In your trial setup in Educa, you will notice "Home-Based" (also called Family Day Care of Family Child Care) as an option. To switch to after starting your trial, contact Support and we can flip the switch for you.
The home-based 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.
Here are the family child care settings to consider:
- Class privacy
- Teacher messages
- Story approval
- Admin involvement in learning story review
- Messaging families
- Other documentation
- Parent and educator settings
Most home-based groups turn on "class privacy" (in Site Settings) - meaning home educators can only see children in their home. Admins can see all children, visiting teachers can see children in homes ("classes") to which they are invited.
By default teacher messages are turned off because this is a collaborative tool that means educators in different homes would be able to communicate.
However, teacher messages can be a great training tool, a way to share insights, information and updates across a network of homes.
If you'd like to send messages to one or more teachers at once and you are happy for educators to make comments to these messages that all educators can see, then contact Support and we can turn it on for you.
More on how teacher messages work here.
Story Approval & Admin Role
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.
Admins can give home educators the right (by editing each educator's profile) to use the community message board to send announcements to their families. Messages can be sent to "everyone" or to selected "classes."
That does mean though that educators could inadvertently send a message to all families instead of only their own if they forget "everyone" means not just their families!
And so another option is to leave the "Message Board Writer" permission at its default of off, and have home educators use Group Stories to share with families, selecting the "Day Journal" option to demote 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.
Parent and Educator
Under each educator's profile, there is an option for Educa to see Home Educators as educators and parents. This helps them separate their voice when contributing to the child's learning stories.
Other Settings, Not Home-Based Specific
Here are some other settings to consider changing in Site Settings. Do you want to:
- Change the questions or prompts on the learning story reflection boxes and teacher portfolios?
- Do you want a third reflection box, and do you want it to be private?
- Do you want different "About Me" questions on the child profile page?
- Do you want educators to be able to edit stories written by others?
- Do you want alerts when a learning story is overdue (Site Preferences)? You can choose disable or from a range of 7-60 days.
This is not a complete list. Take a moment to browse through your Site Settings. We have set the defaults to minimize unexpected privacy issues and to conform to most common practice. But every service is unique!