As a Customer Success Specialist at HiMama, I have spoken with hundreds of child care providers to make sure they’re getting the most out of their child care software.
One of the most common concerns I hear goes something like this:
“This is great and we’re all super excited about what the app can do…but how are my teachers supposed to find time to actually enter child updates? They can barely keep up as it is!”
Yes, it’s true, early childhood educators certainly have their hands full all day — but that doesn’t mean they don’t have time for reporting! The key is not where to find time, but to make the best use of the time they do have. To learn more about the origin of early childhood education and the many influences that make the field what it is today, check out our post about the history of early childhood education.
In this article, I’m going to share some best practices and tricks that I’ve found to be successful in helping teachers manage their time effectively to create thorough AND accurate child reports.
Start With Group Updates
If all of the children are doing the same activity, record this for everyone all at once. It’s much easier to add one update for all of the kids than adding one update per child. You can always personalize the entry later on if a child achieves a new milestone!
Popular group updates include:
- Activity updates
- Group pictures
- Group food updates
Focus on One Thing at a Time
With so many different types of updates, it can be easy to get a bit overwhelmed, especially when you’re starting out. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, start small build on your successes.
Identify which type of update will be most meaningful for the parents in your center and start with that. For example, for infants it might be food updates but for older kids it might be pictures of their day. Work on adding that one update until it’s muscle memory and you can add it quickly, then pick something new to work on.
Add Updates During Nap Time
Ahhhh nap time, the most magical part of the day…when all goes well, of course! When the kids are sleeping, many teachers have a few extra minutes of quiet time when they can add updates. Just make sure you’re only leaving updates you are most likely to remember later on rather than overly detailed ones that you may forget.
End of the Day
Many centers choose to add updates at the end of the day when things are quieter. You can also add updates after the kids are checked out, as long as you haven’t yet sent the daily report yet.
Take Advantage of the Activity Planner
Teachers can plan their activities in advance and then import them into the daily report. This adds all the important information about the activities automatically into the report, saving the teachers precious time that they would otherwise have to spend typing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Accept Help
If you’re lucky enough to have an assistant staff member or student teacher with you in the classroom, don’t be afraid to ask them to add an update while you’re busy with the kids.
Schedule Reminders for Your Staff
If staff are forgetful, try scheduling a classroom alert to remind them to take attendance or add updates during the day.
Do you have any other tricks for finding time for child updates? What have you found to be most helpful? Let us know in the comments!