NSW and Victoria announce increased funding for childcare programs over the next decade

Now’s the right time to make service upgrades at your centre.

As a result of the ongoing collaboration between the New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria governments, significant changes are coming to the childcare and education sector. In what the state premiers have called “the greatest transformation of early education in a generation”, an additional year of play-based learning will be introduced.  

The policy reform will benefit all children in Victoria and New South Wales. As they have a full year of play-based learning before they begin school, they have the opportunity to grow, learn, make friends and gain new experiences. Children four years of age will be offered 30 hours per week of play-based learning, up from the current 15 hours/week. The program will be called “pre-prep” in Victoria and “pre-kindergarten” in NSW. 

They have also announced plans to invest billions in childcare to drive down prices and increase the number of places over the next ten years. More than $5.8 billion will be allocated to introduce universal pre-kindergarten in NSW by 2030. Meanwhile, programs will be rolled out in Victoria starting in 2025 as part of early childhood education’s $9 billion overhaul. 

New childcare centres will be built in suburbs where there are long waiting lists. This will increase the overall childcare supply by about 3 to 5 per cent. This will help solve the problem in childcare deserts or places in the state where there are more than three times as many children as childcare facilities within 20 minutes of a family’s home. The reform will benefit hundreds of thousands of working families with limited access to childcare, making it easier for working parents to return to work on their own terms.

 This collaborative effort will undoubtedly benefit providers of early childhood care and education. A workforce plan is also included in the policy to ensure expanding centres can find qualified staff. These reforms should enhance the financial stability of childcare providers. Centres will be in an excellent place to consider improving business practices and availing themselves of upgrades to continue thriving.  

Revisiting software upgrade plans can help services future-proof their business. Adopting convenient and easy-to-use platforms like Playground is a practical next step. Playground integrates compliance, safety and parent engagement into one platform. It makes it easy to document learning outcomes, record observations, and improve parent engagement—resulting in centres providing better quality care. As the childcare sector takes a step forward, so should your centre. 

 

For more information about Playground, visit https://qikkids.com.au/products/playground 

How to Improve NQS Ratings in Quality Area 5 (Relationships with Children)

 

Relationships with children: Quality Area 5 

Quality Area 5 of the National Quality Standard focuses on the value of relationships with children that are responsive and respectful in nature. Respectful and meaningful relationships help a child to feel secure, confident and included. When a child is supported, their self-esteem gets a boost. 

Respectful relationships encourage children to explore the environment and engage in play, resulting in positive learning outcomes. Good relationships ultimately empower children to connect with others, build positive friendships and resolve conflicts. These relationships support children to self-regulate their own behaviour and respond appropriately. 

Relationships between educators and children 

The goal of NQS Quality Area 5 is for children to develop a strong sense of belonging and well-being through nurturing and respectful relationships with their educators. Early childhood education services are responsible for developing and nurturing respectful and equitable relationships with children.  

Staffing arrangements must be taken seriously by education and care services for young children. Children’s relationships early in life influence their identity and how they belong in particular groups. Educational leaders must always promote responsive and meaningful interactions with children.  

Educators play a crucial role in ensuring services’ compliance with the national quality standard. They must take the lead in creating various constructive everyday interactions and shared learning opportunities with each child. By supporting children through nurturing relationships, educators help promote children’s sense of self-confidence and skills to manage their behaviour and relate positively to others.  

Positive educator-to-child interactions  

Through positive interactions and shared learning opportunities, educators can stimulate children’s thinking and enrich their learning through routines, play and ongoing projects.  

Educators can use daily interactions to develop sensitive and responsive relationships with children. One simple and practical way to enable children to communicate effectively and respond appropriately is to actively engage with them through listening and responding to what they are saying. Children learn by example. 

Build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships with children. An educator can do so by being extra attentive to the children’s non-verbal cues, especially when immersed in a small group setting. 

Creating a safe space for a child to share their thoughts and feelings is imperative in fostering a positive educator-to-child relationship. It allows them to feel accepted and safe. The child is supported when they feel that they have a voice in the group and can contribute to decisions.  

More than just guiding children’s behaviour, educators who are developing responsive and meaningful interactions must also observe and note how children prefer to communicate. It’s one way of showing children their thoughts, opinions and preferences matter. Showing respect for a child’s feelings will encourage them to keep sharing them with you. 

Dignity and rights of the child   

The Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Code of Ethics encourages early childhood professionals to value, acknowledge and respond to all children’s rights to their identities, abilities, strengths and culture.  

