In higher demand than ever before, Creches satisfy a specific need that has otherwise been unavailable in the childcare setting. Unlike daycare centres, a creche is a day nursery for infants or young children, offering temporary care for a few hours throughout the day. Before integrating temporary childcare, parents were forced to take their children with them on errands; shopping, working out, getting their hair done, or attending an exhibition. These services can include on-site establishments, such as schools or shopping centres, or off-site facilities providing occasional childminding.
As the world has shifted throughout the pandemic, minimising contact has become a top priority. Businesses need to encourage contactless transactions whenever possible, especially with centres offering flexible services. The increased change in care within a temporary setting, like a creche, compounds contact points between staff within facilities and parents. These randomised visits increase the likelihood for exposure, despite health and safety guidelines being followed.
Minimising Contact Points with Digital Solutions
Centres need to establish creche management software that promotes contactless registration. Minimising hot points within a centre can promote healthy establishments, following social distancing throughout the pandemic. Automating the sales pipeline can create an actionable sales funnel for past, previous, and potential children needing care.
As technology continues to take hold of daily activities, a push for paperless facilities is imminent. Globally, approximately 5.7 billion people own a mobile phone; capitalising on the integration of cellular devices only makes economic sense. Digital systems allow users to enrol, accept and verify vacancies online, providing ease of use for providers and parents. Registrations are contactless, with current details available for instant verification. In an emergency, a digital creche is safer and more secure than facilities relying on paperwork. All documentation stays within the online system, protected and locked away from unauthorised viewing.
Enhanced communication for creche facilities
All registrations are completed virtually through the Cheqdin app, social media channels, or directly through the website (if the facility is permanent). Interested parties can view current availability and opening, depending on daily staff availability. These automated services can minimise over staffing or prevent overlapping services for children.
Anyone wanting to leave their child in care can complete the registration forms in real-time online, complete with credit and debit card payments for parents. Services are paid at the time of service without needing to follow up and chase payment. These services allow increased access to childcare for parents while growing membership and use of facilities.
Minimising Overhead Loss and Vacancies Through Social Media
Cloud-based platforms such as Cheqdin offer simplified online registration processes. It also brings online integration with bookings and availability. Centres are able to develop personalised forms, offer link development, and assess brand functionality through a user-friendly interface. From there, marketing efforts can maximise different communication mediums (like social media, for example). Promoting daily vacancies online connects potential customers directly with the creche. It also works to target SEO simultaneously through linking and cross-platform promotion.
Understanding Creche Requirements
Ideally, a UK based centre will follow Ofsted or Care Inspectorate Childcare guidelines when developing care and ratios depending on the centre location. One staff member should care for three children between three months and two years. One staff member can mind four children if they’re between two and three years, while staff can supervise eight children between the ages of three to eight years.
The minimum and maximum age limits within the facility is dependant on the owner. Some companies are comfortable with infants as young as six weeks old. Most facilities will have a maximum age for care as well. Depending on your centre’s space and staffing capacities, choose an appropriate number of children you can accommodate within the centre at one time. Having two-way communication with all parents within the facility can lessen capacity concerns. For example, confirming a child’s allergies or physical capabilities can quickly receive a response. Likewise, confirming pick-up times or individual permission (who can pick up the children at the end of the care) is simplified with online verification.
Regulatory Requirements for Creches
Currently, in the United Kingdom, temporary facilities don’t need to register. The government has proposed new standards for creches, in an attempt to rid inconsistencies between centres. There are exceptions to Ofsted registration; if a facility is open for more than four hours a day or providing care for children under eight years more than 14 days a year, the centre must register.
Likewise, if a centre doesn’t offer on-site services for more than two hours a day, you’ll have to register the facility. Centres not requiring registration will still have to follow the basic rules of childcare settings outlined by the Childcare Act 2006. Insurance is essential for all childcare and activity settings, including temporary facilities or centres outside of Ofsted registration requirements. As such, owners should confirm protection for such a facility.
The United States offers similar terms for any facility offering temporary care. Being exempt from licensing requirements doesn’t remove the health and safety requirements outlined by state and federal guidelines. The National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations can provide detailed guidelines on what is required to safely run and manage a creche in the US.
Australia has many guidelines and regulations to support the establishment, including the Education and Care Regulatory Unit within the Government of Western Australia. This document aims to inform and educate organisations to establish temporary care, excluding the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012.
You might also like:
Marketing Tips to Spread the Word About Your Creche > View Article
How to Get Started with a Parent Referral Program for Your Childcare Centre > View Article