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2019! What an incredible year it has been. From live registers to billing and direct debit in a row, we thought we were just about done with new features for a while when along came some incredible new ideas from the team – which were just too good to be shelved for another year. Well, long story short, we set out full throttle once again, in true Cheqdin style, to roll it all out by 2020.

And come the end of 2019, here we are, all set to launch a bigger, better and all-new version of Cheqdin – Cheqdin 2.0!

Cheqdin 2.0: What to expect?

If you missed our November Digest, here’s a sneak peek at some of the new features we have for you with the new release in early 2020.

  • An ‘online registration platform’ to receive and manage your registrations and enrolment pipelines – the first of its kind for childcare providers and after-school clubs!
  • Interactive online bookings with flexible payment options including card payments
  • Parent portal access for your customers with booking and payment capabilities
  • Enhancements on existing parent communication and chat features
  • An all-new knowledge centre with rich how-to articles, live chat and a new ticketing system to give you an even better, seamless customer support experience
  • An improved User Interface, and a whole new look!

Well, that’s not all. There are a few more additions you will absolutely love. But we’ll keep that a surprise till the big launch.

Now, as for what we did in 2019, here’s a quick look at all the new features and enhancements we brought in over the year:

  • Launched Cheqdin’s Billing & Invoicing Module
  • Joined hands with leading Direct Debit providers GoCardless to launch a fully-automated Direct Debit system for childcare providers, with integrated options for part payments 
  • Introduced the revolutionary new ‘Rules-based invoicing’ tool for quicker invoicing
  • Implemented SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) well ahead of the regulatory deadline for extra security of our customers' transactions
  • Achieved PSD2 compliance in partnership with Stripe
  • Brought in Live Registers
  • Introduced RAM (Role Access Management) which allows centre admins to provide role-based access to staff and other users
  • Tweaked our web portal to include a new and easy to use centre settings menu
  • Released Absentee Module with a new and improved UI and the much-requested feature to edit/update/delete absentee records for historical dates.
  • Added a new sessions counter for bulk sign in-out (another popular request from our users)

Before we wind up for 2019, let’s not forget our round-up of what’s been happening in the industry this month.

Early years leaders call on new Government for urgent funding review.

Early year leaders from across the sector have called out to the Government to commit to a review of the funding rates for early years, after the Conservative party won a majority in the UK election on December 13. Unless the Government commits to review and cover the full cost of delivering the free thirty-hour-childcare scheme, the Government could leave the sector with an £800 million funding shortfall – which will increase parents fees and force more providers to close. Read more

No mention of ‘Early years’ in the Queen’s speech

Any mention of early years was conspicuously absent from the Queen's speech this year. Even as the queen set out the new plans for legislations and ‘people’s priorities’ including  NHS, public spending and law and order, there was a glaring lack of focus on early years or nursery education. The sector was also curiously excluded from businesses that would qualify for a 50% retail business discount.

The National Day Nurseries Association have pledged to discuss the omission with the Education Minister and ensure an increase in funding and business rate discounts are also made available to the nursery sector. Read more

The Department of Education releases new early years parents survey

The DofE has published its annual childcare and early years survey of parents for 2019. The reports suggest a vast majority of parents (more than 75%) rate their local childcare as very good and support male carers to take up the same responsibilities as female carers. However, it also points out a lack of awareness among more than 60% of parents, about the availability of Tax-Free childcare and the places for eligible two-year-olds. Read more

New Safeguarding Procedures rolled out in Wales

A new set of safeguarding guidelines has been launched in Wales to provide a standardised code of practice for people working with children and adults who are experiencing, or at the risk of neglect, abuse or harm. The guidelines will replace the All Wales Child Protection Procedures and various local safeguarding procedures that are currently in use. Read more

That's all for this year!

Here’s wishing all our dear readers a Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year. See you in 2020!

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