One of the guiding principles of the National Quality Framework (NQF) is that the rights and best interests of the child are paramount. Each child has a right to be heard, to be free from violence, abuse and neglect, to have the opportunity to thrive, to be engaged in civics and citizenship and opportunities, and to act and be accountable.   

Providing education and care based on rights means understanding these rights and implementing practices that reflect them. 

Relationships between children 

Each child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships. Children will also need to manage their relationships with one another. Relationships between them and their peers will gradually become more complex as they grow. 

Developing sensitive and responsive relationships is vital for them to set a base for learning how their choices affect themselves and others. Secure children have increased empathy, better relationships with parents and peers, and increased capacity to handle emotions more effectively. 

Collaborative learning  

Children are active learners, and they learn skills needed by watching, copying and practising or through trial and error. They develop skills through play more than any other activity. That’s why services should provide many opportunities for children to practice working together collaboratively and effectively, including through play activities.  

Collaborative experiences help hone children’s behaviour. Through these, children learn about their responsibilities to others and appreciate their connectedness and interdependence as learners. Interaction with other children helps a child learn life and social skills, such as conflict resolution and negotiation skills. 

Self-regulation  

Self-regulation develops through interaction with caregivers and the broader environment. It is critical to support self-regulation at each stage of development. During their early childhood, children should start knowing how to manage thoughts and feelings to enable goal-directed actions. 

In addition to becoming aware of their own interactions with others, children begin to understand how their actions affect others. Self-regulation includes cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills and processes that support children in coping with strong feelings, controlling impulses, learning and getting along with others.  

Role modelling and supporting children to convey and construct messages with purpose and confidence can encourage young children to relate to others. Modelling positive ways to express needs, resolve conflict, or respond to their own behaviour and other people’s behaviour is an essential part of teaching young children.  

Parents, educators, staff of afterschool care providers, extended family members and others support self-regulation development by using three strategies in a process called “co-regulation.”  

Their strategies include: 

  1. Building Warm, Responsive Relationships 
  2. Structuring the Environment 
  3. Coaching Self-regulation Skills  

 

For more ways to build respectful and genuine relationships with children in your care, along with tips for improving your Quality Area 5 ratings, check out our free guide.

For more ways to build respectful and genuine relationships with children in your care, along with tips for improving your Quality Area 5 ratings, check out our free guide. 

Bonus content in the guide: 

A handy self-assessment checklist to prepare your staff for the Assessment and Rating process.

Download Guide

 

Finding and keeping the right staff for your centre

The National Quality Standard Quality Area 4 (QA4), Staffing Arrangements, underscores the importance of having qualified and experienced staff in early childcare services. Educators, coordinators and supervisors must be able to develop warm, respectful relationships with children, create safe and predictable environments and encourage children’s active engagement in the learning program.

Hiring staff that meet national regulations

For centre-based childcare services, at least 50% of educators must be diploma level qualified or higher. All other educators must be certificate III level qualified. Services must also have access to an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) who possesses approved early childhood teacher qualifications.

Additionally, for Family Day Care, all educators must hold (or be actively working towards) an approved certificate III level education and care qualification. Coordinators must hold an approved diploma level education and care qualification.

There are also national first aid requirements for services. Centre-based and Outside of School Hours Care (OSHC) must have at least one staff member or nominated supervisor with up-to-date approved first aid qualification, anaphylaxis management training, and up-to-date asthma management training in any place where children are being educated or cared for. As for Family Day Cares, they must ensure each educator and assistant registered with the service holds up-to-date approved first aid qualification, has taken up-to-date asthma management training and anaphylaxis management training.

The day-to-day running of centres

Providers must have at least one nominated supervisor. Nominated supervisors may be required to successfully complete child protection training—depending on the jurisdiction. The nominated supervisor is responsible for the day-to-day running of the service.

Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring educational programs adhere to an approved learning framework
  • Ensuring children are adequately supervised and kept safe
  • Regulating who does and doesn’t have access to the service premises
  • Ensuring that provided food and beverages are healthy and prepared hygienically
  • Ensuring only authorised medicine is administered to children
  • Ensuring no staff caring for children are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs that may impair their ability to provide adequate care to children
  • Conducting risk assessments before any centre excursions
  • Ensuring that educator-to-child ratios are maintained

 

Quality and quantity matter

Meeting the minimum educator-to-child ratio is just as important as having qualified educators. These ratios aim to ensure the safety and welfare of all children. According to studies, an adequate number of educators correlates to quality interactions and positive learning outcomes for children. The educator-to-child ratio also helps ensure educators get to know children in their care better, including understanding their individual preferences and developmental needs.

