On a mission to inspire young minds to dream big, Jennifer Peck, owner of Inspiration Station Early Learning Center in Pennsylvania, is committed to continuous improvement and welcomes innovative ideas.
Early in Jennifer’s career, she was a teacher in the public school system.
However, after becoming a parent herself, her passion shifted to early education.
Jennifer opened a small daycare in her home and later expanded to a high-quality learning center in 2014.
Committed to Excellence
Today, with the help of her team of 20+ teachers and caregivers, Inspiration Station enriches the lives of 132 children on a daily basis.
Her center also boasts a 4-star rating with the Keystone STARS program, the highest rating possible, meaning parents can expect the best early learning experience for their children and have confidence in the quality care and high standards they provide.
It hasn’t always been easy, though.
Jennifer remembers days when she worried about making it financially, and the struggles she had with enrollment and staff issues during the early days.
She said she learned a lot about best practices for running her business through her membership in the Child Care Success Academy and she doesn’t have those problems anymore.
Using 1Place is a Child Care Business Best Practice
Her time in the CCSA introduced her to more and more best practices and resources to help her run her business more efficiently.
She was already using several online systems for other aspects of running her business when she was introduced to 1Place Childcare.
She was immediately intrigued because she was looking for ways to eliminate paper where she could.
She quickly discovered that using 1Place to ensure her own business best practices were followed was a child care business best practice by itself.
Jennifer had been working on getting many systems in place, reducing the need for paperwork, and making the workload easier in general.
She was surprised to learn how well 1Place helped her accomplish these goals.
Lynn Wenger, VP of 1Place Childcare Operations vividly remembers her conversation with Jennifer. “I often hear owners saying they are tech savvy and they can do it on their own. The reality is that available time is the limiting factor, not skill. In Jennifer’s case, she not only had skill but she had a vision, purpose, drive, and quite frankly MADE it happen on time. Jennifer is a model client in this way.”
Today Jennifer still relies on her 1Place client service rep, Annette, but her vision for “always better” motivates every part of her successful implementation.
Keeping Staff Files in Compliance
One of the most innovative ways Jennifer uses 1Place is to keep all the required staff paperwork for licensing.
She says, “All I have to do is send them the PDF and they can see all the documentation, clearances, first aid, physicals, high school diploma, required trainings, and the dates that they were all completed.”
She loves the way that 1Place makes it easy to see if anything is missing and allows her to stay in compliance.
She recently added her employee performance evaluation to the system and is looking forward to seeing how that works.
Rewarding Her Team – Tracking Staff Bonus Criteria
In addition to managing the backend office aspect of staff requirements, Jennifer uses the system to reward her teachers!
She has outlined criteria that her staff members can earn monthly bonuses on, as long as they score 100%.
She’s set up two tiers to allow the staff the chance to still earn part of the bonus, even if they miss out on the other.
For the first tier, staff members self-evaluate and affirm that they were in compliance with the school’s active supervision criteria.
This list includes things such as: “Interacted with children sitting on the floor making meaningful connections,” and “Used transition songs when activities change.”
On the self-evaluation, Jennifer also asks the team to share two ways they went above and beyond this month, and to share a new and innovative idea for the center classroom or the children.
This is an amazing staff retention and culture building technique. It reinforces the behavior you expect from your team, while also showing you value their opinions and ideas.
For the second bonus tier, Jennifer evaluates things like attendance and completion rates of classroom checklists.
The team is more motivated than ever to stay in compliance and complete their checklists because they are bonused on their level of participation.
Icing on the Cake…There’s More!
Jennifer is also using the 1Place ticketing system. She admitted that prior to implementing 1Place in her center, she would often forget after a maintenance issue was reported to her, meaning delays in needed repairs.
Jennifer is not unique in that sometimes the basic repairs could mean a citation which is preventable in so many instances.
Jennifer says, “With the tickets, I am getting things replaced or repaired in a timely manner. Also, the overall quality of care has improved, since teachers are checking off on active supervision and other things that indicate quality care daily. “
Now, Inspiration Station is enjoying improved health and safety center wide, assurance that the team is in compliance with best practice and brand standards, peace of mind knowing their employee files are always up to date and complete, increased staff motivation with the bonus criteria in place, and more.
Jennifer said she would definitely recommend 1Place Childcare to other center owners because, “It brings you into the 21st century! You get to keep everything electronically and organized, which is huge. It’s also a great communication tool to help you be on the same page with your team.”