Efficient time management is the name of the game when it comes to the success of any childcare business.
On a daily basis, centres are operating in a whirl of drop-offs, pick-ups, engaging with parents, programming, and planning – all while keeping children’s care and learning at the very top of the priority list.
With all of these things going on, casting a critical eye over your centre’s rostering processes is likely the least of your worries. However, we’ve learned a thing or two while working with childcare centres across Australia and New Zealand, there are a few key indicators we think signal a need for a rostering overhaul.
1. You’re paper-based
Manual, paper-based rostering may be an effective practice for small or growing childcare centres, but taking your rostering digital can give both yourself – and your employees – time back to do what you do best (hint: it’s not rostering, unless you’re really into that kind of thing).
2. You’re working with decentralised processes
Imagine this: you’re preparing a roster for the month ahead. You’ve done an amazing job – educator to child ratios are perfect, you’ve got rooms covered for peak pick-up and drop-off times. You finalise your roster and share it with the team… Only for one of your full-time employees to remind you that they’d booked leave months ago. This throws your whole roster out of whack. You think to yourself: ‘This would have been easier if the roster and leave were managed and kept up-to-date in one centralised place’.
3. You’re managing multiple centres
Managing multiple centres can be a rewarding, fulfilling position to be in for childcare centre managers. The not-so-fun part can happen when it comes to managing qualifications, communication, and staffing between locations for your rosters, all of which can start taking up too much of your valuable time.
4. Time is being lost
Admin can be more consuming than you might realise. When mistakes are made or changes are needed, often a manual process must be completely redone rather than simply updated. This can result in time spent making phone calls, emailing managers and texting colleagues to rectify. As insignificant as it may seem, we know that spending a whole morning filling shifts for the week ahead can be far better spent working on more important things for your business.
5. Rosters are prone to errors
Everyone trips up with administrative errors from time to time, but where they matter most is when your centre’s employees depend on them. Not only is approving, fixing and updating schedules and reports a hassle, but it can also impact compliance and reporting requirements.
6. Struggles with award rates
How does your centre currently calculate and manage award rates and pay rules – paper, spreadsheet or software? If you answered yes to either of the first two – that’s your sign. The good news is that it can be done far more efficiently!
7. Headaches with educator-to-child ratios
Efficient rostering will not only create the perfect working harmony but a much better learning environment for the children that attend your centre. If you’re struggling to stay on top of educator to child ratios across each room, it might be time for a process that enables staff allocation with ease.
8. Last-minute shift changes
Managing shifts takes great communication and organisational skills. But even with careful planning, there can always be unforeseen conflicts that throw a spanner in the works. This, paired with some of the challenges above can mean you’ve landed yourself in a bit of a mess! The benefit to upgrading how you roster means that you can fill shifts quickly, and get a holistic view of the business. With workforce management software, you can see where your roster has gaps and contact employees with shift options within seconds. This ensures you have the right people in the right place at the right time.
If you are seeing these issues arise within your childcare centre, then it’s definitely time to think of solutions. Though it may seem overwhelming at first, upgrading your childcare centre’s rostering doesn’t have to add to your worries. Get in touch to find out more about how Ento can drive better outcomes for your business.