Image

Educator-to-child ratios:

  • Apply to all areas and rooms within the service.
  • Apply during pick up, drop off and while children are being transported under the care of the service. It may be necessary to have extra staff on hand during these busy times.
  • Apply during break times and scheduled administration tasks (educators are NOT included in ratios).
  • Vary by service type and age range.

 

Keep your staff and invest in them

Interacting with the same educators daily helps children develop strong bonds with them. Constant interaction enables educators to understand each child’s individual interests, strengths and areas where they may need support. This is why the continuity of staff is a critical factor that contributes to a child’s learning and development.

Children who feel comfortable with educators will help improve your QA4 assessment. Assessors want to see children happily interact with educators and feel comfortable initiating conversations and interactions. Bonds like these take time to develop, so constant staffing changes may make it difficult for children to feel comfortable with their carers.

This is also a consideration when getting relief educators. Your centre must exert an effort to draw from the same pool that children are familiar with. During busy times such as drop off and pick up, do your best to schedule the same extra helpers.

According to the Early Years Research 2020 Report, services with Exceeding ratings typically invest 13% more in staff costs. A service that values and supports its staff is more likely to retain quality educators. Having staff that are continually looking to develop as professionals will benefit children, as well as your ratings.

Part of the NQS cycle is critical reflection and improvement. If staff are reflecting on weak areas in their training and seek to improve in those areas, the benefits will transfer directly to the children. This will show assessors your centre and staff are working towards constant improvement.

The new generation of educators entering the childcare field are more tech-savvy and they maximise software solutions that make their jobs easier. Information stored in a secure cloud-based system is easily shared with fellow educators and parents. Other tasks that can be tedious when done manually can be efficiently streamlined with a suitable suite of software tools.

Learn more about the importance of experienced and qualified staff at your centres in our guide, How to Improve NQS Ratings in Quality Area 4.

Bonus content in the guide: 

A handy self-assessment checklist to prepare your staff for the Assessment and Rating process.

Download Guide

 

A picture can be worth a thousand words—and higher National Quality Standard ratings

Understanding and implementing the National Quality Standard (NQS) for all quality areas is essential for childcare services. But if you don’t have documentation showing that your staff understands and puts in place NQS guidelines, you may be missing out. If assessors don’t receive concrete proof you’re implementing these standards, your centre may not get the ratings it deserves.

Along with providing high-quality care based on the NQS, amassing your “Wall of Evidence” should be your next course of action. Document your centre’s implementation of all NQS elements across all quality areas and include Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) outcomes. Together, these are your path to higher NQS ratings, and, according to Early Years Research 2021, this can eventually lead to higher occupancy rates.

Documenting interactions throughout the day may seem overwhelming, but such efforts are highly beneficial. One of the easiest ways to collect documentation is through pictures and videos. Let’s look at how one picture and one video can do much more than ‘capture a memory’.

Meeting NQS for Quality Area 2 – Health & Safety

Quality Area 2 (QA2) is Health & Safety, and centres are tasked with supporting each child’s wellbeing through a safe and hygienic centre environment. One way to do this is by modelling and implementing good hygiene and healthy eating habits. So how do you document this?

Let’s start with a picture of a child washing her hands before a meal. This picture documents your understanding and implementation of Element 2.1.2 (Healthy practices and procedures). If you use People Engagement Software (PES) and share this picture with a family member, you’ll also fulfil Element 1.3.3 (Information for families).  

Once the child has washed her hands and is ready to eat, what now? As the child is eating, you could record a short 10-15 second video clip. This might not seem like much more than recording a happy memory. But it can be much, much more with Programming and Planning (P&P) tools which can log details of children’s activities in both text and graphic files. Educators can then share these with families and help them stay connected with their child’s daily development.

A short video clip is more than a captured memory

The video shows a lot more than the child eating. You’ve already documented the child washing her hands before mealtime. But the video displays that the table she’s eating at is also clean (hygienic). This is further evidence that your centre meets Element 2.1.2.

The table, chairs, and utensils in the dining area can provide further proof. Showing that the furniture is child-friendly is evidence of careful planning when designing and furnishing the centre (Element 3.1.1 Fit for purpose). The use of child-appropriate utensils to avoid injury is yet more proof of Element 2.1.2.

Let’s take a closer look at the food that the child in this short video is eating. This video is an easy way to prove your centre provides nutritious meals to children, in line with Australian Dietary Guidelines. Providing nutritious food options helps you meet Element 2.1.3 (Healthy lifestyle).

