Discover – there was a recent announcement on 1 July about changing the way we collect and record information. We are moving to a new electronic system that records enrolment and attendance information. We would like to answer a few points that have been raised.

Sign-in Sheets? Discover will replace the daily sign-in sheets, and some of the issues that have been involved with those. We will need to print and sign approximately once a month, as the Ministry required hard-copy signatures.

Why didn’t we choose this system originally? At the time that we needed to start providing electronic data to the Ministry, and so had to select a Student Management System, this system was not available. 

Will this affect our funding? Playcentre is a sessional service, which means that we are funded for the whole session for any attendances, recording the exact times of attendance will not affect this.

What if someone forgets to sign in? As much as possible we need to remind people to sign in as soon as they arrive – for health and safety more than anything else – this is our check on who is in the building in case of an emergency. For funding purposes however there are options – if they sign in later in the session we will still get funding. If they do not sign in at all, the next time they do sign in, it will ask the parent about previous missed sessions and ask them to confirm attendance or absence. Attendance can also be entered or amended manually in the laptop version of the system.

How do we change a child to no funding / enter a casual child? We are aware of the variety of different requirements we might need for children attending Playcentre and have tested most of them. Some improvements are being implemented, and if we come across additional requirements we can get those included as well. Specific instructions on how to use the system and ensure things are set up appropriately will come out to Centre Admins and centres next term.

Hardware and Internet connection? We are supplying you with the tablets. While the tablet app does connect to wi-fi to synchronise with the system, it can be used offline. So if your centre does not have internet, or it is sometimes down, the app can still be used.

Roll calls are very easy to do: Roll calls can be done from the tablet – for emergency drills or other purposes. There is a list of every child that has signed in for the day and a checkbox to mark them as present.

Education enrolments: Discover is designed for the early childhood aspect of our organisation. Enrolments in the adult Playcentre Education programme are not done online or through this system, they continue to be done manually.

Future capabilities? We are working with Discover to develop further capabilities – the daily health and safety check, sleep checks, and possibly some health and safety features, as well as things like the supervision approvals process should all be able to happen on the system.