The high rise concrete buildings surrounding Jumeirah Lake Towers Park create an imposing and very corporate atmosphere. But nestled in one of the towers is the bright & spacious Paddington Nursery. The nursery was created to provide a family-focused home from home environment that is often missing in busy Dubai. Paddington Nursery is a favourite with families. The staff are friendly and welcoming and their family focus sees many happy parents returning with new siblings over the years. At Paddington’s children are encouraged to grow, explore and discover at every opportunity.
Paddington Nursery was becoming an increasingly popular choice with parents which meant the team were struggling to keep on top of their paperwork. The importance of recording and monitoring children’s learning was clear, but staff were having to spend increasing amounts of time away from the children to complete paper records.
Manager, Laura Barton Toyne, wanted to help ease the pressure on her team and get parents more involved in their children’s learning. Children were having fantastic experiences in her nursery and she wanted to share this with parents, without the staff doing additional work.
Laura began looking for a Nursery Management System to improve efficiency, increase partnership with parents and make life easier for her practitioners.
Laura spoke to the team at Connect Childcare and decided to have a meeting to find out more about iConnect and what it could do for her setting.
"I found that they really listened to our needs, did not give it the hard sell that you often come across in Dubai, and were also willing to make changes to adapt"
After agreeing to go ahead she was impressed with the service that they received.
"A member of the Connect team spent a lot of time with us during our initial setup and we find the Help Desk to be a great tool to refer to. We have found the Connect team to be really responsive via email and phone, the distance does not hinder the communication, support or relationship."
It took the team at Paddington Nursery some time to adjust to their new way of working, but they now really like iConnect and can see the value they get from it.
"Our staff think iConnect is a great tool for observing children. They can record development so much faster and they are able to easily see gaps in their provision."
"Now that we have iConnect, we record more observations that link to areas of learning and characteristics of effective learning, as it is much easier to do. The teachers are able to spend more time with the children and our older children are able to share their views about their own learning experiences."
Parents at Paddington Nursery are now more keen to get involved in their child’s learning as the whole EYFS process is much easier for them to understand. They can see how their child’s development links with the different areas of learning.
Laura and her team have seen a notable difference in their working lives since using iConnect;
"As a Manager, I find the assessment tools really useful to reflect on provision and needs of the children. I also like the Help Desk as it is a great tool to refer to for guidance and to share with staff or parents.
My staff are more efficient and it has allowed us to review our spaces and how we provide for our children. It has definitely made for a happier work environment as the mountain of paperwork has greatly reduced."
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