SPONSORED CONTENT: Nursery Story has been created to bring joy and ease to nursery management by simplifying day-to-day operations in this new complicated world.
An important part of this is ensuring that practitioners continue to work closely with parents and address any anxieties they might have.
While sending paper communications such as diaries from nursery to home and back is no longer recommended, communication with increasingly anxious parents has never been more vital.
‘We strongly believe nurseries are vital to the economy and the future of our children but with Covid-19 protocol changing on an almost daily basis, the admin burden is getting worse,’ says Danny Vilela, chief executive of Nursery Story.
‘We also understand, as parents ourselves, that quick, clear, communication with the nursery is vital.’
Using the Nursery Story app
At Small Steps Day Nursery in Oxfordshire, which opened in June this year, manager Becca Simmonds testifies to how the Nursery Story app goes a long way towards easing parents’ worries.
‘Before we opened we had planned to have communication books going backwards and forwards, but we realised that would not be possible,’ she says.
‘We use Nursery Story to send parents information every day – what their children have eaten, whether they have taken a nap. At the moment parents have to hand their child over at the door, so this technology gives them an insight into what is happening in the nursery. All our parents have responded to the app really well, they like it.’
Find out more about the app, which is available free for the remainder of the year.
Enhance the quality of your provision
Nursery Story can provide the solution to a wide range of operations – eliminating paperwork and feeing up time for practitioners to spend with children.
Simplicity is the key: practitioners can sign up with Nursery Story and hit the ground running, because it is intuitive and does not involve lengthy training.
Here is what it can do:
- Communicate with parents – keeping them in the loop about their child’s learning and their day in nursery, through real-time updates on activities, food and medicine, sleeping records, nappy changes, and more. The app can also be used for home learning.
- Maintain relationships between a child and their key person. Parents can send photos and videos, allowing the key person to initiate discussions back at the setting. ‘I see you went to the zoo at the weekend! What animals did you see?’ If a child cannot attend nursery the key worker can keep in touch through the app.
- Communicate new policy and practice to parents and between staff – increasingly important at a time of changing requirements as areas come in and out of lockdown
- Help establish new policies and procedures such as staggered drop off times
- Create easily accessible and detailed observations linked to the EYFS and the Characteristics of Effective Learning
- Keep all records up to date
- Support the new inspection regime, by ensuring practitioners have excellent knowledge of the children in their care with information about every child close to hand.
- Save money on paper and ink
Who will benefit from this software?
Managers, practitioners, parents and children all stand to gain – here’s how:
Managers can use the app to maintain an overview of the setting, giving a nursery-wide view of children’s development across different rooms, as well as accessing information on specific children, parents and staff via their profiles. Managers can also view observations before they are sent to parents if they prefer. Messages can be sent to groups as well as to individual parents, allowing newsletters or reminders to be shared with all parents.
Practitioners can access the app through their own tablet, or may share a tablet within a room. The colour-coded system makes it easy to record observations as they happen for specific areas of the EYFS and age groups, including photos and videos. These can be sent directly to parents if required or simply stored in a child’s profile. The app comes with a range of stored responses so practitioners can reply to parents with one tap if necessary, and also enables parents to be quickly contacted, for example if a child is ill, without the need to leave the room.
The familiar news feed style makes the system easy to navigate for parents, who can send messages as well as receive them. They can also use the app to complete any necessary admin – such as stating the child has no Covid symptoms – before they arrive, making drop-off run more smoothly.
To mark its launch, Nursery Story is giving the app for free for the remainder of 2020.
‘All we ask is your feedback and to be our biggest critic to help us improve nurseries and the childcare system,’ says Mr Vilela.