Five Ways Nursery Management Software Can Help Nursery Managers in 2023
Implementing a streamlined software system – and finally waving goodbye to spreadsheets, whiteboards, and sticky notes – could be the best single thing that nursery owners and managers can do for their setting in 2023.
Our CEO, Chris Reid, recently explained more in an article for NMT. If you missed it, catch up here…
Setting up a new software system takes energy, effort, and full team buy-in – but there is no better case in point regarding short-term pain and long-term gain for nursery businesses.
Once employees get to know their way around the elements of a given interface that they need to navigate, and the necessary data is in place, there are bright skies ahead.
For managers and owners considering taking this leap, it can be helpful to look ahead and really visualise the future benefits, whatever integrated system you choose.
Properly controlled data in one place eases inspection and GDPR worries
When they are kept on a central drive, finding ALL relevant documents when you need them – for example, when Ofsted inspectors are about to visit – relies on careful filing by each user, every time.
There is also a very real worry that data can linger in forgotten folders long after a nursery should rightfully hold it. For settings yet to fully move away from old-school filing cabinets, the possibilities of lost or neglected paperwork rise further.
Migrating to a sophisticated software system, with data fed directly in, managed, updated, and kept secure, will minimise such risks – and make those difficult searches for the right facts and figures a thing of the past.
Staff rotas across sites can be co-ordinated where everyone can see them
Setting, communicating, and updating employee rotas – and being able to quickly and easily accommodate and action requests for changes – can be a perennial pain point for management.
This is especially the case when teams work across several sites, and holiday logs are perhaps kept on a separate HR system.
Integrating this functionality offers real efficiencies and clear lines of communication – especially as colleagues can see the live and latest confirmation of who is working where, and when, via a smartphone app. This will make everyone’s professional lives easier, and keep staff feeling fully in the loop.
Managers will save time, to concentrate on children’s experience
Efficiency of staff time and effort will be a huge theme of 2023 as childcare businesses continue to try to do more for less, amid rising costs and sustainability concerns.
A robust and failsafe online home for the documents that make the nursery floor run smoothly will free up owners, managers, and senior practitioners to concentrate on what drives them professionally – providing a great day-to-day experience for the children being cared for and educated.
Parent communications can be revolutionised
Streamlined software is not just for nursery workers, it is also very pleasing for parents and guardians. Letters printed and sent home are not only unsustainable, but they are also easy to mislay – or languish unread in the depths of a nappy bag.
Key dates and details on an app, complete with alerts and reminders, are a much better prospect – allowing families to feel better organised and informed, whether they are being told about an accident in the setting, or consulted on a forthcoming trip out.
Families can also use the technology to collaborate with early years educators – sharing their own observations that have taken place at home, and thus helping to build a more accurate and holistic picture of their child’s learning journey.
Indeed, being able to demonstrate a well-managed online system could set a nursery apart from its competitors – and become another good reason for parents to place their confidence, and therefore their children, with you.
A slick system could aid staff recruitment and retention
Families are not the only potential newcomers to your services to be impressed by your sleek software – those considering working for a nursery are likely to be very interested in how you keep track of admin.
No would-be employees enjoy consulting a range of spreadsheets, pinned-up lists, whiteboards, or portals that do different jobs – all with their own log-ins and passwords – when they could rely on a single online home.
And in these difficult times of finding and keeping good employees, every advantage counts.
We hope our quick-fire rundown has offered a fresh perspective and impetus for making 2023 the year you overhaul and fully digitise the backroom of your business. Undoubtedly, it is a major move – but there are many positive effects to be felt for all stakeholders, from managers and practitioners to children and parents.