In addition, if the video shows different children have different food on their plates, in varying amounts, it is further evidence of Element 2.1.3. It shows that children aren’t required to eat foods they don’t like and aren’t required to eat more than they need. With a P&P tool, you could include information about individual dietary needs or food allergies—further proof of Element 2.1.2.

Documentation can meet several NQS Elements

If the video includes educators in the background, you’ve met another element. Showing that qualified supervisors monitor activities at all times helps you meet Element 2.2.1 (Supervision). If the video includes a respectful interaction between staff and children while eating, you have evidence of staff fulfilling Element 4.2.2 (Professional standards).

Finally, a video of a child eating by herself is evidence of EYLF learning outcomes. Choosing what food to eat and feeding herself helps a child have a strong sense of identity. Eating nutritious food that she enjoys can also help promote a strong sense of well-being.

 

Our free guide, How to Improve Your Ratings in NQS Quality Area 2, has excellent tips and information to help your centre deliver quality care and achieve high ratings. 

An image of a screenshot of the Playground app demonstrating how NQS documentation is easier with software.
Playground helps educators publish tables with child observations that can be shared with parents directly through a parent app.

  

Download Guide

Documentation—your path to higher NQS ratings

Hopefully, you can now see how simple documentation of daily interactions at your centre can benefit your NQS ratings. The simple picture and video prove that your centre understands and implements several elements of the NQS in its day-to-day operations. But without that picture and video, you have no proof to offer assessors—even though you did everything right. Assessors would have no way of knowing how thorough your efforts are.

Documentation can seem like a formidable task, but P&P tools and PES can make the job much more manageable. They provide a simple means to store the documentation, tag learning outcomes, and make notes relevant to different Quality Areas.

6 digital marketing tools to boost your childcare centre’s occupancy

We’ve all had to learn new ways of doing things because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing you need on your plate is to learn how to do yet another new thing – digital marketing. As a centre owner or educator, you’ve probably already got your hands full and have no time to figure out the new-fangled world of online engagements. 

If that’s the case, this blog will help you switch from more traditional advertising methods to digital tools that you need to start marketing your centre online. Simply put, an online presence will make it easier for families to find your centre and see what services you offer.

Step 1: Create a website with clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons

The first, and most important step, is to set up a website for your service. It serves as a place to interact with families and share information via other channels. You can use it as a place to display your facilities, share what services you offer, and answer enquiries.

You have various options to choose from for hosting and design. But, any well-established website service will have easy-to-use templates you can use to showcase your centre. Use your page to highlight unique features and benefits that set your centre apart.

Regardless of what information you include on your website, don’t forget this critical feature. Each page must have a CTA button that families can click on to engage with your service. CTAs can be things like “Book a Tour,” “Enrol Your Child,” or simply “Contact Us.” The easier it is for families to contact you, the better the chances they’ll reach out. 

Step 2: Set up social media accounts for your centre

Social media accounts increase the chance of families discovering your service. You can use these social media channels to direct families to your website, where most of the service information is stored.

Facebook is the most popular social platform and allows for Facebook ad campaigns. You can use other social media platforms, but remember—always engage with your followers regularly to maintain an active social media presence.

Step 3: Learn how to be seen more often with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is all about getting your website to appear higher in Google search results. If a family Googles “childcare near me” and your website appears on page 9, you’re not going to get many enquiries.

Thorough SEO requires extensive knowledge and can be daunting. But simply being aware of SEO and following basic best practices can make a difference. The common thread in all SEO strategies is quality content. Unique, well-written content in the form of blogs or articles can go a long way to improving your site’s SEO ranking.

Step 4: You can also advertise with targeted Google Ad Campaigns

Like you can run ad campaigns with Facebook, you can do the same with Google. Google ad campaigns help with SEO by putting your listing at the top of Google search results. 

Have you ever searched for something on Google and seen “Ad” or “Sponsored” included in the top results? Then you’ve seen a Google ad campaign in action. You can target specific audiences with your ads. For example, you can focus on families looking for childcare in your area.

Step 5: Use a low-cost but effective strategy—email marketing

Remember the CTAs we told you to create on your site back in Step 1? You can use a CTA to collect email addresses that you can use for email marketing. You can send a weekly or monthly newsletter to current and prospective families.

You can also include CTAs in your emails in various ways. You can share special offers, link to enrolment forms or post vacancies. Email marketing is cheap—it only costs you time and effort. You’ll also be contacting people who’ve previously expressed interest in your centre. After all, it’s likely they joined your mailing list while checking out your site.

