Plan Well – put the rocks in FIRST, all else will follow!

Hi there and thank you for dropping by!

Whether you are already familiar with ‘EASY’ and what we do or not, I’m hoping that our exciting new developments within the EASYpro software will enhance your experience in delivering the EYFS in your pre-school or nursery, or as a childminder.

EASYpro may have been developed, tried and tested since 1997, but innovation and building a solution that continually improves the curriculum journey for owners, practitioners and ultimately parents and children is our continuous aim.

In January we visited our customers in the North for ideas on how to promote staff teaching and personal effectiveness – a very business focused way of helping everyone to do their best for every child! This is the centre, of course, of our overarching principle: to enable all to “get it right” for each child. We hope then that every single one can take advantage of their formative years, build bigger brains and be carried forward into brighter futures.

In designing EASYpro we naturally started with the child in order to highlight individual learning needs, but discussions with our customers indicated that we needed a stronger bond between early years development and the learning you and your teams do alongside. This bond has been created very simply in our new PLANNERS and STAFF SUPERVISION & TEAM DEVELOPMENT – which we hope will challenge current practice and standards and comes at no extra cost to EASYpro customers.

Come and see us on stand A20 at the Childcare Expo this Friday or Saturday and let us know if you think we have been successful, and for a chat about how we may be able to help you and your setting.

Do read on to see what important changes and developments we have specifically made… I’ll try not to make this too overwhelming but we really have worked hard on this big improvement and I am eager to share it with you!

The PLANNERS assist with the design of the enabling environment and bring everything together more cohesively.  Our new Continuous Provision and Activity Planners work in conjunction with the original Next Steps Planner, making getting to grips with the new features EASY.  They enable the team to organise specific activities/resources around children’s interests and will potentially instantly enhance learning or support a pre-determined setting topic (should there be one).  The key-person can then add what is appropriate for their key-children’s individual interests and schemas and also highlight learning intentions for each, according to the area or activity. To complete the PLANNERS update, another shows the Key-person where their key-children have the same learning aims.  This enables them to effectively facilitate intimate groups and scaffold their learning.

Using our new PLANNERS means that planning in your unique settings is informed by children and executed by the whole team. Everything is appropriate, organised quickly and supports continuous progression, without lengthy meetings or paperwork (which I’m sure we can all agree we could do without).  It remains live, easily referred to and is always pertinent to the children in real-time.  All adults gain ‘the buzz’ of satisfied accomplishment as aims and outcomes are completed.  PDF documentation provides evidence for owners, managers and regulatory bodies (such as Ofsted), enhancing EASYpro’s functionality as a record keeping device.

The other half of our new features are Tools for STAFF SUPERVISION & TEAM DEVELOPMENT.  This encompasses the ‘quality of teaching’ and provides management with accurate information that can be used for staff supervision, performance management, appraisal or those possibly unpleasant HR decisions that I’m sure you’d love to be made EASY(ier!).

As determined by the setting, practitioners can evaluate their own teaching strategies in helping children achieve the Characteristics of Effective Learning.  By checking the child’s acquisition of each part, the practitioner is encouraged to see where they need to give extra input and/or consider changing their ‘teaching’ style/approach documenting one goal for every key-child.  This process enhances children’s experiences with the key-person while they engage in the planned activities and allows for adaptation and growth.  After all, children and staff aren’t robots and learn most while having fun …

Extra automated reports are also now available for owners and managers to help evaluate the impact on the progress of individuals and key-groups. This fine-tunes the previous systems that informs the training budget and follow up evaluation, giving you more control without adding extra hassle.  For example, for Equal Opportunities or an ‘inadequate performance’ scenario, EASYpro now measures a range of interactions the practitioner had, such as, their frequency of engagement, what they have helped each child achieve, reports made, how many observations, comments and uploads have been accomplished and over specific time periods, which may be backdated.

EASYpro helps more, from all angles. Supporting all those that contribute to the child’s learning and development; EYFS providers (owners, managers and practitioners), management, team members, parents and children as we continue to bring innovation in building a solution that supports EYFS curriculum delivery from every angle the HOW as well as the WHAT for the EYFS, impacting on children’s experiences and learning attributes.

Thanks again for dropping by this little webspace and I look forward to meeting some of you on Friday or Saturday!

Stand A20 @ChildcareExpo in Coventry – 26th & 27th September 2014