We’re excited to announce a range of new features are now available on the Daily Connect platform. Our users have been requesting these features for some time now, and we’re excited to share that we have now activated these features for all Daily Connect users.
We’re confident that these features will enable more childcare centers to run their business smoothly, with improvements to internal tools like observations and assessments as well as updates to parent communication via SMS.
These new features can be grouped into four key categories:
- Private entries and notes
- Increased length of SMS messages
- Improvements to observation and assessment reports
- Parent billing suite
In this article, we’ll explore each of these features in more detail so that you know exactly how to start using them at your Childcare Center.
1. Private Entries and Notes
Previously, teachers and other staff members were only able to mark Observations as private. We’ve now expanded this to enable the following activities to be marked as ‘Only visible to staff (private)’:
- Incident reports
- Child behavior
- Health and temperature checks
When an entry is marked as private, only teachers and staff at your childcare center are able to view it: parents will not be able to see this information.
To mark an entry as private, simply toggle on the ‘Only visible to staff (private)’ button, as seen in the screenshot below:
Private entries are displayed in the app with a lock icon, as pictured below:
It’s also possible to add a private note to public entries. You can share the public entry with the parent, and then add a private note to staff that parents are unable to see, for example, specific instructions or directions.
2. Increased Length of SMS Messages (US Only)
We’ve extended the length limit of text messages you can send to parents from 130 characters to 320 characters. This means you can now send more detailed parent communications.
The text message feature is designed to be used for emergencies or occasional communications to parents, not for every update. They are sent directly to parent’s phone numbers, not through the Daily Connect app. Any text messages you send will not be saved in the Daily Connect app.
To send text messages to parents, visit the Settings > Send Email / Text page on the Daily Connect web application.
3. Upgrades to Observations & Assessment Reports
We’ve taken onboard your feedback and made several changes to the assessment reports to make it easier for you to track, report and share development progress for each child you’re responsible for. Here are the key improvements:
Share Individual Assessment Reports with Parents
You can now easily share an individual assessment report to parents by clicking on the ‘Share with parents’ link in the Individual Assessment Report page, as highlighted in the image below.
When you select this option, a PDF file of the assessment report will be saved on the child’s timeline to be easily accessible by parents via the application. Teachers and administrators can also download the PDF file of the report for archive, or to send via email to families.
Before you generate the report, the app will also allow you to enter a specific message that will be included in the report. You can use this section to add personal comments highlighting the progress that the child has made during the period.
Monthly Observation Reports
A new report shows the list of all observations saved for a classroom or a child during the month.
Directors and administrators can use this feature to easily view the observations shared by each teacher in their classroom, and it’s also possible to easily edit any entries.
The report can be accessed via the Settings > Assessment Reports > List Observation page.
Support for 2021 Early Years Foundation Stage Standards (UK Only)
The Daily Connect App already supports learning frameworks and state standards for many US States, as well as countries including England, Scotland, and Australia. All told, the Daily Connect platform supports more than 50 learning frameworks and state standards.
In response to new laws in the UK, we’ve now added support for the 2021 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Standards from the UK. Childcare centers and nurseries can record observations and assessments for children in accordance with the ‘Birth to 5 Matters’ framework, and there are several new reports specific to the EYFS framework available for administrators to use.
4. Parent Billing
Last month, we launched a suite of new parent billing features on the Daily Connect platform. Some of the key features include:
- Customizable invoices
- Online and offline payment options
- Auto billing and recurring payments
- Online dashboard
- And more
The parent billing features have now been enabled for all accounts with more than 5 children actively enrolled. Interested in learning more? Read our blog post announcing the parent billing features in more detail, or schedule a demo to learn more about how your childcare center can start using Daily Connect to bill parents today.
What Other Features Would Make Your Life Easier?
Many of our most popular features start with requests from Daily Connect users like you.
If you’ve got an idea for a new feature that would make a big difference in your day to day work, reach out to the team and let us know. You can email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas!