LineLeader’s 2024 Benchmark report surveys nearly 5,000 ECEC professionals to yield best practice insights
LineLeader, the leading childcare lead management software provider, has published its 10th annual benchmark report detailing key insights gathered from a survey of nearly 5,000 early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals and the analysis of data received from its more than 63,000 monthly users across 6,000+ early learning centres world wide.
The “Scaling for Success: Uniting Teams for Greater Profitability” report reflects LineLeader’s long standing commitment to the early learning sector to leverage its substantial network to identify value added trends and strategies that support leaders to better achieve their business objectives.
“Our report this year is our largest to date in terms of respondents,” Lineleader CEO Brett Neller said.
Nearly 5,000 ECEC professionals contributed to the report, from a range of roles including centre, area and regional managers as well as business owners and executives from some of Australia and the United States’ largest and fastest growing groups.
“The most striking observation in this year’s report was an overwhelming consensus that childcare organisations of all sizes are seeking ways to grow their businesses quickly, through better centre performance or network growth, but importantly not at the expense of the quality of their programs or brand integrity,” Mr Neller remarked.
“Accordingly the Scaling for Success report highlights the best practices being deployed across the sector to meet these goals and safeguarding the integrity and quality of service delivered in the process.”
The key findings in this year’s report are as follows:
Key Takeaway #1: Adopting automation to drive productivity
Nearly a third of childcare teams are spending a full day a week on manual processes
The LineLeader survey found that manual tasks such as tracking staff hours and payroll, managing subsidies, processing enrolment paperwork, scheduling tours, following up with leads and reporting on business performance still dominated weekly work loads.
What is so striking about these findings is that despite intentions to optimise and grow their businesses, many leaders have been relatively slow to embrace simple and effective automation strategies to improve profitability and work loads.
Whether it be simple applications like automated lead capture or self service tour scheduling or more sophisticated reporting and diagnostic modules, there are an abundance of tried and tested systems that can alleviate what can be a real impediment to effective organisations scaling, namely manual processes.
Key Takeaway #2: Providing a consistent experience for families
To hit enrolment goals consistent positive family experiences must be embedded
In 2024 consistency of experience across services is a top priority for leaders to embed as rising competition places a greater premium on reputation and loyalty in a bid to retain existing families and attract new ones.
Best practice in this area pointed to organisations who had embraced a degree of standardisation across key areas of parent interaction including communication personalisation, consistent branding across digital destinations, automated marketing campaigns and digitised registration paperwork.
As noted by the report “to deliver high quality care at speed and scale, operations must be completely dialed in. From the first introduction to the very last detail shared on a tour, the message needs to be clear, consistent and supported by visibly adopted best practices.”
Key Takeaway #3: Centralising enrolment for faster growth
To streamline processes across centres centralise enrolment with an airtight system
For 55 per cent of services surveyed scaling rapidly has been stated as critical, yet more than half of respondents say they have multiple team members across different centres interacting with families at the start of their enrolment journey
This can lead to fragmented information and without the right information sharing processes in place often requires families to repeat the same information over again, fill out paper based forms and actually be on site to deliver them. all of which are not conducive to a business looking to efficiently scale and optimise.
LineLeader has found that once an organisation approaches ten locations they find that a better conversion rate overall is achieved through a centralised enrolment model .
Key Takeaway #4: Using tech to break down information silos
Outdated tools and fragmented systems prevent collaboration and performance visibility
As more organisations rely on technology to gain a competitive edge, early learning leaders must ensure that their tech stack includes the right tools to engage with families from their initial inquiry to the first day and that the various components are able to “talk” to each other.
LineLeader has found that childcare organisations are often juggling six different software tools to manage their business operations which is not only inefficient but costly too.
The simplest way to break down silos, release value and trigger productivity gains is to ensure that a configurable centralised platform like LineLeader’s CRM system, with its APIs for deep integration with other software platforms, is deployed across the business.
Key Takeaway #5: Fuel better decisions with deeper data insights
With tech comes data, and with data comes insights and enhanced decision making
40 per cent of business leaders say they want more help from technology to make informed strategic decisions that drive real revenue growth and returns on investment, but with team members spending up to 10 hours per week on reporting these aspirations are coming at a cost.
For growing organisations this risk is compounded and increases the need for a centralised data management system with multi dimensional reporting capabilities and easily configured dashboards.
The team at LineLeader have worked hard to respond to this growing demand with next generation reporting capabilities providing leaders with insights at a moments notice that can then be incorporated into actions as required.
To receive this year’s “Scaling for Success: Uniting Teams for Greater Profitability” report please click here.
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