Are you getting the most out of your Nursery Management Software?
There are a number of benefits to using nursery management software in your childcare setting such as: improving engagement with busy parents, improving cash flow, managing child development, your team and much more.
When I started my career in early years education, nursery management software was a new concept used by only a handful of childcare providers. I remember the constant pressure of taking observations on Post-it notes and capturing photographs of the children to complement the statement. File time was a rarity due to remaining in the staff-to-child ratio, so printing photographs, sticking them in the file and making them look professional was very difficult and something that caused stress among myself and my work colleagues. Not to mention, keeping track of my key children’s progress using a highlighter to mark off milestones- that is when I could find one that worked.
Finally, my setting began using the Connect Childcare solution and slowly but surely we began to tap into its potential. The relief of having the opportunity to catch learning and development in the moment, without fear of losing the post-it note was incredible, observations and assessments could be completed in a timely manner and parents loved the real-time updates of their child’s day at nursery.
That being said, nursery management software isn’t an instant fix. Learning your chosen software’s capabilities is important to inform and build your childcare business. Giving everyone on your team the information, tools, and workflows they need to succeed.
In this blog, I share 8 tips on how to get the most out of your nursery management software.
8 top tips on how to get the most out of your nursery management software
1. Learn its capabilities
As you adopt your nursery management software it is important to make time to read and learn everything that it is capable of. If you’re investing in quality tools, you don’t want to find out later that you have been using some unnecessary workarounds when the software has a simpler solution.
To ensure our customers are confident using the nursery management software we run monthly Feature Focus sessions to help them learn and develop streamlined ways of working.
2. Get your team onboard
It is important to bring all your staff together to discuss how you will use the software as a team to avoid any misunderstandings or inefficiencies and to ensure the transition is positive for parents. If you have new staff joining your team from a childcare provider that didn’t use nursery management software or used a different solution, they may have different expectations of how and when they’ll use your new system. Getting your team onboard will help to prevent errors and duplications, whilst ensuring data and reports are accurate.
3. Allocate your software champions
At Connect we recommend that you allocate a champion for each area of the software. Your champions can complete the training for their specific area and can help other staff members that might not be as enthusiastic. This is a tried and tested method but you can work this out for yourself. These are the qualities that each Champion should have:
Connect Childcare Champion:
Somebody with good knowledge of bookings, close to the admin side of the business with a sound understanding of finance and grants.
Somebody with a passion for child development, interested in tracking and reporting and with a keen interest in observations or assessments.
Somebody with good relationships with the children and their families. A good communicator with a passion for engaging parents in child development.
Some people love change and can adapt to new technology, but others can fear it or fight it. To ensure a smooth transition to software, make sure you explain to your colleagues what the software does, and why you chose it for your setting. Build new technology into the routines and rhythms of the workday as soon as possible.
4. Know when to use the software
As mentioned previously, there are many benefits to using nursery management software but that doesn’t mean every element of the software will be beneficial for your setting- that is why we offer a flexible solution based on your individual needs. In most cases, the goal of using software in your setting is to save time and simplify things, so it’s worth considering which parts of the software will help you meet that goal. Our flexible approach ensures that you don’t overpay for features that you don’t need or use.
5. Keep an eye out for updates
We’re all guilty of occasionally ignoring app update notifications that pop up every so often. But this could mean you are missing a new feature that will have a big impact on your childcare setting. It is important to choose a software provider continually developing its software, providing you with new capabilities or improvements. Take time to read any update notes that you are given and get familiar with new features.
If you are a Connect Childcare user, we recommend that you join our Connect Community Facebook group to stay connected and informed of our latest updates and releases.
Join the Connect Community
6. Get your parents onboard
Ensuring that your parents are enthusiastic about the app is the key to its success. Make sure your parents are fully aware of what it is, what it does and how to secure it so that they feel confident and excited to download it.
At Connect we provide lots of resources to help introduce ParentZone to your existing parents. The software is intuitive and easy to use so your parents shouldn’t need formal training. Here, we have a selection of resources and information for ParentZone users.
7. Know when to ask for support
If you get stuck on anything or want to learn how to use a new feature, then contact your software provider’s support team. Feel confident asking for help when you need it, rather than struggling along the way.
At Connect, we are proud to champion our customers. When you become a customer with us you become a true business partner with best-in-class onboarding and support that has a 98% satisfaction rating. You will benefit from our experienced Customer Support Consultants who are on hand to answer your calls and guide you through any queries, as well as a 24/7 helpdesk and free training sessions with our Training and Development Coordinator. Your success is our success.