Step 6: List your centre on an online marketplace to increase exposure

Online marketplaces expose your centre to the right people at the right time. More and more, families are turning to online marketplaces for their childcare needs. They can view and compare all the options available to them in one convenient place. If you aren’t listed on a marketplace, you risk missing out on exposure to families actively looking for childcare options.

Parents like online marketplaces because they can easily compare the different services in their area. Marketplaces give you the chance to highlight your centre’s unique features and services. A listing that differentiates you from your competition can help drive enquiries and enrolments.

The Space childcare marketplace can help generate enquiries online and streamline communication with prospective families.

Different marketplaces offer different features. A good marketplace offers a dedicated listing page, enquiry lead management, and embedded enquiry forms. It may even provide tour bookings and CSS platform compatibility. Some of them, like Space, also offer automated digital marketing services. This will help you implement several items in this list, like social media pages and email marketing. The team at Space will help integrate the Space software into your existing website or help you create one.

For a more detailed explanation of the steps outlined in this post, please check out our Childcare Digital Marketing Guide.

QikKids releases Digital Marketing Guide for childcare services

QikKids has released the Digital Marketing Guide, a value-packed, free content resource for childcare owners and professionals looking for ways to promote their service. The guide provides early learning services with the fundamentals of digital marketing through practical and useful software tips that can help them compete for new families online.

Data from Early Years Research(EYR) shows that centres are struggling to fill spaces after the pandemic and that families are now keener to find care online. The resource is therefore aimed at helping services develop an online presence, especially for those that are more used to traditional marketing strategies and don’t know where to begin. Using research and data from EYR, this concise, information-packed guide provides specific and actionable digital marketing strategies for ECECs. 

In the post-COVID market, one of the most innovative ways of connecting with parents is a childcare marketplace with a dedicated listing. The guide introduces centre owners to such a listing and provides ways of maximising parent experience through online channels. 

The Space listing platform is one of Australia’s leading digital childcare marketplaces and helps centres manage childcare booking and enquiries via a single dashboard. This makes administration much more manageable for service providers as all enquiries from various online channels are assembled in one convenient location. Space, a secure platform, allows centres to decide how they interact with families while retaining complete control over vacancies, fees and the enrolment process.

Find out how your centre can compete with services online and boost occupancy in the post-pandemic childcare market.

Download Guide

Space can:

  • Automate marketing by promoting childcare centres on a dedicated listing
  • Streamlining parent-provider communication without needing in-person visits
  • Seamlessly collect all parent enquiries and information in one central, cloud-based dashboard

 

Mark Woodland, CEO of QikKids understands how challenging it is for centres to manage new technology and that they may not have dedicated digital marketing teams or the budget to become competitive online. “With the resources in this guide, we want to show centres that digital marketing can be done in easy, affordable steps that can benefit services of all sizes. When effective digital marketing is combined with our technology, the Space marketplace can help centres fill more vacancies and attract more qualified parents via online channels.”


The Digital Marketing Guide guide is available for download here and contains a childcare marketplace software checklist to help prepare centres for investment in digital solutions.

 

About Space

 

Space is a childcare listing platform and parent enquiry service built to assist Australian families searching for care. It is integrated with Xplor’s enterprise software suite and is designed to deliver a positive parent experience from enquiry to enrolment. Space offers digital marketing tools to services looking to promote their services and streamlines parent-provider communication to help boost occupancy. 

To learn more, visit: https://space.myxplor.com/

 

How documentation can help improve ratings in NQS Quality Area 1

You’ve studied Quality Area 1 (QA1) of the National Quality Standard (NQS), and your service uses an approved framework to create child-centred learning opportunities for all its children. Educators use intentional teaching and scaffolding methods, and you’ve implemented a cycle of assessment and critical reflection to ensure that teaching practices positively impact child development. Your educators also try to keep families informed of updates in learning and care, but your QA1 ratings aren’t going up. What are you doing wrong?

You may be making one critical mistake: lack of documentation. 

If your educators haven’t been recording all the planning they’ve done, or your centre does not have a process for keeping records of individual child development, getting high ratings will eventually be a problem. Without this essential documentation, assessors have no evidence that you’re following NQS guidelines, nor can they determine that you’re implementing them in the operation of your centre. Without adequate proof you’re meeting standards, it is less likely for quality assessment officers to rate your service as Meeting NQS.

