Streamlined tool EnrolNow One offers a “central source of truth” for forgotten services
Software platforms often treat program-orientated early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, such as preschools and kindergartens, as the “poor cousins” to childcare services by not adequately considering their nuanced requirements. These services, which don’t fall under the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) umbrella, have limited options for software to support them to manage children and families wishing to enrol in their service, and to keep families and educators informed with vital data once children enrol.
Preschool and kindergarten services are unquestionably unique elements of the ECEC sector. Sadly, many childcare management systems (CCMS) default to assuming that all services are the same. As a result, preschool and kindergarten services lack fit-for-purpose solutions. Many of these services need to make regular applications for grants and funding to ensure their viability and are struggling to manage a variety of data sources to keep track of their enrolment data.
When preschools and kindergartens have information in a variety of systems and locations, such as spreadsheets, email platforms like MailChimp, and even the old fashioned “pen and paper” methods, opportunities for quick responses to Governmental changes, and funding timeframes can be missed. Meanwhile, busy leaders are spending time navigating a variety of data sources to collate the information they need.
The team at EnrolNow recognise these challenges, which is why they have developed EnrolNow One – a comprehensive solution that enables services to manage their waitlists, offers, full enrolment details and ongoing communications. Furthermore, the EnrolNow One platform is specifically for sessional providers, such as preschools, kindergartens, and holiday care programs.
EnrolNow One is a live up-to-date database that allows service leaders to manage all the functions of a child’s enrolment, such as waitlist applications, collection of program preferences, making offers of enrolment, collecting enrolment form information, acceptance of service policies, medical information, authorised collection, and much more.
Essentially, EnrolNow One offers a central source of truth. Any information relevant to a child, throughout their service journey, is collated in the one spot, eliminating the need for multiple sources of data and information, and streamlining the day to day management of the service. The catchphrase, mission and purpose of EnrolNow One is “One Child – One Journey – One Source of Truth”.
When trouble such as the current COVID-19 pandemic strikes, this type of detailed information, relating to enrolment, medical details, parental employment, immunisation and other core elements of a child’s enrolment is often “landlocked” under non-cloud based solutions, with leaders needing to be physically present onsite to log into computers and systems, potentially exposing them to greater risks than if they were able to work from home.
This “landlocking” can be especially problematic when rapid responses are required. Take for example, recent announcements from state governments regarding funding in the current times of uncertainty.
Multiple state governments have announced funding for children who were enrolled in a kindergarten or preschool program in Term Two – but with so many families withdrawing their child’s enrolment in response to the pandemic, leaders without strong systems were left scrambling to gather accurate numbers of projected enrolments from which to determine their likely revenue.
Faced with the immediate challenge of communicating these updates to families, advising them of the impact of the funding for their service, and understanding the families intentions to attend, enrol, or otherwise in Term Two, the need for accurate and timely information about projected enrolments was highlighted strongly.
Those services utilising EnrolNow were able to have access to this information quickly and easily. The EnrolNow team built the following features into customer portals within 24 hours of relevant funding announcements:
- Templated email to parents with Department of Education information and any further details specific to their service
- Online form to capture families response to the care options available, with responses updating their EnrolNow One database
- Expected attendance reports for Term 2.
While the platform was designed with program orientated services in mind, it is by no means a “one size fits all” solution. After an online workshop with each new client, the platform is individually customised for each service. The EnrolNow team continually adjusts the platform to meet the exact needs of every service, in every state, in response to ongoing developments within the sector.
As well as providing rapid response in times of change, having access to an up-to-date database can be used to support services in many ways:
- Download real-time/day-to-day reports (authorised to collect, medical details etc)
- Download Department of Education reporting
- Reminders and automated workflows like immunisation statement due
- Prioritise waitlists ordered by program type and year
- Emailing (bulk or individual ) via templated emails
- Ask parents to accept and reject offers that automatically update the database.
Now more than ever, the importance of having access to agile cloud-based solutions is paramount. Services of all types, including those not supported by CCS aligned platforms, need to have data accessible at any point in time, from anywhere. Being able to easily fire off emails to selected customer groups is imperative during times of rapid change.
With conditions in the ECEC sector changing daily in response to mandated government changes and healthcare recommendations, having immediate access to information about enrolments is paramount to success during these uncertain times and beyond.