OWNA grows NSW Dept of Ed partnership with preschool support
The Sector > Provider > General News > OWNA partners in new NSW Digital Hub, extends support to community and mobile preschools

OWNA partners in new NSW Digital Hub, extends support to community and mobile preschools

by Jason Roberts

April 30, 2024

OWNA, the award winning childcare management software provider, has confirmed significant progress has been made towards the completion of the data and management solution of the NSW Department of Education’s new Digital Hub


The Digital Hub will be a state of the art, centralised system for collecting data, reporting and administering program funding for early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers in New South Wales and will replace, over time, the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).


Once launched, the Digital Hub will become the primary platform for interaction between ECEC providers and the Department and will be used to collect information to support all funding activities by the Department, making the annual preschool census a lot easier and also supporting the delivery of the National Preschool Reform Agreement. 


“We are very excited to be involved in this game changing initiative from the NSW Department of Education,” Phong Trac, OWNA’s Chief Operating Officer said. 


“OWNA has a long history of ‘leaning in’ to support key stakeholders in the early learning sector with a view to making sure service leaders have the most efficient tools at their disposal to ensure they can do their jobs day in and day out.”


The results of this important initiative will be transformative, providing many more traditional early learning organisations with a straightforward pathway towards digitisation while also helping more families to access important preschool funding.


Significant benefits to be felt by community and mobile preschool organisations 


It is understood that as many as 37 per cent of community and mobile preschools surveyed by the NSW Department of Education currently rely on paper based systems to manage their data submission needs. 


This not only creates bandwidth challenges, it also opens up the risk of mistakes creeping into processes and ultimately could impact the number of families that are able to participate in NSW funding programs. 


OWNA has been working with the Department of Education to address these challenges through the Digital Hub platform, but also working with preschool providers directly to help them be in a position to connect to and benefit from the Digital Hub once it comes online. 


“This is a really important part of the project for us,” Mr Trac said. 


“We know from the Department’s internal survey that a large proportion of community and mobile preschools are still using paper based systems which will be incompatible with the Digital Hub and that these providers will need support to transition properly.”


Notably, OWNA leverages web based preschool enrolment forms which act as the source from which relevant data is extracted from and passed onto the Digital Hub. This measure will streamline the process for preschools to access vital funding without any significant system disruption. 


Larool Pre-school in NSW vouches for OWNA smarts in this crucial area


Melinda Valis, the administration manager at Larool Pre-School in Thornleigh, New South Wales is a perfect example of the type of early learning organisation the Department of Education, and by extension OWNA are looking to support. 


Larool Pre-school, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, is funded by the NSW Government with funds being used to reduce families’ fees.


“The continual changes to the funding system provided by the NSW Government have been challenging for pre-schools, including the way the funding has been distributed and passed onto families,” Ms Valis said. 


“That’s why we see the Digital Hub as being an exciting change for pre-schools through using technology to reduce administrative burdens. It’s great that companies such as OWNA are taking into account the specific needs of pre-schools and supporting us through the transition to using the Digital Hub.”


Larool Pre-School has been working with OWNA since January 2022, advocating for a software system specifically designed for pre-schools needs. OWNA’s close proximity to the needs of the community pre-school sector puts it in a very strong position to add real value to the Digital Hub project. 


“We are very grateful for OWNA’s support over the years. The extent of this support has even extended to the creation of a  new Facebook group for pre-schools that has been set up for questions, discussions and ideas, as well as the development of a pre-school OWNA guide based on one I have created for Larool,” Ms Valis explained. 


To learn more about how OWNA can help click here . Find out more about the Digital Hub here

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