I know being a business owner or director of a child care center can be demanding, so we’ve gathered some great online and digital tools to help you run teams more efficiently, be more productive, and stay organized. These resources have been essential in our own business, so we’re sharing them with you to help you on your way to success at your center!
Skype is a video conferencing service that, with a webcam, you can run on your computer allowing you to have video meetings with as many people as you want. This service can be great if you have multiple locations or multiple centers, or if you aren’t in the center all the time. Skype allows you to get your child care directors on a call, meeting and interacting with each other. When using Skype you can also instantly share documents with everyone on the call. This enables you to share policies, handouts, worksheets, etc. as you are talking about them. The basic Skype account is free and there are applications for desktops and tablets. We’ve found it to be a great resource for child care center owners that may not be able to be there all the time.
An up-and-coming resource for virtual meetings and video chat is Google Hangouts. It runs similar to Skype and is also free but gives you a couple of advantages, including the ability to show your computer screen to others. For example, if you are in a virtual marketing meeting you can pull up graphs or a Power Point presentation on your screen and show it to the others in the meeting. Another advantage is being able to run multiple cameras. You could have a camera on you and another one on a whiteboard or group. That way if there are just a couple people that can’t make the meeting they can still be involved and be able to see multiple perspectives of the meeting. Google Hangouts also has a virtual whiteboard, so you can sketch out things as you’re talking about them.
Evernote is a virtual online notebook that allows you to type notes and take pictures at any time and then syncs your notes to all of your devices. For example, you could be at the Child Care Success Summit taking notes on your tablet and Evernote will sync these notes to your desktop and your smartphone so you can access them anytime. You can organize items into folders and then share those folders with others. You can also take pictures, such as a picture of a marketing piece you may want to model, and have it automatically sync to your Evernote notebook.
Dropbox enables you to sync files across your devices and also allows you to share these files with other members of your team. This has two great advantages. It allows you to store your current and most updated version of projects so you are able to access them any time you want to work on them. It’s a great way to be more productive if you have multiple centers and are traveling back and forth a lot. You can also access all these materials online at any time. Another great advantage is being able to share Dropbox materials with as many people as you need. This lets employees to be able to access the most updated versions of important materials, such as your Standard Operating Procedures, at any time, from anywhere.
Remember the Milk & Toodledo
Both of these applications are online to do lists that allow you to organize, prioritize, and categorize. Virtual to-do lists can sync with your calendars, manage tasks, set reminders, and streamline your time. Remember the Milk will allow you to you map out your tasks on a map so you can decide what the most efficient way is to get your tasks done. Toodledo has great customization and flexibility. Both are free, so it’s easy to try out either one and decide what is best for you.
We hope you find these tools helpful with running your child care center. It can be a challenge to be so many places at once and we want to bring you the best resources to stay organized and manage your team!