Thanks to the extra workload, emotional stress, and compassion-fatigue brought on by the recent pandemic, teachers are under more pressure than ever.
But despite nearly one in four teachers saying they plan to leave their job by the end of 2021, many employers are struggling to make changes fast enough to alleviate the situation.
Clearly, things need to change.
Table of Contents
- Manage the classroom
- Automate your payments
- Communicate with parents
Save countless hours by automating repetitive enrollment tasks.
From offering extra support to using tech to support teacher roles, there’s a lot that ECE leaders can do to show employees they care. But with many ECE businesses still working hard to bounce back from the pandemic’s impact, it’s not always easy to make big changes behind the scenes.
So, how can ECE leaders make minimal effort changes to relieve teacher burnout, while dealing with the pandemic’s impact? How can admins and employees make time for more engagement with the kids? And what are the best tools to support teachers in their everyday tasks?
In this guide, we’ll answer all these questions and dive into some of the key ways process automation can help alleviate teacher burnout (with a little support from LineLeader by ChildcareCRM 😉).
How can process automation alleviate preschool teacher burnout?
Between March and October 2020, the satisfaction of K-12 employees fell from 69% to 44%, with 41% of teachers working more hours than before the pandemic.
Not what any business leader would want for their employees.
Thankfully, there’s a solution to alleviate employee burnout, reduce working hours and boost overall productivity: Process automation.
Here’s how automating your everyday tasks can help:
- Save teacher time: By getting those pesky admin tasks under control, you can save teachers the paperwork and give them more time to do what they do best — teach.
- Reduce operational costs: Less hours spent on repetitive tasks = less budget on overtime. Plus, process automation can help you collect enrollment fees faster and boost your brand to get more children enrolled.
- Increase performance: Happy employees are 13% more productive, so the more support you offer teachers, the better outcomes you get. Simple.
The outcomes are clearly worth it, but which core processes can benefit most from childcare automation? Let’s break it down.
Manage the classroom
All great journeys begin in the classroom — and from using prebuilt lesson plans to scheduling recurring menus, managing the early learning classroom has never been easier.
Here’s how to use LineLeader to automate daily tasks and save your teachers precious time:
- Create lesson plans: If you’ve been in ECE for long, you know lesson plans often stay within one classroom, forcing teachers to reinvent the wheel every time. But with LineLeader, you can create lesson templates, pull in existing lesson plans, and share weekly plans with classrooms across your center.
- Track Moments: These days, parents expect to be kept up-to-date with classroom activity. Moments allow teachers to bulk share daily insights at the click of a button. For example, if several children have been napping, you can track a Nap Moment and send it directly to each parent at the same time.
- Plan mealtimes: Keeping children well-fed and energized is a huge part of the ECE everyday, which is why planning and sharing menus is key for teachers. With LineLeader, you can add a menu, select it to recur, and share to every relevant class at the click of a button.
Automate your payments
Managing payments is probably one of the most important admin roles at your ECE center, and usually takes a lot of time and effort to get right.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
By automating your billing process, you can save time, take tedious admin tasks off your plate and reduce human error.
There are five steps to automating payments in LineLeader. And the good news? Once you’ve set it up, you don’t need to lift a finger:
- Complete your center’s settings: First off, add your center information into the app. You only have to do this once, so it appears on all parent billing correspondence.
- Enter your plans and items: Add your pricing plans and items, so you can charge recurring or one-off costs to a child’s account on a set schedule.
- Enroll children in plans: Once you’ve set up your pricing plans, enroll each child to the relevant plan, then watch the fees come in automatically with zero chasing or emailing.
- Automate notifications: Parents will be emailed in advance when their payment is about to process, and when their Auto Payment has been processed, so they (and you) never miss a beat.
- Check-in on your dynamic billing report: LineLeader offers a huge variety of billing reports. Here’s the full list:
- Aging Report: An overview of all overdue invoices.
- Autopay Enrollment: An account of which family members are enrolled in automatic payments.
- Family Balance: Allows you to see total balances currently owed.
- Invoice Detail: Displays invoice status and open balance amounts by payers. You can also use this report to quickly apply bulk subsidy payments if your center accepts them.
- Ledger Detail: Shows plan charges, credits, and discounts within a timeframe.
- Payments Detail: Specifies which payments were applied to certain invoices.
- Payouts: Shows the payouts that were initiated to your bank account.
- Plan Enrollments: Indicates which children are enrolled in which plans.
- Quickbooks Integration Log: View log of Quickbooks integration events.
- Receipts: View cash, checks and credit card transactions processed manually.
- Summary Report: View summary of revenue, credits and payments.
- Transactions: View credit card and ACH transaction details (charges, credits and refunds).
- Upcoming Invoices: Simulate invoices that run during a given period.
Communicate with parents
Great communication is key to a happy ECE community and a happy business.
And that’s not all.
Great communications can also help strengthen the parent-teacher partnership and create a culture of support, leading to — you guessed it — less teacher burnout.
Here are a few simple ways to keep parents up-to-date with important messages and moments of everyday joy so parents feel connected and part of the team from day one:
- Automate announcements: Announcements are a great way to automatically share info across your center. From classroom activities to parent-teacher meetings, announcements show up on your center calendar, on LineLeader Engage: our mobile app, and are included in the end-of-day email summary.
- Send announcements across centers: With LineLeader, you can also send announcements across multiple centers in your business at the click of a button — saving you from making hundreds of phone calls to get all employees up to speed. Nice.
- Send an end of day email summary: When a child is checked out at the end of the day, LineLeader automatically sends parents an end of day email summary. Think: summary statistics, important announcements and a detailed timeline of their child's day. This replaces a standard paper daily sheet and is sent automatically, so teachers don’t need to lift a finger.
How process automation saved Lightbridge Academy 35+ monthly hours per center
For enterprise child care org Lightbridge Academy, technology has always been their ace in the sleeve.
But when Covid hit, the team realized it was time to do something drastic: they invested in a brand new app to bring all their centers together under one digital umbrella.
“The whole idea of the Lightbridge Journey app centers on this: If we can free the center directors and staff from administrative work, we open up time for them to spend focused on the needs of the children and parents. It enhances the center directors’ ability to look after the needs of teachers who are taking direct care of the children. Time is the most precious commodity. By providing more of it, we enable directors to increase their focus on what creates the most value. This is the most powerful aspect of the whole project.”
Benjamin Blake, Lightbridge Academy’s Chief Information Officer
By streamlining their services with LineLeader, the team soon found each center was saving over 35 hours every month. Plus, the new app increased transparency for parents, enhanced the home-school connection, and boosted efficiency for administrators.
Now that’s what we call process automation done right. 👌🏼
Process automation in childcare
Since Covid hit, teachers are feeling the strain more than ever — and it’s your job as a business leader to support them with great technology.
The right process automation tools can help free up teacher time, make parents feel part of the team, and reduce the time and cost of everyday admin tasks.
Process automation in child care has been a game changer to the child care centers that have taken the leap — now it’s your turn.
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