Dunfermline nursery first to iConnect

Published: 2 Jul 2014 09:30

HAVING made an investment of £20,873.00, a forward-thinking Dunfermline Nursery is the first in Scotland to embrace innovative technology which will revolutionise the way its staff record observations about the daily activities and achievements of the children in its care.

Lauriston Nursery, which looks after 172 children up to the age of five years old at its purpose build eco friendly building on the town’s Robertson Road, has become the first in Scotland to sign up to iConnect, a new nursery management software system which is fully compliant with the Curriculum for Excellence.

Using the very latest technologies such as tablet PC, touchscreen PC and interactive whiteboards, iConnect, a product from Burnely based software specialists Connect Childcare, provides a gateway for busy nursery staff to view key room and child profile information on handy touchscreens in each room. As well as enabling staff to record information for Personal Learning Plans and other Curriculum for Excellence documents, with ease, the touchscreens can also give staff an overview of upcoming events, child attendance, new starters, staff absence and much more.

Lauriston Nursery, which opened in 2009, has always been at the forefront of innovation having been designed and built by local architects Cameron Harris Design + Build.

Director Ewan Cameron takes up the story: “We’re very proud of Lauriston Nursery which has a first class reputation for both its quality of care and its environmental impact. We had been searching for a while now for a new technology based system to implement at Lauriston to enable us to communicate more effectively with parents and carers and cut down on paperwork. Our staff are second to none but as with many education workers nowadays they were having to spend up to thirty minutes administration time each day recording information to pass onto parents and for PLP’s, which are very important as they follow the child right through his school years. Not only is this time consuming and takes valuable time away from actually engaging with the children, but paper based plans have to be physically given out to parents and carers to take home now and again to be shared with other family members. This new iConnect system is instant – we all want this type of technology nowadays - to view a picture of our child at nursery on our phone whilst at work or to see a drawing or piece of artwork they have just competed that morning – it is absolutely amazing - and we are sure our customers will be delighted that this system is being applied.”

“It’s always good to be first to implement something cutting edge – it’s a commitment to our Lauriston customers we are very happy to make- and we are very pleased to have found Connect Childcare. They have been brilliant to work with,” added Cameron.

Chris Reid, CEO at Connect Childcare, said: “We were delighted to welcome Lauriston on board as our first Scottish users of iConnect. This new technology will save staff time recording daily activities and milestones and mean at the push of a button they can email parents daily reports about mealtimes, sleep, nappy changes and photos of what their child has done that day. This will give parents a much better insight into their child’s life at nursery and help them to continue to encourage their children to build on their achievements at nursery at the end of the nursery day.”

“Using iConnect also means nursery staff can dedicate more time to the Curriculum for Excellence, preparing children for the transition to primary school. The software will also help the government to monitor the achievements of children in relation to the Curriculum for Excellence because it is easy to download a report containing any information they need.”

Willie Rennie MSP has visited Lauriston Nursery to see the new technology in action, taking the opportunity to record some daily activities himself using the iConnect software.

He said:“I think it is fantastic that Lauriston has become the first nursery in Scotland to embrace this innovative technology and recognise that by cutting down on the time they spend on administration tasks, they can spend more time helping children to develop and learn.”

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