It’s not easy for a nursery to decide that it’s time to ditch the paper. Not only does moving to a digital system require an investment of time and money, but there’s a fear that it won’t actually improve on what you’re doing right now.
So, whether it’s online learning journals, nursery management software or choosing online tools to help you communicate with staff and parents better, how do you know if it’s worth it?
We don’t have all the answers, but we reckon we’ve got some pretty convincing reasons why going digital is right option for you.
Access on the Go
One huge advantage to going digital is that you get the opportunity to do the work when it suits you. Having access to all the information you need on any computer, mobile device, or tablet means that you don’t have to carry bundles of paper around with you just for when you do get that quiet minute.
That feeling when you finally get time to work on that journal or paperwork you’ve been putting off for days and you realise you’ve left the crucial piece of paper somewhere else? Not a problem. Running a nursery is chaotic at the best of times, this way you can always get things done when you need to.
Whether we like it or not, everyone is connected to technology nowadays. As a nursery, this gives you options to improve communication and collaboration more than ever before.
Sites like MailChimp make sending out regular newsletters to both potential parents and existing ones incredibly simple. You can use Google Drive to easily share and collaborate on documents with your staff. Sharing messages, learning journals, calendars, photographs, videos with parents? That’s something paper just can’t compete with.
One big concern with choosing to take your nursery digital is a fear over security. While there’s no doubt that there’s a safe sense of reassurance in keeping important documents offline, many of the concerns over security in the digital age are unfounded.
Many digital solutions now work using The Cloud, and this software and the people that host it are subject to increasingly tight security measures. Of course, before you use any software using The Cloud, make sure you scrutinise their security policies if you’ll be sharing sensitive information. A good yardstick to look for is whether they comply to the EU Data Protection Directive.
Saving you time?
We can’t promise every piece of digital software is going to shave hours off your day, but there are some common ways that choosing to go digital will help you get some time back.
In general, digital software will help remove some of the manual processes that are taking up time you just don’t need to spend. That could be data entry, or making calculations that could be done automatically. Either way, this is one of the main draws of a system that is intended to help you do your job more quickly.
What else? Well, quicker access to information for one, where everything you need is at your fingertips. You save on organisation time when a system can collate all the information into one place. Take a calendar function where others can RSVP on their side. This will save you having to chase up everyone you need to hear from.
OK, so going digital probably isn’t going to make an ‘Outstanding’ drop right into your lap. But having learning journals, documents, registers and staff to child ratios at your fingertips certainly makes proving what it is you’re doing right to the inspectors much easier.
What’s more, they can often make staff and parent collaboration much smoother, which as all practitioners know, is absolutely key to running a successful nursery.
Real Time Updates
One of the greatest perks of using modern software is how well it integrates across different devices. What this means is that when you update some information on your computer, it automatically does so on your phone, and all of your teacher’s phones and computers too.
No more making sure everyone has the absolute latest copy of everything. As things tend to autosave too, all you need to do is head on in, make the change, and exit knowing that that change will be there next time anybody logs in.
Interested in reading more?
Download Kingwood Childcare’s story and find out how they run a nursery with more than 300 children on roll.