What is the MindingKids Web App?
The MindingKids Web App has been developed to assist childcare professionals manage daily tasks, record essential data and share information with parents.
The Web App can be used on a computer, tablet or smart phone to complete daily diaries, plan schedules, record attendance information, make observations and log events (accidents/incidents, medication, visitors, etc.), then email Activity Reports to parents at the click of a button!
!!NEW!! App users can now link observations directly to EYFS Outcomes, Characteristics Of Effective Learning, Curriculum For Excellence or the SHANARRI Wellbeing Indicators…
…then generate Observation Outcome Reports to give a full account of children’s progress and achievements. Tracking learning and development has never been so easy!
Features of the Web App
Create a profile for each child saving essential information as you would expect to see in a child care plan, including date of birth, address and contact information, who will be dropping off and collecting the child, emergency contacts, doctor / health visitor details, any medical or special dietary requirements or other important information. Upload a photograph of each child to complete their profile. You can edit a child’s profile at any time using the ‘edit’ option.
Attendance Registers & Attendance Reports
Select the attendance register icon to save attendance information for each child. Simply select the time each child arrives at and departs from your service. The Web App will automatically calculate their hours of attendance. If a child is absent select the ‘Mark Absent’ option. For school or nursery children who may attend your setting in split sessions each day, select the ‘Add New’ option to include a second attendance session for the day, e.g. before and after school sessions.
The Web App can be used to generate attendance reports showing the hours of attendance for each child between any two chosen dates. Simply go to Options / Reports and select the start and end dates for the period you require. You may wish to generate reports on a weekly or monthly basis using the information to assist you in calculating fees due for each child.
Diaries & Reports
The diaries and reports can be completed in a variety of ways, choose the method that suits you and your childcare service.
Method 1 – Combination
Use the group diary as a principle diary to plan ahead and record meals, snacks and activities for your entire group. All information entered into the group diary (with the exception of the Business Notes/Reminders field) will automatically transfer into the children’s diaries. In the children’s diaries, you can then add further to and personalise the information within each section. For example you might want to write a short description of meals or snacks within the group diary then add further details in each of the children’s diaries as to how much they have eaten or if any alternatives were given due to special dietary requirements.
Using this method, the child reports created will combine the information entered in the group diary and their own individual diary.
Method 2 – Individual Child
You may prefer to leave the group diary alone and complete each of your children’s diaries separately. Unless information has been added to the group diary then each child’s report will show only the information which has been added to their own individual diary.
Method 3 – Group
Completing only the group diary may be preferred in larger childcare settings or where time is limited. A summary of all meals, snacks and activities can be sent out in the group report to all parents with just one click.
Add photographs to either the group or child diaries using the ‘Add Photo’ option. Photographs added to the group diary will show in both the group and individual child reports. Photographs added to child diaries will show only in that individual child’s report.
You may wish to disable fields within each of the child’s diaries for sections that you would not normally use for that child. For example a school child who attends before and after school may not require the second morning activities, morning snack, lunch and first afternoon activities sections. To disable fields simply click on the Settings option next to each child and select the diary fields you wish to disable.
In addition to this wherever fields are left blank, either in the group or child diaries, this section will simply not show in the reports.
Once you have completed all the information for the day, you can automatically email Activity Reports to parents by selecting the ‘Send Report’ button. Before you do this, you may wish to add your own business name and logo. Go to Options/Settings to find where to do this. You can also add further contact information, for example your phone number, website or other contact information.
Child reports will be sent to the email address(es) entered for receiving reports in the Child profile, Group reports will be sent to the email addresses entered for all children on the app. To enter more than one recipient address per child, simply separate addresses with a comma (firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com). Remember to check the box within Options / Settings if you wish to receive a copy of all reports to your own email address.
Use logs section to log important events such as an accident or incident, any medication administered to children or a visitor to your setting. Information added in the group logs section will show in both the group and individual child reports. Information added to the child logs will show only in that child’s individual report.
To log an event simply select the type of event from the drop down menu, the time at which it occurred then add a description. You can also add photographs to logs using the ‘Add Photo’ option. Where an accident or incident has occurred or where medication has been administered you may wish to print out the log entry or the corresponding child’s report for the parent to sign and keep in your records.
Observations can be recorded for each individual child using the observations button. Use the drop down menu to select from Basic, EYFS, Characteristics Of Effective Learning, Curriculum For Excellence or GIRFEC/SHANARRI. Continue to further check the area(s) the observation corresponds to linking to specific outcomes or indicators where desired. Select a time for the observation, add a description and detail any ideas for next steps. Use the ‘Add Photo’ option to include any photographs. All observation information will be added to the corresponding child’s report for that day.
