If you’re in the business of caring for the social, emotional, and physical health of dozens of young children each day, it makes sense that implementing technical systems to your child care facility may seem like just one more onerous burden on top of numerous other responsibilities.
After all, to many childcare providers, apps and other technologies represent one more cost, not to mention the amount of time needed to implement and learn how to use the new tool. In spite of these initial challenges, however, there are numerous benefits to be derived from adopting new technologies and interactive media at your childcare center.
The Advantages of IT
Information technology (IT) systems and software, as well as other digital tools, have the ability to empower professionals in every industry – including early childhood learning centers and childcare centers. The options available to businesses in this industry now extend beyond basic in-house customer relationship management (CRM) systems or basic apps, such as Class Dojo and Brightwheel.
Private and public social media networks, Google’s suite of products, websites, and email marketing tools are all robust, useful digital tools that can make professional life easier, helping your center run more efficiently while addressing the needs of your No. 1 clients: Parents.
Parents want to be aware of what’s happening in their children’s lives, especially in the early years. They also desire tools to engage with their child’s learning, communicate with caregivers, network with other parents, and feel empowered in the case of emergencies.
Here’s a few benefits of adopting an interactive social media platform with a holistic suite of tools at your childcare center:
1. Creating an authentic network
Most apps only provide one channel of communication between parents and schools. While this is an incredibly important function, it’s limiting. Many parents, guardians and caregivers who are using apps to be involved in their child’s care also want the ability to communicate with other parents, in addition to the school or daycare center.
2. Promoting interaction
A private social media network is a more efficient platform for communicating with parents during times of emergencies and while students are on out-of-town field trips, in addition to during daily activities and events. With social media networks, you can communicate with all parents one time, interact with them on the platform, and give them the ability to interact with one another as valuable resources.
3. Simplifying communication
Too often, parents and guardians are inundated with information contained on physical forms and documents that are easily misplaced or ruined. Rather than relying on a folder to send home important information to parents, or overwhelming them with emails, you can use technology to disseminate documents, letters, or notifications so parents have all their information in one semi-permanent and easily accessible location.
4. Hands-off management
The benefit of technology such as apps is that once they are installed and set up, they require little maintenance. They basically run themselves while being available for you and your clients to use on a daily basis for communication.
What to Look for in Apps for Childcare Centers
Not all technology is created equal. In order for digital tools like apps to work for you, you have to select the right ones. Here are a few important features that you should look for when choosing apps for your childcare center.
1. Privacy and Security
The most critical component for an app that is used to share data regarding young children is that it’s safe and secure. It’s a mammoth task trying to protect children’s privacy in the 21st century’s online wilderness, but nonetheless important. Any app you select for your daycare or early childhood learning center should be rigidly private and secure and let users manage ads, decide who can access their information, and control their interactions with other users.
Cost is another issue for many childcare facilities, many of which simply don’t have the budget to accommodate expensive, superfluous technology. The fortunate thing is that many digital tools can be accessed at some level for free, although that doesn’t mean there aren’t costs associated with adding on certain elements. Before selecting a new technology for your center, explore all the upfront and potential costs that could be incurred.
Childcare centers come in all shapes and sizes, and many start out small while striving for future growth. As you expand your business and client base, you need technology that is capable of evolving alongside you. The best social network apps are those that are scalable, meaning they work well whether you have a team of 10 or 100. As your childcare center grows, you should have options for adding extra features to accommodate new clients or address new business objectives.
Being Viable in the 21st Century
Technology is designed to streamline your professional life and help you tackle responsibilities more efficiently. Even childcare centers stand to benefit significantly from using technology, including private social networking apps, to empower valuable, productive communication. Go2s is an entirely free tool that makes it easier and safer for you and your online community to interact and communicate so you can better enrich the lives of the children you serve.