The Best Software Platform for Your Child Care Centre
When you are growing your early childhood centre, you invest a lot of time, energy, love, and money into it. So when it comes to your software, you need to ensure that the decisions you make for your investment pays off.
Computer programs are important. By making sure you have the best and most suitable software, you are building a stable platform for your early learning centre. Your digital platform can be a real asset to your child care centre, so make sure it is the right one!
Marketing and technology is not what it used to be. Did you know that a third of all businesses now have both a social media and web presence? You will simply be not keeping up with your competition if you don’t keep ahead with technology.
The definition of marketing has changed, and is a lot more technical than ever before. Having a social media and web presence will get your child care centre noticed.
Why is Choosing the Best Platform so Important?
If you’re looking to choose the right digital platform for your early childhood service, here are some things to consider.
Look at your competitors forms of marketing, especially the leaders in your field. If their edge is software, going with a second-rate program for your own platform would not be in your best interests. If you choose a centre branded app, it has the added bonus of being an additional marketing tool.
Ease of Use
Is the program easy to use, and is software support readily available?
Your Customers and Educators
When choosing your online platform, first and foremost you should think about the needs of your customers, families, the children, and the staff. Who will be using the platform, and what will their primary needs and wants and needs be to achieve excellence?
Choosing software is increasingly complex, as there is more and more to choose from. While every platform has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, software falls into two categories – “all-in-one” and “point” solutions.
Clunky ‘all in one’ platforms are not necessarily the most effective for early child care facilities. As the name suggests, these systems are designed to help you perform every type of activity from the one system. They may streamline processes really well in some aspects, however other aspects will hold you back considerably. An all in one platform, therefore, is not always the ideal solution.
Drawbacks to all-in-ones are that although the platform does everything, individual modules are often average at best. These programs are often expanded upon over time to meet the increasing needs of customers.
As new versions of the product are developed the later modules are often not of the same standard. Support for the original versions can then decrease, making it harder to sort out problems with the platform, or to get help with any queries in relation to the software.
Other drawbacks to all in one systems include cost. You may not use all the features – so you are paying for programs that you are not using.
Why ‘Best of Breed’ Outshines ‘All in One’
All in one platforms are not designed for the future. Best of breed software however, focuses on one aspect rather than being multi purpose. While there are pluses and minuses to both sides, both arguments have benefits and challenges that are looked upon differently.
Best of breed focuses on one aspect of your business which could be your accounting, tracking children’s learning and development, or communicating with parents and families. All in one systems look at every aspect. All your software needs are wrapped up in the one programme with limited functionality.
By purchasing a number of best of breed software solutions, your childcare centre will have a powerful suite of software, each of which functions perfectly for the role you intended it for.
Think about what suits your early learning service.
Think about which technologies and devices your customers use. Your target audience (such as busy mums and dads) may find it easier to do things on their phones than on desktop.
Integration is important too. All of your systems need to function well together and seamlessly update without the need for double entry.
Do Your Research
Before making a purchasing decision, use any data you have about how your customers prefer to connect with you. Take advantage of simple surveys sent out to the families, and service providers for your kindy. Google Analytics is also an excellent tool.
When deciding if the software is best for your business, look into a free trial or book in for an online demonstration. This is often the best way to see what works for your educators, your customers, and the families.
There are some excellent free resources online for marketing your business. This includes:
What Ongoing Maintenance Will You Need To Do?
When looking for the best software for your Centre, choose something that won’t take up too much of your time to maintain. Doing your research before you buy means that you have the best platform available for your needs. It saves you time, and makes your business more efficient.
Consider your time involved in the maintenance. Do you have the time and know how to do everything yourself?
Would you like to build your program from scratch and have it tailor made to your requirements? Do you have an IT support company, or would you prefer to have a platform that is established and has a dedicated help line that you and your educators can call upon? How much help desk support do you think you and your staff will need?
Also consider the costs involved, the time factor involved in setting up the system and the security of the software and information.
Consider whether the platform you are choosing is dependable, and whether the families and other customers will feel secure uploading and accessing information through the application.
Consider How Your Child Care Centre Will Grow
Before you choose your platform, think about your business and your future business needs. Do you envision a high level of growth? Will there be lots of changes in staff? Do you see your business expanding and will the software meet your centre’s needs in 2-5 years’ time?
Marketing is far more technical now and more quantifiable than ever before. Best of breed systems may claim to do it all, but at what cost to your centre?
The Kindyhub parent app and educators dashboard has a host of features which can include by request:
- Parent TV
- The Pheonix Cups
- Mi Staff
- Munch & Move
- System 7
Here are some comments from Educators and Managers using Kindyhub:
- Easy access for parents & educators
- Fantastic technical support with quick response time
- Linking to the learning frameworks (EYLF, QKLG)
With Kindyhub you can also add in your own centre philosophies or any other relevant learning outcomes your centre uses
- Clear & straight forward layout
- Easy communication portal
- Ease of use for staff to navigate – particularly older staff who resent and are unfamiliar with, new technology
- Easy for parents to quickly access information
- Great communication tool for families
- Photo uploads are easy and efficient
- Communication between Centre Director/Manager and room groups as a whole is excellent. We can communicate easily with the educators in each room as a group without needing to use email.
Kindyhub was created to enable both parties to share information efficiently. It allows for photographs, progress reports, events, and centre updates to be easily accessed on any device. Contact us today for a free trial or demonstration.