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  • Writer's pictureJack Ritchie

How OWNA Promotes Responsible Documentation

Reposted from 11th July 2021

Recently, we heard a software provider say, "More documentation means more success," and "software allows you to be present when a child is learning." We respectfully disagree.

At OWNA, we promote responsible documentation. We recognise that quality beats quantity when it comes to assessment and rating (according to ACECQA and the people we have spoken to), so promoting extra documentation to us is irresponsible.

We're here to talk about some topics on documentation, and how we promote the ability to create efficient processes, happy educators and quality services.

"More documentation means more success"

There's no excuse for saying this as a software provider. A quick look through the ACECQA documentation guidelines tells us 2 things:

  • Documentation is individual for each service, and it is not a one-size-fits-all approach

  • Services should be selective in their approach to documentation, as it's impossible to capture everything.

Software is put in place to allow services to document and communicate in a more efficient way when it comes to family engagement, and assessment and rating.

By misinforming services about the requirements of documentation, we run the risk of reducing the quality of documentation that happens within our software.

It's not our place to tell you how to run your service. Our role in ECEC is to give you the means to document how you see fit.

We are not experts on A&R. Nor are we experts on your service.

To act this way does the sector a disservice.

"Software helps educators be present in the moment when a child learns"

If we tie this point in with the previous point about software allowing for more documentation, we can't see how both of these things can happen at the same time.

By spending so much time documenting, we do one of two things:

  • Overwork educators to the point of leaving the service

  • Spend too much time on screens and behind cameras, meaning educators aren't present in the moment when trying to get evidence for families or assessors

One of the main reasons for detractors of childcare software is the latter.

In ECEC, the primary stakeholders are the children. How you prioritise the use of technology in getting evidence - versus being present in a child's learning experience - is at the discretion of the educator and service.

Pictures and videos are a great way to share what children are up to each day with their families. However, we know many services struggle to meet families' demands whilst trying to be present, so to say that it helps you be present is ambiguous and not something we can get on board with.

We are not experts in family relationships. Nor do we know your families.

To act this way does the sector a disservice.

Don't Listen To Us

It's a bold statement, but it's ironically something we want you to hear.

YOU are the expert in early education; not us.

YOU know your families; we don't.

We care about the performance of your service, and we'd be doing you a disservice if we gave you this kind of A&R advice. If you genuinely need help with running your service, we know plenty of consultants that we could recommend.

The nature of technology is that we're all trying to add more features than our competitors. That is because each service has a different need, for which they need different features.

It's important that you assess the features that you need when looking for a software provider, but you don't need to use them all.

Use what you need, run your service how you see fit, and don't listen to software providers when they tell you how to 'do more'.

If you want to have a chat with us about using our suite of features to suit your needs, get in touch with us - we'd love to show you around the place!

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