We recently caught up with Journey Early Learning Quality and Compliance Manager, Mel Comerford from Astute Early Years Specialists to discuss Journey’s switch to using Storypark.
With twelve learning services under the Journey Early Learning umbrella, Storypark is now the only platform used for documentation of all children’s learning. It is used not only for learning stories but also for planning, recording staff meetings, quality improvement plans and coaching records.
Mel shares “For us, it works beautifully in the implementation of our learning program and educational leadership program.”
After trialling several other digital documentation platforms, Mel tells us that Storypark was most suited to Journey Early Learning’s needs. Having been in the early childhood sector for many years, the Quality and Compliance team at Journey Early Learning were seeking “a single source of truth for both documentation of children’s learning, and communication with parents.” After completing research, the team were able to determine exactly what they were looking for in a digital documentation platform. Armed with this information, they found something that fit their needs. Enter Storypark!
When asked how the teaching teams and families are finding the change, Mel shared “Storypark is much more intuitive for our educators to use, and our families like it much more.”
Using Storypark has made a world of difference for everyone in the learning community, the children, educators and families.
“We’ve created a toolkit to help educators support the early years planning cycle. They now engage with that cycle in a deeper way with a better understanding of how it all comes together for children. The engagement and feedback we are receiving from parents are also very affirming for the educators.”
The learning experiences that educators are providing for children are much more individualised and reflective of their developmental capabilities. This is largely in part, due to educators becoming better at capturing and documenting the children’s learning. This, in turn, engages families in the process as well.
From an engagement perspective, families are feeling more strongly connected to their child’s learning community. Storypark has helped them to build relationships with educators, who they would normally only speak with for a few minutes at drop off and pick up times. This building of relationships is reflected in the Journey Early Learning values:
“Connection – Nurturing authentic connections with our children and families, our community and each other.
Communication – Consistent and collaborative communication through our interactions, curriculum and documentation.
Consideration – Showing care and respect to ourselves, others and our environment. We are mindful of making good choices. ”
Families have gained a really good insight into the high level of professionalism of the educators who work with their children. It also offers them the opportunity to share their children’s stories and learnings with their wider family.
From a business perspective, Mel shares their experience. “Because we have a network dashboard it’s been fabulous for the business from an oversight perspective. We can see and track right down to which individual staff need more support with either their technology applications (Storypark) or with the early years planning cycle. Using Storypark we really can drive better practice improvement for our educators and therefore for our families through one single app. We love it! It’s fabulous.”
Looking to the future, Journey Early Learning hopes to use Storypark to link the QIP to individual learning stories and planning to show how they are exceeding the National Quality Framework. Mel says “this will be a game-changer for services using Storypark, as they will be able to see their own evidence. It’s easy for management and for people in the quality space to be able to see where the evidence is but using Storypark, we are able to narrow the evidence down to every single educator and the families. This is very affirming for them to see the exceeding themes in practice every single day at their service.”
Journey Early Learning Quality and Compliance Manager, Mel Comerford from Astute Early Years Specialists.