In short, if educators are not documenting child activities regularly: 

    • Implementing and following the Early Years Planning Cycle will be a challenge
    • Communication with families about child progress will be slower and less meaningful
    • The centre is likely to lose out on the potential for better NQS assessment and rating

 

Child-centred learning opportunities – help children in your care and boost QA1 ratings

So which parts of the process should you be documenting and how?

Following the Early Years Planning Cycle is a great way to ensure learning activities are based on each child’s current interests and abilities. It demonstrates you’re meeting Element 1.1.1 (Approved Learning Framework). Having documented proof that you’re following this cycle will further show NQS assessors that you’re fulfilling Element 1.2.1 (Intentional Teaching) and 1.2.3 (Child-directed Learning).

A lack of proper documentation won’t just hurt your QA1 ratings; it will also make it very difficult to adhere to this cycle effectively. But documenting every step of the learning cycle would be very labour-intensive if done manually. Trying to recall interactions at the end of the day would result in several missed learning moments. Documenting learning from unplanned experiences and keeping track of details for each child would require a Herculean effort.

Yet, the number one thing you can do to improve your QA1 ratings is to use active documentation. Fortunately, using the Playground app makes this seemingly monumental task much more manageable and approachable.

What does documentation for each step look like with the Playground app?

Observe:

In this step, you could create a portfolio for each child. You can create and maintain this in the Playground app and update it in real-time, collecting all relevant child details in a dedicated folder. Being a cloud-based platform, all pictures and videos in the child’s portfolio are easily shared with families, contributing to Element 1.3.3 (Information for Families).

Analyse:

Child-centred learning involves analyzing and understanding each child’s personal development, meeting Element 1.1.2 (Child-centred Learning). You can document individual learning experiences and interactions with children that prove the use of open-ended questions and children making their own choices, fulfilling Element 1.1.3 (Program Learning Opportunities). You can document parent feedback as well as your own observations.

Intentional teaching plans can be prepared in
Playground to support the planning cycle and extend child learning opportunities.

Plan:

Having documentation of what children have achieved and where their interests currently lie all in one place makes planning much more accessible. With all this information in the Playground app, it’s easy to create weekly plans for each child. Basing your weekly plan on these observations demonstrates your application of Element 1.2.2 (Responsive Teaching) and 1.3.1 (Assessment and Planning Cycle). 

Implement:

When you put your teaching plan into action, you can document how learning experiences impacted children. Since you’re documenting things in real-time, it’s easy to record how unplanned activities added to a child’s understanding – Element 1.2.2 (Responsive Teaching).

Reflect:

You can also document evidence demonstrating which learning outcomes were achieved. Feedback from children and families further confirms successes and informs areas to work on in future planning – Element 1.3.2 (Critical Reflection).

Secure, centralised documentation – accessible to educators, families and assessors

Using Planning & Programming (P&P) software reduces the time educators spend manually logging and planning child activities. It also ensures you’ll have documented proof assessors can review when conducting rating assessments. Easily linking with the Home app makes sharing with families a cinch.

The QikKids platform stores cloud-based platform stores everything in a secure, centralised directory of child portfolios and relevant learning outcomes. This helps compile an NQS “Wall of Evidence” to prove to assessors that you’re following NSQ QA1.

To ensure you’re documenting everything you need to, refer to the handy self-assessment checklist within the guide and get help to boost your centre’s ratings.

For more information and practical tips on how you can use QikKids to assist with documentation, download our latest guide on How to Improve NQS Ratings in Quality Area 1.

Bonus content in the guide: 

A handy self-assessment checklist to prepare your staff for the Assessment and Rating process.

Download Guide

QikKids expands efforts to future-proof early learning and care in Australia

Educators and caregivers work tirelessly to ensure that the care they deliver serves each child’s needs and fulfils high-quality standards. QikKids has been making this job easier for service providers for over 15 years and is committed to serving the sector for years to come. With an all-in-one, early learning solution, QikKids serves 10,500+ childcare services across Australia & New Zealand and has helped serve more than 100,000 happy families. 

At QikKids, we know that caregivers and educators are wearing multiple hats on any given day. They care for children, create learning plans in advance, and then critically reflect on these to ensure each child’s unique learning journey is being supported. There’s a lot of community engagement involved and centres are continuously trying to connect with their families to develop consistent care routines for children. 

Our software was made to support and complete this childcare experience, simplifying everyday processes for centres and families. 

But the support doesn’t stop there. 

At QikKids we move with purpose—to support your service in becoming more accessible and improving the user experience for families. Our solutions help automate workflows, safely record child data, and boost occupancy for the service, allowing you to maximise growth opportunities in your area. 

