Why Data Security Is So Important With JourneyTree

security

Why Data Security Is So Important For Early Learning Centres And Their Families

Watching a child learn, develop and grow is exciting and creates memories worth recording and treasuring.
Smartphones, tablets and computers make it simple for us to store and share information about our children. But high profile data security breaches, such as the ones we’ve seen affect Target, Kmart and Sony recently, are there to remind us how important it is to ensure we have excellent data security protocols.

Avoid future embarrassment for children

Dropping your child off at their early learning centre can be very difficult at times. It’s easy to worry that you’re missing out on witnessing significant milestones, and even the everyday discoveries your child is experiencing.
Online tools are an excellent way to bridge this gap between parent and carer, as well as a way to store special moments for the longer term.
However, some of these discoveries – such as using the toilet correctly for the first time – may not be something a child wants her friends to look at on her fifteenth birthday!
Information sharing is just so easy these days that we sometimes forget who the potential audience may be. It’s important to keep data about our children secure to avoid any future embarrassment.

Avoid criminal contact

It’s a sad fact of modern life that the internet can be a very unsafe place for our children when not managed securely.
The dangers faced by our children online are well recognised by the Australian Federal Police’s Online child sex exploitation unit. Predators seeking to ‘groom’ children for abuse may turn to the internet to find personal details, including photographs. Failing to secure the data we store about our children can make them a prime target.
It would be hard for a child to distinguish a stranger from a friend if the stranger seemed to know personal details about them. The child may think they’re talking to a friend of their parents, rather than someone who has simply hacked into an unsecured treasure trove of personal information about the child.

Keeping personal details private

Good data security ensures that information about families is safe from prying eyes. Even if your online information contains nothing particularly damaging to the family’s reputation or the child’s future, there are also issues like identity theft and credit card fraud to consider.
Data routinely collected by early learning centres and stored digitally includes:
• child’s name, address and date of birth;
• child’s medical history, including immunisations, accidents and illnesses;
• family relationship history, including any family court orders;
• behavioural challenges and development issues faced.
Aside from any potential criminal activity arising from security breaches, this is the kind of family information that’s often best kept in the hands of a few.
Using secure software, such as JourneyTree, to store information protects the privacy and safety of children and their families.

Learn more about online safety for children

Children’s eSafety Commissioner
Stay Smart Online
ThinkUKnow

For more information about secure early learning centre software, contact JourneyTree today.


Transitioning To Big School With JourneyTree

Off to school

Transitioning To Big School:
Your Questions Answered

The transition from kindergarten to school is a big one for children and their parents. Your head spins with the increase in hours that your child will now be in formal education. Your mind reels at the idea of someone so small playing in a yard full of children who are so big!
Here are 5 questions you will be thankful you knew the answer to before entering the world of primary school.

1. What does the National Curriculum say about what my child needs to know?

Schools use the National Curriculum as a guide for teaching and learning strategies, as well as student outcomes. You can see what is expected at the end of Foundation year here. Don’t be dismayed by the exhaustive list as most children are developmentally ready to learn these skills in their first year of schooling.

2. Should I be worried about my child being shy?

Speak to your child’s kindergarten teacher about their transition. If you and your child’s teacher think they are socially and emotionally ready for school then having a shy personality is absolutely OK. Teachers are equipped to deal with students who are feeling anxious about starting school. Don’t despair if your child isn’t the one running off without a goodbye to happily play with their new friends. Most children will get there in time.

3. I’m not as organised as I would have hoped. What do teachers expect on the first day?

It depends on the school as to what you need to bring on the first day. Some schools ask for books to be covered and pencils labelled, others don’t! Try not to pack any ‘extras’ for your child on the first day such as a bulky pencil case filled with stationery. Going above and beyond what the school has asked isn’t necessary and your child might end up wasting time digging around in their bag or pencil case to find things they need.

