Are you spending too much time and money on non-teaching activities, manual documentation, and inefficient communication? Don't you have enough time to consider each child's needs?
Early childhood education should offer an inspiring and fun start to lifelong learning. Your educators want to be successful and be the champions they deserve to be. Your children's families are eager to know what is going on at the childcare center. Your preschool wants to provide the best education and care in the area.
A change is required to meet the challenges. In this blog, we want to share our views from Kindiedays. And provide some advice on how to make the improvements in a pragmatic way.
So what is the secret behind a successful childcare center?
A successful early childhood education and care center has 3 guiding principles:
- Support children's learning
- Engage families
- Secure success for the preschool
The change concerns all the daily activities between teachers, children, and parents. We should reimagine how the goals can be achieved by working smarter - not harder - and with the help of new technology.
Sounds challenging - but it is actually straightforward
Whatever your starting point is, you should take these 4 steps:
1. Set the pedagogical objectives for children's learning.
2. Plan the lessons to match the objectives, taking children's interests into account.
3. Observe and document the learning moments and engage families.
4. Assess and reflect on the learning and plan future learning.
How to set the goals and plan the lessons?
Teaching activities must be goal-oriented and organized in a purposeful manner. The goals and lesson plans should be defined with the child’s learning process in focus.
You can start from your national curriculum, define your own goals. And Kindiedays can provide learning objectives derived from the Finnish curriculum.
In the Finnish pedagogical approach, the children learn through play and a variety of playful activities. These are planned by the teachers in advance. Kindiedays has also created lesson plans with a holistic approach that uses theme-based learning. The package includes 100 lesson plans for the themes Space, I am Me & I am Special, and Ocean.
Kindiedays also partners with Finnish lesson plan providers. Together we can offer the best combination of specialized activities such as language, science, coding, math, music, arts, physical development, etc. All lessons are then managed with a unified learning process.
How to observe, assess and develop the learning?
The actual learning happens throughout the day. Here the teacher’s role is to support and observe the child in real-time.
The authentic observations are complemented with the child’s own comments. These are then collected into learning portfolios or pedagogical documentation. The documentation is used for following the child’s learning path through formative assessment. And for further planning of the learning and sharing with the parents.
This requires a well-thought work process and a digital solution utilizing smartphones or tablets in the hand of the teacher. Everything must work in a smooth and user-friendly way. As it must not steal attention from the child’s learning.
How to find the right solution to support learning?
The journey the childcare center must take depends a lot on the starting point. How do you work today and what do you want to achieve? Kindiedays actually provides a couple of alternatives for you to choose from.
We recommend Kindiedays Portfolio solution if you already have a full set of learning objectives and your own lesson plans aligned with these objectives. It is a highly flexible solution for implementing a complete high-class learning process. Inspired by best Finnish practices, portfolio learning, and formative assessment.
Kindiedays Premium solution is a preconfigured version of Kindiedays Portfolio. The solution is created for setting up a "Finnish style" preschool for playful learning. It includes a holistic set of learning objectives derived from the Finnish national curriculum. It also has a versatile package of lesson plans to match the learning objectives. Just add teachers and children and start working like a Finnish pro.
To be more specific, this is what you should look for
As a starting point, you must be able to store your curriculum digitally. And have it available on the smartphone or tablet during the children's learning moments. To run the daily learning process and the pedagogical documentation in a smart and efficient way the requirements are:
- A quick way to document the children’s individual learning authentically and in real-time.
- Automatically collected child portfolios.
- Smooth engagement of the parents in the child’s learning.
- Automatically collected learning progress reports.
All information should be stored digitally behind a secure log-in and made available in real-time on PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
Watch our video showing how the children’s learning process and pedagogical documentation are supported with the Kindiedays Pedagogical Management Solution.
What other features should be part of the solution
The digital solution should also support the daily routines between educators, children, and families such as:
- Run communication between educators and families in a secure channel.
- Record attendance and utilize versatile attendance statistics.
- Daily reports of meals, naps, toileting, and more.
So what is the best way to learn and get a digital solution?
Typically, customers first search for information on the Internet. Compare solutions and talk to peers for recommendations to educate themselves. We have produced a lot of useful information about the Finnish pedagogical approach, the children’s learning objectives, the pedagogical documentation process, and how Kindiedays solutions best support the new way of working. Everything is freely available on our web page.
When we are contacted, we usually propose an online demo as a first step to show how Kindiedays works.
When we together see that Kindiedays meets your needs, you can continue with a free trial to test Kindiedays with your own data and curriculum. Kindiedays is not locked to a specific curriculum but uses the curriculum of your choices such as the Finnish, EYFS, a national, or even a local curriculum.
A final piece of advice
Technology should be the tool supporting the goals and working methods of your center. The digital solution has a strong role as the core of the children’s learning process. It is a strategic choice and will in many ways form the foundation for all the work in your center between educators, children, and families.
Kindiedays is designed by Finnish Early Childhood Education professionals in line with best Finnish practices. Our objective is that Kindiedays is the center’s long-term solution and platform for the children's learning process. Other suppliers can be included and strengthen the overall solution. To enhance Kindiedays, we work together with consulting and training companies as well as with companies providing exciting new learning activities in science, languages, arts, etc.
Take the next steps with Kindiedays
Think about your needs and the most crucial steps your center should take towards its renewal. Write them down, plan the most important ones, and start your journey.
Below you can find a step-by-step proposal for going forward: learn, plan, develop and be successful! Feel free to use our online resources to learn more about Finnish Early Childhood Education and Kindiedays and how you can lift your own childcare center to meet today's needs. Make your choice of how to go forward.
1. Start by watching Kindiedays' introduction video
2. Learn more from Kindiedays webpage about
- What Kindieedays gives you, depending on your role in the center
- How the different Kindiedays solutions work
- Finnish ECEC and portfolio learning and formative assessment
3. Ask for credentials to test our demo on your own device
4. RECOMMENDED: Schedule an online demo with our expert
5. Sign up for your 30-day free trial
We want to help you and your center succeed so the best possible learning path is guaranteed for all children. You can come back to all these resources and much more on our web page.
See you soon!