Recently, we have accelerated our investment in technology initiatives to support childcare management and also to future-proof it. But, what does this mean for your centre? 

By future-proofing your centre, we make sure that you can keep up with your competition and stay up to date with developments in the industry. The following is a list of features built by our development teams and launched by QikKids in the past year to cater to changing needs of the childcare sector: 

 

Space: Childcare marketplace to drive occupancy post-COVID. 

COVID-19 restrictions have led to restricted centre access for prospective families, and occupancy has become a challenge for service providers. Online platforms, known as childcare marketplaces, or parent enquiry services, are built to solve this problem by connecting parents and services. 

The Space marketplace is one such solution that allows your centre to be listed in a central location, gain visibility and interact with parents interested in enrolment. It also serves as a digital marketing channel that helps with childcare promotion online. Using Space, parents can easily find centres in their location, make enquiries and book tours without visiting the centre in person. 

You can access this free tool for your service and claim your listing here. 

 

Playground: Remote learning for continued learning and development. 

The QikKids platforms have been supporting services that want to find ways of delivering education and care to children remotely, especially during lockdowns. Virtual learning options are available through Playground, making it possible for you to create value for families, retain children and prevent large dips in occupancy. 

 

Home App: People Engagement Software (PES) for positive childcare experiences.

An important part of the childcare experience is regular communication with families to help them be a part of children’s education and development. Technology makes this easier, so we’ve built a PES app to give your families peace of mind after sending their child to care. From sleep routines to learning plans, you can offer parents the liberty to view and share child updates in real-time. 

The Home App is rated the highest in user experience by 3000+ users and has achieved 4.8 stars for its remarkable utility as a parent app. Regular child data sharing helps build parent trust over time and contributes to high NQS Ratings due to large amounts of evidence maintained by the service. 

Are you giving your families the best experience available? Learn more here.

 

Additional support features for faster service delivery 

In the last year, the QikKids platform has been proud to offer integrated management tools with additional support capabilities to help your service get the most out of its childcare solution. Dedicated account managers and faster support channels have provided customers with more communication channels to resolve queries. 

The QikKids development team has grown to 48 members. Each one works to improve the education and care experience for centres and families. A renewed 3-year Desktop API contract with the government reassures our commitment to the education sector and supports us in our plans to serve more happy customers in the coming years. 

At QikKids we are making education great using cutting edge technology. Learn more here or get in touch if you have questions for us.

QikKids fortifies decades long commitment to supporting childcare in Australia.

“QikKids is committed to supporting you.”

For over 15 years, QikKids has helped care providers focus on children’s learning and development, shaping the stories of numerous educators and caregivers with innovative solutions and hands-on support. 

Support at QikKids has always addressed customers who need additional care & attention to implement premier childcare software offerings and seamless integrations. Dedicated account managers and faster communication channels are helping to meet the needs of thousands of providers working hard to deliver high-quality services to children across Australia. 

Over time, the QikKids technology has evolved to account for some of the most complex childcare tasks, and today, it covers a broad range of needs and services. QikKids has helped providers manage their Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments, as well as documentation and storage of child data. We’ve helped 10,500+ childcare services across Australia & New Zealand with quality compliance and they continue to place their trust in us. Some of our childcare management tools include a childcare administration app, educator platforms, People Engagement Software (PES) and childcare listing services, among others, and have seen tremendous development in recent years. 

To further benefit our communities and make life easier for even more providers, we have now improved our support and communication channels. 

A dedicated account manager is assigned for each client, allowing more room for the QikKids support team to do what they are best at – personalising the support experience. Our support team has grown from 23 to 51 key staff, most of them with extensive experience working in the childcare industry. These are trained professionals who have provided care first-hand and can relate to problems faced by educators in real time. 

A new phone system has been introduced which has brought down the average wait time by more than 60% since last year, and customers can now get the help they need much faster. Compared to 10 minutes historically, customers only have to wait for an average of 3 minutes per call to have their issues resolved. 

Not only this, QikKids has achieved a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) rating of 96% with continuous feedback, support and loyalty. The customer satisfaction survey has revealed that recent developments at QikKids have been fully welcomed by customers, encouraging us to continue improving down the road. 

QikKids is a community of caregivers and educators who make more than 100,000 families happy. We want to continue making education great by ensuring that this community stays connected and grows stronger by engaging and inspiring each other. The QikKids community on Facebook contributes to this purpose. It allows QikKids members to connect and share ideas with other administrators, leaders and educators. Join the group here to share resources, find support and get inspired today. 