Observation Outcome Reports
To generate a complete summary of each child’s learning and development progress, go to the Observation Outcomes Report section in Options / Reports. Here you can select the child you would like to create a report for then check which type(s) of outcomes you want to include in your report (Basic, EYFS, Characteristics Of Effective Learning, Curriculum For Excellence or GIRFEC/SHANARRI). You can choose to include more than one type, for example EYFS and Characteristics Of Effective Learning or Curriculum For Excellence and GIRFEC / SHANARRI. Clicking on the ‘+’ symbols will reveal more check boxes to allow you to further determine what information you would like the report to display. For example, you may want to generate an EYFS Report which displays only the outcomes for a specific age group.
If you have been using the app to record observations prior to June 2017, you can check the option to ‘Include observations that have not been assigned to an outcome’. This will allow any observations entered before the changes to the observations section of the app to display under a ‘Further Observations’ title at the bottom of the outcomes report. The date of these observations will be displayed. If you wish, you can scroll back through the app to re-assign these to the new observation types and specific outcomes.
Check the ‘Show achieved outcomes only’ option if you want the outcome report to display only the learning area sections where observation information has been entered.
Once you are happy with your selections, click on the ‘View’ button to generate an outcomes report. You can then print the report or save a copy to your computer by choosing the option within your print settings to ‘print to pdf’.
Troubleshooting & FAQ
How can I access the Web App?
The Web App can accessed via the MindingKids website using a computer, tablet or smart phone (apple or android). Following one week’s free trial, you will be prompted to sign up for Platinum Membership. The Platinum Membership package will grant you all the benefits of Gold Membership, including immediate unlimited access to ALL MindingKids downloads, PLUS continued access of the Web App.
If you have any problems at all signing up for a free trial it may be that your email address has already been registered with us from a previous purchase or free download. If you cannot remember your log in details, please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist.
How many children can I use the app for?
The Web App will allow you to store data for up to 20 children. If you are a larger childcare setting or nursery and require data storage for larger numbers, additional subscriptions will be required. Please contact us for further information.
How do I know the data I upload is safe and secure?
MindingKids is fully aware that sensitive data such as personal information and images of children will be uploaded to the App. For this reason, we use Bytemark to host our website and web app. Bytemark are a highly reputable hosting company who implement the highest level of security settings. Bytemark’s portfolio includes UK government and health care websites.
In the interests of security and data protection, users should ensure that they log out of the Web App and the MindingKids website when not in use. After a period if inactivity, users will automatically be logged out and will require their username and password to re-open their account.
MindingKids is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a requirement of the Data Protection Act.
How long will my data be stored for?
The Web App will allow data to be entered up to six months before and up to six months from the current date. Users are able to plan daily schedules in advance or scroll back to view a previous week’s events or activities. Users must remember to back up their data regularly should they wish to refer back to information entered more than six months from the current date.
How can I back up my data?
The Web App includes a function within the Options / Reports panel to Download Data. Simply enter the dates for which you wish to download and back up your data and select download. This will enable you to save a zip file containing spreadsheets of all the information entered and all photos uploaded between the selected dates.
Alternatively, you may wish to receive copies of children’s and / or group reports to your own email address. Simply check the box for ‘Admin email’ within the Options / Settings panel. Should you wish to refer to events from a specific date, this can be found by searching your emails for activity reports on that date. You may also wish to create email folders for each child to store your completed reports.
Why are my photographs appearing sideways when I upload them to the App?
The App makes an attempt to display photos the right way up, however because phones and cameras often handle this differently, it’s not always able to determine the correct orientation. If you find your photos are appearing sideways, you may need to rotate and resave them on your computer before uploading.
Can I print from the App?
Whilst the Web App has no built in print function, Attendance and Observation Outcome Reports can be printed when open on the App by selecting the print option on your computer, tablet or phone. (Select the ‘print to pdf’ option to save a copy of reports to your computer).
Although it is possible to print the screen view of any other part of the App, MindingKids recommends that you check the Admin Email box within Options/Settings to send copies of all completed reports to your own email address. Reports can then be printed directly from your email client should wish to keep a paper copy on file or where an accident or incident has occurred and a parent’s signature is required.
MindingKids values all feedback we receive from our customers and listens to ideas and suggestions as to how we can assist in the organisation and management of your childcare services. We will continuously monitor the success of the Web App and focus any future developments in areas where we feel our customers think is important. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your feedback.
Any further questions or enquires?
Please contact us using the contact form here. We are always happy to help!