What is Educa's Home-Based Option?
In your trial setup, there is a "Home-Based" option (called Family Day Care of Family Child Care). This setup creates a class for each home, with a "visiting teacher" role who can be set up to see the children in a home and act as a mentor, reviewing stories, teacher reflections, etc.
The home-based setup works well where there a number of homes managed by the same visiting teacher. Each home can be set up as a class. This is a handy set up for sharing plan and form templates, as well as sharing Policies and Resources.
Educa has created a series of default settings for this home-based setup, based on home-based customer feedback and requests. For instance, by default, home classes are all separate and private - families and home educators not connected to other home sites.
However, this setting and many others can be changed. In particular consider if you'd like more connection between home sites, by turning on teacher messages.
Here are the home-based/family child care settings to consider:
Admin involvement in learning story review
Parent and educator settings
Class Privacy - Turn Off?
Class Privacy is on by default in home-based. Educators can only see children in their home and visiting teachers can only see children in homes to which they are assigned. Site Administrators can see all children across the service.
Class Privacy can be turned off by a Site Administrator in your Site Settings. This will enable all home educators and visiting teachers to see all children. Families will still only see their children.
Alternatively you can create classes based around your visiting teachers and assign children to your home-based educators as profile children. You can manage profile children as an Admin from Settings > Site Settings > Teachers. This is particularly useful if you have many home-based educators but few visiting teachers.
Teacher Messages - Turn On? (Note, only Educa Support can do this)
By default teacher messages are turned off, the idea being that educators in different homes should not be able to communicate. This is a Super Admin setting.
However, teacher messages can be a great way to share insights, information and updates across a network of homes. If you are happy to create this kind of community, where educators can read and reply to message, contact Educa Support and we can turn it on for you. More on teacher messages here.
Story Approval - Turn On?
The default setting is for story approval to be off (in Site Settings). If you turn it on, as most do, you may want to think about the implications for Admins - by default Admins see all pending stories by all home educators and get notifications of those.
And so Educa has an override setting in the Admin's Profile which over-rides that default, instead assigning pending stories only for educators for whom that Admin is selected as a reviewer. More on Story Approval here.
Decide Who Can Message Families
By default, only Admins can use the message board, teachers cannot. However, Admins can give teachers message board rights for their classes and groups.
Another option for teachers is to share using a Group Story for their families, selecting "Day Journal" to denote it's not a learning story.
Educa has template educator forms for home-based management, specifically a Visiting Teacher report in Standard Templates in Forms. There are also Staff Appraisal, Individual Professional Plans and other templates that are intended to be starting points. Copy these templates to active, edit to fit your needs and then publish. Read more about Form options here.
Parent/Educator - One Person, Two Voices
Under each educator's profile, there is an option for Educa to see Home Educators as educators and as parents. This means a teacher can contribute to a story in two ways - as the teacher and as the parent.
Other Settings, Not Home-Based Specific
Here are some other settings to consider changing in Site Settings. Do you want to:
Change the learning story reflection questions?
Add a third reflection box, and/or make it private?
Change the "About Me" questions on the child profile page?
Create alerts if a learning story is overdue?
This is not a complete list. Take a moment to browse through your Site Settings or check out the info here. We have set the defaults to minimise unexpected privacy issues and to conform to most common practice. But every service is unique!
Getting Started for Admins - more info on most popular site settings