When you are implementing a brand new child care management software, you will probably be excited to get the ball rolling! You might be planning to roll it all out at once! With so many features designed to make your life easier, it seems foolish to wait!
After all, what could go wrong?
As it turns out, child care management software implementation goes a lot smoother if you take it in steps. Giving your staff the time and space to learn the ins and outs of the software makes a major difference.
If you're unsure where to start with software implementation, this child care management software checklist will help. Read on to learn the steps to take if you want to implement new early childhood management software successfully. Your staff and families will thank you!
Child Care Management Software Implementation
It's hard to manage an early childhood center, and early childcare provides always have a lot on their plates. Expecting these hard-working professionals to learn a brand new management program overnight may be asking a lot. This is true for center owners and administrators, too!
Slowing down the process and planning your implementation can keep staff morale high and help everyone to succeed:
The implementation of child care management software should serve as the solution to a problem. Rolling it out too quickly can cause new problems rather than providing solutions for existing ones. A key to avoiding this is to set realistic timelines at all stages of the process.
When will you be installing the software? When would you like it to be fully configured? Start there, and then you can begin looking ahead to other elements of your rollout process.
One of the most time-consuming elements of implementing a new child care solution is training. You don't want to rush this step in the process. That often leads to resentment and misuse of the software.
Provide your staff with the dates and times of training as early as possible so they can plan for engagement. If you plan to require any self-guided training, make this transparent. This will help your staff to understand that the time spend learning is valuable.
Map Your Processes
A child care management software is only worthwhile if you customize it to your center's unique administrative processes. Take the time to make sure the applications work for you. Having a plan in advance can save you time later.
Create a Roll-Back Plan
If you have problems, you may need to pause in your implementation to address them. This is less problematic if you already have a cohesive roll-back plan in place.
What processes will you return to while these problems are being solved? Do you have the materials necessary to return to your former processes if an issue arises? Are your staff members aware of this plan and everything involved?
Use the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is one key to making sure that your implementation stays efficient. If the child care solution you are using fits 80% of your processes, you can fit the other 20% into the software. This means starting with what's necessary and taking the rest slowly.
This begins by identifying what processes you need immediately for your program to run. You can also keep track of any elements you consider 'nice-to-haves.' The implementation of these convenient extras can come with time.
This ensures that productivity remains high, even if you are implementing an extensive new system.
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Child Care Management Software Training
When implementing child care program management software, success begins with solid training. Expectations should be clear from the beginning. This means making training a priority during the implementation process:
Utilize Vendor Training
Many vendors will provide training for new centers. You should take full advantage of all training offered! This will take pressure off of center owners and administrators and allow you to learn along with your staff.
Your vendors are the experts, and they may know how to answer questions that you haven't thought about yet.
Seek Out Online Tutorials
There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when quality training materials may already exist. Many of these materials are available online for your staff to access as a refresher. These are also great resources for new staff to your center who may be absolute beginners.
Having these resources vetted and accessible is a great way to ease new staff members into your center. You can even include these in orientations or staff handbooks as a resource.
Some staff members will naturally take to the implementation of a new childcare database. These individuals are ripe for becoming "super-users." They can serve as a mentor or point person for staff who may be struggling with new features.
This has the added benefit of building morale and providing leadership opportunities.
Test Your System
Before you roll out the new system, you may want to try a test run with the staff who will be using the system the most. This might be in the form of a "soft rollout," in specific classrooms. This is a time when it's okay to make mistakes, and also a great way to spot problems early.
Be Open to Feedback
The providers in your classrooms will be interacting with your new system every day. The goal should be to make life easier for your staff so they can spend more time engaging in high-quality interactions with the children. It's important to make it clear that you welcome their feedback during the implementation process.
Often, the feedback of a system's regular users can provide insights that lead to the most effective improvements.
Planning for Updates
Your vendor will most likely provide updates and bug fixes regularly. You can prepare by finding out in advance the effects that updates might have on your center's configuration.
Learning when these updates are likely to roll out can also be a helpful way to anticipate changes. Continue to communicate with your vendor. They can support you at all stages of implementation.
Transform Your Program With ELV
Successful child care management software implementation makes life easier for the staff at any school, center, or after-school program. Throughout this process, your vendor should be there to help. They will support you with configuration and training so everything goes smoothly during your transition.
ELV child care management systems are one solution that will improve your administrative processes and make running your program more efficient. We'd love to show you how ELV child care management software can transform the way you run your center. Schedule a demo to learn more about the features that can save you time and improve your practice!
Are you looking for more child care management information? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Child Care Management.
Our child care management system makes running your child care program simple and efficient. Get back to what's most important. You shouldn't have to spend more time on the administrative tasks than you do with children and staff.
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Or schedule a demo with us to learn more about how our child care management system, Alliance Core, can streamline your administrative processes.
Do you run an early childhood association made up of child care providers? If so, check out our Ultimate Guide to Shared Service Alliance.
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