At QikKids, we fully understand that the year 2020 was especially hard for care providers and that growth opportunities were limited. And so we rolled out free Training Roadshows 2021 in over 34 locations in Australia to help customers get a fresh perspective on childcare management and software solutions. Training sessions reinforced best practices in QikKids to allow childcare owners to invest in themselves and their teams. 

Customers found the Roadshow “thorough and helpful” and “learnt a lot about basic features on QikKids desktop, as well as how to troubleshoot.” The ability to ask questions face-to-face and learn about elevating the childcare management experience was exactly what we wanted the roadshows to deliver. The same was well-received by customers. Most educators were happy to get answers to individual situations and challenges throughout and felt more equipped to contribute to their own business success using the new knowledge. 

In addition, QikKids is also extending its capabilities to support businesses in delivering quality childcare through desktop development. With the largest software development team in the sector, QikKids has 48 product team members, who are continuously growing and providing unwavering support to customers every day. Our teams maintain software programs, improve family experiences, and innovate childcare solutions that generate the best care experiences.

QikKids is here to stay, and we’ve signed a three-year Desktop API contract with the Australian government, signalling our long-term commitment to the education sector. A QikKids Product Roadmap (to be shared publicly with all customers), will outline future plans to build and grow the platform over the next three years. You can also contribute to the QikKids platform by sharing feature ideas with the Product Team through the QikKids Canny board

At QikKids, we are guided by our core values of making life simple, moving with purpose, building for people and creating lasting communities. Our inspiring support culture has been particularly conducive to the QikKids vision of making education great, and we are committed to upholding this quality service for years to come.

“QikKids is here to stay.”

Prominent childcare provider Guardian Childcare and Education renews with QikKids for 3 years to continue provision of quality services

  • Leading childcare provider renews deal with QikKids as primary software provider
  • 120 early learning centres will continue to use the QikKids platform to manage administration and education programs. 
  • Dedication to QikKids for innovation and service delivery in the childcare industry

 

Guardian Childcare and Education, one of Australia’s largest childcare groups, has chosen early learning software platform QikKids as its primary solution provider, continuing the current relationship. A three-year contract renewal announced today has cemented efforts by Guardian and QikKids to provide a holistic education and care experience for thousands of families and educators.

“We have invested heavily over the last six months in building out new support capabilities and delivering on our new five-year technology roadmap.”

– CEO of QikKids, Mark Woodland

This relationship allows Guardian to continue to streamline administrative processes using QikKids management software and make world-class education and care available to Australian families. Since it was established in 2004, Guardian Childcare and Education has grown from managing 28 centres to owning 120 centres across Australia today. At the same time, childcare platform QikKids has established itself as a trusted early learning solution provider for more than 10,500 childcare centres across Australia & New Zealand.

Occupancy for services rated Exceeding NQS was at 65%, compared to 49% for those rated Working Towards NQS.

– Early Years Research 2021

Founded in 2006, QikKids has decades of experience in providing intuitive solutions for childcare administration and supporting centre growth with integrated management tools. As a long-standing client since 2007, Guardian continues to benefit from QikKids solutions for parents and educators every step of the way. The QikKids software has made life easier for the team to serve its 14,500 children every day throughout its vast network. They have also recently rolled out new features for enrolment and casual bookings, helping to streamline key processes for childcare services. 

“For organisations of our size, it’s important to have a proven enterprise-grade vendor with decades of experience, so we are excited to continue this partnership with QikKids.”

– Warren Bright, CEO of Guardian Childcare and Education

CEO of QikKids, Mark Woodland, said he is humbled by the Guardian renewal, “We have invested heavily over the last six months in building out new support capabilities and delivering on our new five-year technology roadmap. We’re happy to have Guardian renew their commitment to our vision, and we look forward to working closely with them over the coming years to build more features in the QikKids platform.” 

“QikKids has been our exclusive software provider for over 10 years and we have been impressed with a recent acceleration in development and support capabilities – and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership,” says Warren Bright, CEO of Guardian Childcare and Education. “For organisations of our size, it’s important to have a proven enterprise-grade vendor with decades of experience, so we are excited to continue this partnership with QikKids.”

 

About Guardian Childcare and Education 

Guardian was founded in 2004 and currently owns 120 centres in 5 states and territories, delivering high-quality care and early learning to almost 10,000 Australian families each day. Their continued focus on outstanding outcomes for children and great experiences for families has seen them become one of Australia’s leading providers of early childhood education and care.

For more information visit: https://www.guardian.edu.au/

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