For Glynne Pascal, Quality Assurance Manager for Mid Florida Community Services at Head Start / Early Head Start, 1Place Childcare has made observations for quality active supervision and proper Covid response monitoring a more cohesive process.
We talk to Glynne about what active supervision means.
“My short version is: you have to know where all the children are at all times, know their needs and position yourself so they’re never “lost”,” Glynne explains. “Which means they’re not escaping. They’re always safe. It’s about making sure you’re on your business.”
Keeping track of many children of different ages and stages is obviously no easy task but having quality active supervision is foundational to all other educational curricula. Previous to using 1Place to monitor the quality of active supervision in Head Start centres, monitoring was paper-based, so reporting was often done after the fact.
This meant gaps in the quality measures could go on for some time without being remedied. Using 1Place means class observers can report immediately through the dashboard to supervisors or managers, who can feed these flagged issues down the line and problems can be solved efficiently.
“There’s a scan-and-count system that we developed in-house, which we’ve incorporated into the 1Place monitoring tool. So we take all the training tools and we put them into the observation tool in 1Place and that brings it all together in a nice, neat little package,” says Glynne.
When high-risk reports come through, the issue itself is remedied as soon as possible and the report is used for training purposes so the problem isn’t repeated.
For staff, rather than view this level of monitoring as punitive, Glynne reports the intention is for it to be supportive. “It’s a safety net before the real safety net is needed,” she says, adding that often only fresh eyes can truly observe a situation. “Sometimes what’s being overlooked is the very basic ‘basics’ because we are consumed with higher level training.”
When it comes to Covid response monitoring, Head Start has not let their guards down.
Throughout the pandemic and even now, where protocols are loosening in other areas, they have continued with spot checks and scheduled checks on centres to monitor the level of adherence to high-level protocols. The net result is families and staff can be assured the protocols are being met so that the school can stay open and staff fully employed.
Quality Assurance teams carry a tablet and use 1Place to monitor hygiene, cleaning, sign-in processes, mask wearing and social distancing in centres.
Photos are taken and loaded onto 1Place to both flag issues and give kudos where due. This high level of adherence and monitoring of protocol gives parents and teachers confidence that the centre is a safe place for children to attend.
Aside from safety, having a centre close down for a Covid case has a flow-on effect to the jobs of parents and teachers and the economy at large and Glynne says this is something they wholeheartedly wish to avoid.
A centre’s Covid response adherence is given a percentage rating which must stay above 90% in order for that centre to carry on. Often simple fixes will bring a centre’s rating up and these can be rectified easily once an issue is flagged in 1Place.
“Fortunately in this scenario, and thanks to 1Place, we have the ability to either have these reports go directly to the supervisors that oversee the centre so they get the scores immediately or they go to me and I am the one who pushes them out to the centre,” says Glynne.
This proactive approach means there is less risk taken on a day-to-day basis and centres cannot slip back into pre-Covid ways.
Glynne sees both active supervision and Covid response monitoring as essential and priceless tasks. “One child being unsupervised for even a moment could cost everything to many people,” she says.
“There is no price on getting it right. We couldn’t do any of this without 1Place. Having all the data come right to my inbox from the dashboard and being able to spot check even if I’m not at my desk – all of those things are so critical to what we do.”