It goes without saying that any established child care organization knows their compliance responsibilities inside out, with well-established procedures in place to meet the numerous and ever-evolving requirements of regulators.
But this is 2020, and we are in the midst of a global pandemic that has catapulted your childcare center’s Health & Safety to the forefront of every parent’s mind. While you know you’ve always had compliance in-hand, parents are scared and need assurance as much as you need enrollments.
Here’s how you can turn your Health & Safety into a competitive advantage:
Step 1: Implement best-practice leadership by investing in technology
If you haven’t already, move your paper-based forms online. Classrooms have a unique set of requirements so look for a software solution that understands the specific needs of an education environment.
In her popular Fall Enrollment Bootcamp, The Child Care Success Company President and Founder Kris Murray emphasizes the importance of data in best-practice leadership.
She says gathering data electronically is paramount, and the impact of doing so is three-fold; use it to create dashboards and reports, then analyze them to understand strengths, and address the metrics that matter in order to continuously improve.
Kidz, Ink child care centers recently made the move to 1Place Childcare compliance software to both increase efficiency and utilize the vast amount of data they now collect from their various centers.
The software’s versatility, automation and features (such as signature capture and ability to include photographs in reports) meant it was the right fit. As well as becoming more efficient, moving forms online has the added benefit of reducing paper and printing costs, with organizations saving up to $1000 each month.
Step 2: Share and promote your data-driven results
Marketing can be costly to your childcare center but demonstrating how you are keeping your center, your employees, and your families safe is a low-cost way to promote your center.
Even though you’ve always done these things, now is the time to market it.
Murray, again, speaks of the importance of identifying how you are distinguishing your organization from your competition.
Compliance software gives you that advantage. Reports and graphs provide a clear visual of the efforts you take daily, weekly and monthly so you can clearly demonstrate the steps you are taking to ensure the wellness of everyone – or meet additional Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) standards.
A 5-star QRIS rating not only propels your organization ahead of the competition but can translate to an additional $10,000 to $12,000 in funding per location.
Step 3: Demonstrate adaptability amid uncertainty
With increasing CDC requirements and increasingly wary parents, being adaptable through Covid-19 and beyond is key.
Your software should make it easy for high-level users to add additional compliance requirements to checklists or modify them as needed, be it a reminder to check the mental health of children returning after lockdown, room temperature, extra sanitization, handwashing, or even documenting the spacing of cribs through photos.
Promote the fact that you are using technology to keep up with change in order to stay accountable and safe.
Step 4: Resolve priority issues quickly
Center facility hazards and complaints have two things in common: good news travels fast, bad news travels even faster.
In order to put your best foot forward as you promote your center, quick identification and resolution of priority issues is essential.
Online compliance software allows you to quickly submit tickets, track status, and escalate when and as necessary to ensure hazards and complaints are addressed in a timely manner.