Xplor Education’s childcare management platform continues to improve with insights from ECE experts

Xplor Education was honoured to be named The Sector’s 2023 Most Improved CCMS—but it wasn’t enough. Always seeking to innovate and improve, Xplor Education is working on improving its all-in-one childcare management platform in ways that matter to the ECE (Early Childhood Education) sector. Each improvement is aligned with childcare sector needs and has been shaped through collaboration with sector experts. 

Transforming documentation—One Post at a time 

The first improvement is to the Playground platform for educators, set to be released mid-June. Our sector experts identified areas for improvement to Observations in Playground. The renamed feature, Posts, has been re-imagined to make it quicker, easier and more flexible. Posts are now cloud-based, meaning they can be accessed on any device. With this, educators can start a Post on one device and finish it later on another, picking up exactly where they left off.  

To create a Post, educators only need enter a title and room, making it much quicker to capture a learning moment. In addition to text, images and videos, five minutes of audio can also be attached to each Post. And new filtering and tagging capabilities allow educators to find children more quickly and tag them with confidence. 

To deliver a better experience to families, educators can review Posts before sharing to check they’re error-free. They can also enable, disable and moderate comments to create a safe and respectful space for families. Services can also gain valuable insights into family engagement by tracking Post views and reactions. 

Game-changing updates for childcare booking and occupancy management in Office  

In Office, Xplor Education’s platform for admins, our sector experts identified improvements to bookings and occupancy management. Also scheduled to be released mid-June, families will be able to make recurring and casual bookings, as well as cancel bookings using Xplor Education’s free family platform, Home. This will help increase bookings, especially for OSHC providers. 

Centres will easily be able to set booking rules such as daily room capacities, booking cut-off times and cancellation notice periods. Families will be able to add recurring booking patterns, create multiple ad-hoc bookings and manage cancellations effortlessly in the Home app. Families will also get notifications once centres have actioned their request. These changes will provide families with more flexibility and efficiency to help them easily organise their care plans. 

Families will also be able to quickly apply service promo codes to their bookings. This efficient system will not only help boost family satisfaction but also help services drive higher occupancy and maximise revenue potential. In addition, services will be able to easily monitor and analyse promo code use to help identify booking patterns and make more data-driven decisions. 

Consulting with experts from the ECE community—our way forward 

Passionate about better meeting the needs of the ECE sector, Xplor Education consulted with five sector experts on what admins and educators most need from their childcare management platforms. The goal was to better understand the planning cycle and identify innovations and improvements within the Xplor Education ecosystem that could better support educators day-to-day. 

The 4-hour face-to-face session identified several possible areas for improvement. More importantly, the session was so productive that it led to the formation of the Education Advisory Group (EAG), which will help inform future developments to the Xplor Education childcare management platform. The EAG is bringing together the best minds in early childhood education to discuss key topics impacting educational leaders in practical ways.  

Kinder funding—adapting to change 

Changes to kindergarten funding for some states started in 2023, with sweeping changes planned for 2024, including free Kindy for all in Queensland. Working with the Government, Xplor Education implemented these changes in our Office CCMS and was the first childcare software provider to submit QLD Kinder Acquittals for Term 1. Xplor Education continues to improve Office’s handling of Kinder funding, including support for the NSW Start Strong program, with improved support for other states coming. 

We’re only halfway through the year—there’s so much more to come 

As we approach the halfway mark of 2024, Xplor Education is far from done. More improvements are on the horizon for our childcare management platform, which aim to further reduce admin, streamline processes and give childcare admins and educators more tools to provide quality education.  

Based on discussions during our initial workshop and in collaboration with the EAG, planned changes for this year include:  

  • Office (for admins)—Further enhance childcare booking management for centres and families, making it easier for administrators to manage sessional waitlists and bookings with robust booking rules logic 
  • Playground (for educators)—Improved in-app programming and planning via a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, a new document editor and templates and improved sharing with families  
  • Home (for families)—Enhancements to how families make casual and recurring booking requests 

Innovating for all—continued security enhancements and global integrations 

As an all-in-one ecosystem with a core platform that caters to the needs of both individual and multi-centre providers, Xplor Education continues to innovate. Single Sign-On for Office (SSO) and Playground enables customers to integrate their own Active Directory with Xplor Education’s authentication and authorisation engine. Further enhancements to the SSO integration are planned, including partnering with Okta to provide customers with more ways to integrate with Xplor Education. 

As a global childcare provider, some customers have complex international data and reporting needs. With Xplor Education’s Data as a Service (DaaS) platform, we are leveraging our global scale and expertise to deliver an advanced reporting solution for customers spanning multiple services and countries. 

Check out the Playground Learning Experience and Bookings and Occupancy Management pages for more information on our childcare management platform’s latest changes and updates. Xplor Education looks forward to serving you better in the second half of 2024. 

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Dean Comeau

Marketing Team Lead

With a 20+ year career in education, Dean has been writing about Xplor Education’s childcare management software suite for over two and a half years.