Child-centred management: Using software to complement your practiceSponsored
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
PARTNERSHIP CONTENT Advice on integrating digital tools to help you streamline processes and stay connected with everyone involved in a child’s development.
As an early years educator, nursery manager or childminder, your focus is spending quality time with the children in your care to support their development. However, there are many demands on your time, such as leading your team, building relationships with families, planning learning experiences, and running your business. In today’s digital age, integrating technology into your approach can be a game-changer. But what does this look like in practice?
In this feature, we’ll share some key ways you can harness the benefits of cost-effective software like Tapestry, to support your unique provision.
Organise your knowledge about each child
Early Years educators hold and recall a huge amount of information about every child’s learning and development. Digital tools can support you by acting as a memory jog to inform your provision for individual children, as well as offering valuable prompts in conversations with families, colleagues, or visiting specialists. The Tapestry app allows you to collect and organise key observations you’ve chosen to directly benefit each child, helping you consider the quality interactions you provide for them. Meanwhile, the browser version of Tapestry is on hand to help you with your administration, monitoring and reflection processes.
Inform your child-centred assessment
An efficient and supportive monitoring tool enables your team to focus on child-centred assessment – noticing what a child can do and what they already know, building on this with them in the moment and in your planning for future provision. With Tapestry, you can record key observations using the EYFS flags, and quickly mark them with any areas of learning so you can see what’s been covered at a glance. The Areas of Concern screen running alongside the EYFS 2021 flag set gives you a staff-only space for educators to use their professional judgement and record where a child needs support. Subsequent changes to your provision can be planned using the Reflections feature. Tapestry has a variety of assessment frameworks
already included, but there is also the option to upload your own bespoke frameworks and flag sets to complement your practice.
Communicate effectively to support parental engagement
When families are informed, involved and enabled, children’s overall learning experience is enhanced. Tapestry has a range of communication features, meaning relatives only have to be familiar with one digital tool. Share photos and videos through Observations and encourage families to upload their own.
Provide feedback with Reports, using the templates provided or by creating custom ones to suit your needs. Use Memos to help parents stay in the loop, and upload policies and guidance to Documents to keep them updated with key information. A Messaging feature is also on its way!
Streamline your admin
Technology can simplify tasks such as invoicing and scheduling, creating a well-organised and transparent management system for everyone. Tapestry’s Booking system is being constantly updated, and now allows its users to generate and send invoices to parents. Set your ratios so you can plan ahead, create regular schedules for children and add/remove extra bookings and charges for products and consumables. Tapestry will calculate the rest. A smooth process contributes to reducing stress for parents, nurturing those all-important positive relationships.
Develop your reflective practice
Having a digital platform that enables you to visualise your reflective process and connect it directly to positive impacts on children’s learning, can help individual educators and whole teams to evaluate their provision. The Reflections feature on Tapestry facilitates and supports reflective practice by providing a staff-only space for educators to share and discuss thoughts and actions. You can link together reflections and observations, creating a timeline for a project and its outcomes, or to note your decision making when using the Areas of Concern screen to monitor children’s progress.
Use video to support learning and development
Video is a valuable tech tool for involving children in their learning process and developing metacognitive language. Depending on their stage of development, children can watch themselves playing and learning on video to prompt talk about their thinking, reflecting on what they did and how it went.
You can upload video to a child’s Tapestry learning journal for them to share in the setting and at home, adding follow-up ideas for talking points with parents through the Activities feature. Using video supports your staff development too, enabling you to notice children’s non-verbal communication, and providing opportunities to observe and discuss child development and good practice.
Prepare for positive transitions
Transitioning from home to setting is an important time for a child and their family. Having technology at your fingertips to help you make this experience as gentle and informed as possible can make all the difference. Tapestry’s All About Me page can be updated by parents and carers on their own or with support from their Key Person, providing valuable information during a child’s time at your setting. Your team can prepare video clips of the environment and staff for parents to talk about with their child, building familiarity. Once a child has begun their settling in period, parents are reassured through the day about their care using the Care Dairy, and about their first experiences by sending an observation. Meanwhile, you can prepare your admin, setting up a child’s regular booking schedule.
Weaving it all together
When used thoughtfully, technology can complement and support your unique provision. Integrating digital tools helps you streamline processes and stay connected with everyone involved in a child’s development. Tapestry is designed by educators who understand you need software that helps you take care of the many aspects of running an early years setting, so you can focus on teaching and learning with each child.
Find out how to access your free trial with Tapestry here