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When hiring staff is a struggle, work smarter not harder!


10/22/2021 | Evan Dobkin

Every day we talk with center directors and administrators looking for a lifeline. Even before the pandemic, they were struggling with the complexities of running their center as a place for care and education, while also taking on the responsibilities of running a highly regulated business. Hiring has become the major issue with staffing rates at 90% of what they were in February 2020 and that lifeline is often just to help keep their heads above water. 

We’ve written before about thinking creatively and looking to hire people outside of the early childhood education field who possess certain skills and personality traits. But until those people actually get hired, investments in tools to help make you and your center as efficient as possible may be the best solution to get you back more time every day, while improving your operational results. Playground’s goal is to help everyone we can work smarter, not harder, by taking advantage of what our easy-to-use app and dashboards can offer.

These leaders generally have similar problems to solve (or thought about as jobs to be done) in specific areas: attendance and check-in/out, family billing, communication, compliance/licensing, and enrollment. In the video below, you can see that some centers made investments, but not strategically, and ended up with multiple tools that are meant to solve a single problem but don’t work together. What was meant to solve a problem creates new ones when data isn’t shared between those tools and there is no economy of scale aka you end up paying a lot more in actual costs and time costs.

Others have tightened their belts as enrollment numbers shrank and less revenue was being generated, but they may actually be able to save money and generate more revenue with a technology investment like Playground. Kadima Day School’s ECEC Director found that managing her check-in/out carline and student rosters with our solution gets her back 2-3 hours per week to spend on what are now more important activities (while also getting rid of a pen, paper, and clipboard system that needed to be chased around the school). 

Instead of manually generating tuition invoices each month and then staying on top of families to ensure payment is made, set up automatic invoices sent every month where parents can pay directly from the app. When your financials are predictable and automated, you’ll get valuable time back and it’s much easier to budget and plan for a brighter future.

Lastly, we’re building a brand new set of Enrollment features based specifically on feedback from a variety of our users. Some are long-time customers and others are part of our Beta Program which gives new users three free months of Playground to start, plus our team works with each center directly to make sure Playground is the right fit for them. Enrollment becomes far easier to manage when families can apply online with all of their data sent directly to Playground where administrators manage the waitlist before moving students into classrooms. 

It may seem daunting to adopt a new solution that impacts the entire center while you’re working harder than ever before, but every Playground user is our partner. We’re available through live chat within seconds (yes, a real person) and make improvements constantly to meet your specific needs. Click here to book a demo or conversation with us and get started with no fees and no contract today!

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