The benefits of technology in early childhood education
Many childcare centres face unique problems and challenges compared to other industries. Fortunately, there are technological solutions that can help those centres achieve their goals. As technology grows, the childcare industry is changing for the better–and proper use of that technology can enable more effective management of childcare centres across Australia. In this article, we talk about the challenges and benefits of technology in early childhood education.
Common Challenges Faced by Childcare Centres
Without technology, many childcare centres find themselves facing a number of common problems. They may:
Lose information due to damage, misplacement, or theft.
When most of the centre’s documentation is in a pile on the leader’s desk, it may be difficult to locate information in a timely manner. Worse, important notes may be lost altogether during hasty clean-ups or destroyed by a coffee spill. Centre computers could break down, losing all the saved data.
Need to sort through copious amounts of paperwork to locate the right information.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to find the right set of paperwork for a specific child or to unearth the necessary license information for a specific caregiver, especially if it’s information not frequently accessed. Not only that, employees must be on-site in order to access that information, which means that centre coordinators either can’t take care of work tasks after hours or must go back into the centre to do so.
Lack consistency and transparency.
The childcare centre may struggle to appropriately document staff performance or behavioural issues, whether the problem is recording them clearly and completely, or with needing to find them in the future. This can cause significant legal problems if a caregiver must be let go. Failure to properly record problems with staff can also lead to ongoing performance issues, since this behaviour often goes unchecked.
Have difficulty tracking and following up.
The centre may struggle to know when licenses expire or when they need to take care of new certifications. Tracking this information isn’t automatic, and it’s easy to lose track of critical dates and times.
Need a long time to gather reporting.
Whether the centre needs to report issues with a child or track concerns regarding staff performance, it can be difficult to keep up with this critical information. There is also more room for human error when using a pen and paper system, rather than a virtual one.
The Benefits of Technology in Early Childhood Education
Fortunately, technology offers a number of key benefits that can help childcare centres across Australia function more efficiently. Consider these key benefits of technology in early childhood education:
Technology increases environmental friendliness.
There’s no need to print materials, which means less paper going to waste–especially when you need to have multiple staff members deal with the same piece of paperwork.
It’s portable, accessible, and reliable.
Systems can be accessed from anywhere, making it easier for employees and administrators to keep track of vital data, and cloud-based programs are constantly backed up so no data is lost.
Technology provides consistency.
Processes are the same for every employee, and it’s easier to keep up with best practices. Everyone has easy access to the same information, and processes are streamlined and easy to keep up with.
Technology allows easy, efficient generation of reports.
It’s easier to keep up with vital information about everything from the staff to the children. It is also simple to generate reports based on that information. This means increased transparency and better access to that information.
Security is easier to put in place.
With technology, it’s easy to provide permissions to limit access to sensitive data.
Automation helps save time.
Some tasks can be easily automated, so staff member time is freed up to take care of other responsibilities.
Technology offers reminders and notifications from a central system.
This can make it easier to keep up with important tasks or understand changes. It can also help ensure that everyone can keep up with that information.
It has become standard for centres to use digital programs for accounting, payroll, and managing children and parents. Some, however, are still manually managing staff with paper-based files and email. When staff are the face of your service, why not manage staff with the same efficiency and attention to detail as you manage the children in your care? When they are supported with regards to their development and have better access to service standards, they perform better and are more likely to know what is expected of them. Not only that, technology can help provide legal compliance with regards to tracking documentation and qualifications.
Are you struggling to keep up with proper documentation for your staff or still managing them with a pen and paper system? Check out ChildHR. Child HR is industry-specific, which means that our documentation is already ready to use. There are no document templates that have to be customised before you can get started. It’s user-friendly, offers best-practice and consistent performance management programs, and is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection: a winning combination that will make it easier to manage all of your employees.