Working in the childcare business is one of the most rewarding activities for anyone with a caring nature. But it can be one of the most strenuous too.
In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to thousands of nurseries temporarily closing, and some being forced to close for good due to the lack of financial support.
It’s not a secret that you will need a considerable initial investment to get your private sector nursery off the ground. Although charity and non-profit early years organizations are typically founded because of a need, they are still extremely underfunded and all facilities are subject to the same kind of unpredictability such as this.
To stay afloat and ensure your school survives the unprecedented, it must function efficiently and effectively. Investments must be made cautiously and you must always think of the long term.
Centralized Digital Storage
Centralized online storage is simply a kind of cloud storage that manages your records and documents online. Most of the time it’s instantly saved and can be accessed anywhere via an internet connection.
Think of it as your nursery management software.
Not only is it useful to have all of your important documents in one place, but it improves the security of your nursery. No more folders of paperwork and important documents lying around.
Having all of your documents online is efficient, it can be shared with your whole team, and accessed within seconds by any authorized member.
Let’s say you have a spreadsheet that tracks the daily expenses involved in the running of your nursery. This document can be accessed and edited in real-time by any member of your team, eliminating meetings and time-consuming catch-ups.
Software that is specifically designed for the settings you are running will be most effective for your business. Although they should have all you need and act as a centralized workspace or storage, they should also be customizable to individual requirements, such as specific invoicing requirements.
Digitizing processes, for the billing functionality alone, can not only save time, but it ensures your resources are being used efficiently. Moreover, it means that files never go missing and can be shared with whoever needs to pay the bill.
Digital activity planner
If you are operating an underfunded nursery, you’ll agree there’s little room for error and no time to waste. Every day is a new opportunity to improve your nurseries’ wellbeing and educational standard.
Well, a digital activity planner can help you a lot.
Essentially, it’s like a virtual planner that allows you to set out a clear framework for whatever you need. For example, you may need a classroom schedule or teaching structure.
Saving you time, a digital tracking software will allow you to plan ahead and run an efficient nursery.
Depending on the size of your team, Asana, a team management software, can be used to organize projects, manage teams, and create a more efficient work environment.
The software is extremely easy to navigate and works on a project/task assignment basis. The tasks can then be assigned to employees, quickly and easily. It’s that simple.
The great thing about Asana is that it’s free for a workforce of 15 teammates. If your team is larger than this, Google Calendar is a free alternative that can be shared with your workforce, but it’s not as convenient to use.
Staying in the loop and communicating effectively with your team is vital to the daily operation of your nursery.
It’s just as important to reply to inquiries quickly so you can generate a strong reputation and be trusted by students’ parents.
There are multiple early-years specific technologies that are approved and appropriate to use within these environments. You can set up specific strings of communication both internally and with parents to notify relevant parties of any updates or changes. This is a cost and time-effective way to communicate remotely or during play.
Increasing the efficiency of an underfunded nursery is hard, and it’s going to require a lot of work, but it’s not impossible.
It all comes down to the daily operation of your nursery, running a smooth show, having a stress free day, and staying on top of things. As we have highlighted, at the heart of efficiency is technology. And the best is designed specifically for the setting you are in, whether that’s a nursery, a primary school, an afterschool or holiday club.
If this is the first time you have integrated technology into your workspace it may take some time to adjust, but embracing change and committing to the technologies mentioned above will serve you well in the long term. And as we mentioned at the beginning, you should always be thinking about the long term.