks they’d be most suited to. 

A friendly, bubbly member of staff should be great at taking over communication duties, for example, while a logical, methodical person could help you with bookings. Remember, they’re there to help you out! 

Running a childcare centre demands a large time commitment, but with these tips, you’ll be able to streamline your process and get back some precious time. For more information on how a tool like Kidsoft can help you achieve this goal, contact us to schedule a demo.