Rostering in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings is not easy. In fact, as far as managing an ECEC setting is concerned, creating and implementing rosters is probably the hardest task for any leader to implement effectively week in week out.

That shouldn’t really be a surprise to any seasoned early learning professional.After all, the number of variables that have to be considered to ensure a roster is compliant, efficient and meets team member’s needs is really very high.

For example, how do we predict with certainty how many children are actually going to turn up on any given day? Do we roster assuming all of them turn up or do we roster assuming there are always going to be absences? And if so, how many absences?

How do we predict how many team members may be off sick, or take an unexpected personal leave break? Should we ‘over roster’ to account for this? And if so, should we use a casual or offer overtime to existing team members?

It is exactly these types of complexities that make rostering so difficult, and which time and time again lead to roster errors like team members being forced to do ten hour days at short notice, or staff having to stay on because rosters between rooms may not be fixed.

The reality is that rostering in ECEC is hard, and that challenge is precisely why more and more organisations are turning to AI driven rostering options such as Daitum’s Rostering for Childcare solution.

How can AI driven rostering solve rostering mishaps at your service?

The key strength of AI driven rostering solutions is their ability to process huge amounts of data in a very short period of time, which gives AI a tremendous edge when it comes to identifying the best roster for a given set of variables and in so doing solve for key issues like:

1. Being short staffed at pick up times

This is a major concern for providers and team members alike. Nobody wants to stay on late at short notice and the concerns around supervision and parent satisfaction will always be running high at these crucial times.

Daitum’s Rostering for Childcare solution solves for this problem by reviewing historic pick up patterns of children via a direct feed from the service’s childcare management system.

It can therefore calculate with a high degree of certainty when a child will be picked and how many staff members will be needed to ensure ratios are maintained until closing time.

2. Being short staffed at opening times

Another key challenge for providers is knowing how many educators to roster on at the start of the day. This is linked to the arrival time of children, but also to the probabilities that a team member may not come to work due illness or another unexpected reason.

Daitum’s Rostering for Childcare solution solves for this problem by reviewing historic educator attendance patterns via a direct link from the service’s payroll system.

It can therefore calculate with a high degree how many team members on a given day are likely to come to work, and provide the service leader with more forewarning to make arrangements to address any “surprises” that may come through the night before or early morning before work.

3. Planning and lunch covers getting squeezed

Planning and lunch cover are core parts of a healthy roster. Team members need to have room to prepare their classes and also ratios need to be met during lunch periods. Any slippage in the broader roster can negatively impact both of these and in turn create a range of associated challenges.

By leveraging historic data, Daitum is able to generate rosters that account for a range of factors that may impact a service from day to day. By identifying and solving for these unexpected developments the chances that a service is short staffed falls dramatically, reducing the need for planning time and lunch cover to be forfeited by team members.

One bad rostering decision or occurrence can ripple through a service very quickly. Daitum’s Rostering for Childcare solution aims to limit bad rostering decisions from occurring in the first place providing more peace of mind for leaders and educators alike.