Hove Village Day Nurseries gives children the space to express their creativity as they like. With a blend of Montessori, Reggio Emilia and forest school pedagogies all in play, you’ll find the children at Hove Village Day Nurseries singing, dancing, telling stories and even trying out yoga — all day long.
But all of that scheduling?
It comes with a good bit of organisation. Michaela Oldfield, the Deputy Nursery Manager, is in charge of sorting out the staff schedules and daily room planning to make it all possible. And it sure was taking her some time.
Between the two settings in Hove, Michaela and one other Nursery Manager had to juggle the daily schedules and ratios for over 200 children and 60+ staff. They did this every morning, often using only pen and paper.
“You’d have to tally up all the children in the rooms, scribble in staff names next to the rooms, and divide up the numbers to make sure the ratios worked out,” she says. “And if a member of the team called in sick or if you moved a child around, you had to rework the ratios all over again.”
All this paperwork took time — and caused its fair share of headaches.
“While I was sorting through all these papers, I kept thinking, there’s got to be an easier way to do this,” Michaela says. “Then we got the Famly Staffing tool going.”
“Especially as our settings fully open back up, the Staffing tool makes it easy to schedule for a growing roster. New staff members fit in seamlessly, and when you book new children, they just automatically show up in the rooms. You don’t have to go back to rework those considerations at all, which is great. It saves me so much time.”
Michaela Oldfield, Deputy Nursery Manager, Hove Village Day Nurseries
Michaela was one of the first Famly users to take the platform’s new Staffing tool for a spin.
All of a sudden, she didn’t have to start her day with a spreadsheet.
“It’s just made doing rotas really easy. Instead of estimating how many hours I’ve given my staff, it all comes up really clearly and easily,” she says. “I use it every morning. All I have to do is log in, and see if we’re all set for the day. I really like it — I’d honestly say it saves me about three hours a week.”
As she tells it, the Staffing tool just made things simpler. Suddenly, Michaela found it easy to get a handle on the day’s schedule, and if she makes changes, those automatically get reflected in each team member’s schedules and each parent’s platform.
“I think the coloured graph is an especially useful way to instantly see where I’ve got spare staff or gaps in my schedule,” she says. “I can see exactly how many of my staff are in on a given day, and who I’ve got working where. So if there’s a gap, or if I’m overstaffed in a room, I can catch it in a glance and make a fix.”
Put simply, the Staffing tool gives Michaela more time in her day for the things she cares most about. There’s less stress about lining up all the ratios, and more time to share stories with the children.
“I just find the idea of watching children grow up and knowing you’ve helped them, so exciting. One day you’ll see them do something they’ve never done before, and you know you had a hand in that. I love it,” she says. “And the Staffing tool gives me more time I use to work with my team, too. The more I can help them learn new ways of doing things, and learn to sharpen their skills, the better able they are to share that same joy.”
Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.