Amaze Early Education Centres operate in nine locations throughout Queensland, with more than 130 staff caring for 3500 children every week.
Until recently, each service within the group relied on various, inefficient paper-based forms and checklists to manage compliance, in what Amaze co-founder Phil Mazey describes as an ‘administration nightmare’.
Their centres often struggled to meet daily compliance requirements, there were no consistent standards in completing the paperwork, and too much time was spent completing forms only to have the data filed away in boxes, unseen – and underutilised.
Through the 1Place app, which is accessible on an iPad in every Amaze learning environment, staff now have standardised forms and checklists at their fingertips.
Open and close procedures, incident reporting, emergency drills and food safety are among the checklists used by the group.
Compliance checks that previously took 20 minutes now take five. And educators no longer have to leave the floor to print out incident forms.
Once a form has been completed, Amaze management can quickly and easily see whether a service is compliant, and identify potential issues.
“It all comes down to time, and time is a precious commodity. So having efficient processes that provide us with immediate and transparent access to data is a big thing,” says Phil.
For Phil, the transparency that 1Place provides is key for the organisation at board level, and also for the leadership team.
“1Place enables us to identify things that are taking place in each of our centres that we all need to be aware of.”
As a management tool, this gives leaders the ability to question centres based on their scores to keep everyone accountable.
And at a centre level, it means staff are better connected.
“Some of our educators may not be in each centre every day or every week, but they can easily check what’s been going on without having to have been there physically.”
While the forms are standardised, there are many elements of the 1Place software that can be tweaked to suit the unique needs of each service.
“There doesn’t seem to be any barriers around checklists and alerts and reports. 1Place is very flexible,” says Phil.
Long Day Care Centre Support Manager Melanie Cunningham says being able to change the order of questions is particularly useful.
“We can structure the questions based on a centre’s layout, so it flows when the educators have the iPad in their hand and they’re walking through doing their open or close procedure. They’re not walking back and forth to different areas.”