4. How healthy do lunchboxes need to be?

The summer holidays prior to school starting are a good time to take a look at your child’s daily routine and food consumption. Gradually get them used to eating at times during the day that are similar to when they would eat at school.
If you love creating lunches that are works of art then that’s great! However, don’t feel pressured for your child to have the ‘perfect lunchbox’ or you might find it comes home still full.
Ensure you pack a range of healthy and filling foods for your child that will sustain them through a busy day. Don’t forget to account for any allergy policies that may be present in the school.

5. How important is reading the set reader?

Your child will be proud as punch to bring home their first school reader. Not only will reading the reader each night reinforce the skills being learnt at school, it will also start a habit that will continue on throughout schooling and maybe into adulthood.
Reading with children helps them learn to enjoy the process of letter recognition and storytelling. Confident reading is an important life skill, so take the time to read the set text and set the habit early!
Most importantly, keep up great communication with your child’s daycare or early learning centre. Your educators will help you know exactly where your child is at academically, socially and emotionally before heading off to big school.

JourneyTree is a great way to establish comprehensive, regular communication between educators and families. Contact us today to learn more!


Ten tips for branding Child Care Centres. [guest post by Peter Sinner of Sin Design and Branding]

Branding

Branding ELCs

Branding your business is not just for the big guns. Every business needs to invest time and effort into making sure their brand is solid. Early Learning Centres and Child Care Services are no exception – in fact, the nature of what these services offer mean that branding is an absolutely essential way for them to exist in a very competitive space.

In my work with many companies, most business owners focus on their feature set – the things they have. Things are not what a brand is about. It’s much more about the way people perceive you and there are a few things you can do to easily improve the way your brand speaks.

1. Branding is personal.

What people think of you IS important! Always look your best. There is no part of your business that can afford to look shabby – unless it’s shabby-chic of course!

2. Make your customers feel part of a tribe.

People like to feel a sense of belonging. It makes them feel safe. Safety and loyalty go hand in hand. And a loyal person is more likely to forgive you when you get things wrong… and we all get things wrong occassionally.

3. Have the courage to stand out from the crowd.

Don’t rely on following your competitors example. Sameness is a death sentence for business growth.

4. Tell a story.

It isn’t about the features, it’s about the community, the experiences, the personalities. Features need to be present – a bit like a skeleton. It supports your claims, your services. But you wouldn’t want to hang out with a skeleton – the fleshy bits are the good bits!

5. Find your single point of difference and build on it.

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everybody. Your brand is built on a few key parts that make it unique. It is the foundation of your strengths as a competitor. What do you do that the ELC down the road does not? How do you let your customers know this?

6. A centre’s branding is built on the culture of its staff.

Put effort into your internal communications, listen to your staff, make them feel appreciated. All your expensive marketing work can be completely undone by a sour face, a forgotten promise.

7. Get feedback.

Your customers can tell you what they want if you give them a safe place to do so. This means it may need to be confidential or unnamed feedback. Feedback is essential to improving communications and finding the small things that are giving people a bad impression.

8. Clean and clear.

Clean communication. Uncluttered signage. Obvious places to complete necessary tasks (signing in etc). A clear room. A neat reception desk. It’s vital to keep an impression that says ‘I’ve got this under control’. For ELC’s this means Trust. Trust is a massive investment to you from parents.

9. Move with the times.

Don’t let your competitors outshine you. Doing things the way they have always been done may work to a point, but you will eventually be left in the dark ages while your competitors are offering a better experience, service, facilities etc. Always keep your ear to the ground and be open to change. It demonstrates a brand that is forward thinking and on the same page as its customers.

10. Be consistent.

This is so important. It cements your brand strategy so that you achieve the impact you need within your industry. From signage, letterheads, email marketing, websites, centre posters – an endless list of opportunity where you can make sure your brand sings.

Guest Post by Peter Sinner, Sin Design and Branding Pty Ltd. For more information click here.