NDS Support Portal

Welcome to our support portal. Below are different areas of content around our product and services.

 

Additionally, you may contact the NDS Help Desk toll free at (866) 789-7590 or via e-mail at: NDSHelpDesk@usa.childcareaware.org. The Help Desk is available to 8 am to 6 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

 

If you are looking for program details around NDS, they can be found here: http://usa.childcareaware.org/programs-services/naccrra-data-services.

 

Visit our NDS blog here: http://nds.naccrra.org/blogs

 

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Live From Indiana - Child Care Online Part II

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 9:57:01 AM
Child-Care-Online

Time flies - If you work in CCR&R this is no secret to you!

Now that you know the Child Care Online basics, we’ll walk you through our implementation steps.

IACCRR and its CCR&Rs anticipated the implementation of Child Care Online for close to 3 years. We knew there would be a lot of work involved, knew it would change the way parents search for child care, and knew that in order to be successful, the timing needed to be just right for us as a system.

In the fall of 2011, Purdue University released the results of its evaluation of Paths to QUALITY, Indiana’s Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement System. Among other recommendations, the final results recommended strategies to make Indiana’s child care search websites more useful to parents. The following five enhancements were included:

  1. Make finding quality child care easy to access online - with just a few clicks;
  2. Locate providers within a certain number of miles of the parents’ work or home, including locations on a map;
  3. Display each provider’s Paths to QUALITY level and what this means in terms of quality and benefits for children and families;
  4. Allow parents to filter their searches by Paths to QUALITY level;
  5. Access information via mobile phones;

Following the results, IACCRR was asked to demo Child Care Online and the new Online Referral Module at the November 2011 Paths to QUALITY Marketing Committee meeting. (Here’s a link to our current free child care search with Child Care Online profiles: http://www.childcareindiana.org/childcareindiana/ptq.cfm?fccsb=1. During the demo we viewed this page from a test environment.)

Because Indiana receives a replication of all NACCRRA Data Services (NDS) application data every six hours to a local server, we were able to show how Child Care Online profiles could be accessed outside of the Online Referral Module search with just a couple clicks. (Here’s the current link to one of our “live” Paths to QUALITY recognition pages, which update automatically every six hours: http://www.iaccrr.org/default.cfm?page=ptq-programs. Our demo of the search was completed in a beta environment).

After the demo, our partners unanimously agreed the tools would achieve Purdue’s recommendations and would ultimately make searching for child care easier for Hoosier families.  

One of the first big decisions about Child Care Online was who would be able to create a profile. We decided to use Child Care Online as an incentive and recognition tool for Paths to QUALITY providers. (Paths to QUALITY is a voluntary building block model with 4 levels – Level 1 starts with state licensing and the highest level, level 4, is national accreditation). Ultimately the eligibility policy was designed to achieve our mutual goals:

1)      Increase participation in Paths to QUALITY; and

2)      Increase advancement of providers from Level 1 to higher levels

There were additional questions on the table:

  • What requirements would be in place for text and photo submissions?
  • How would providers be trained?
  • Who would deliver provider TA?
  • How would parents learn about Child Care Online?

We knew two things from the start: Child Care Online would need to be a seamless system tied to Paths to QUALITY and had statewide support from all partners – IACCRR and CCR&Rs, Indiana’s Bureau of Child Care, and the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children.

Beginning in December 2011, a Paths to QUALITY subcommittee came together with representation from each partner organization. Our first step was to create a framework for using Child Care Online in Indiana. We studied NACCRRA and U.S. Army materials extensively and began the process of tailoring those to reflect Indiana’s priorities.

Once we had consensus from partners and a solid grasp of policies and procedures, we began to plan for marketing and launch.  Our initial goal for “going live” with Child Care Online was to have 20% participation from all eligible providers. We set a launch date of May 11, 2012 – the Friday before Mother’s Day and Provider Appreciation Day.

On that day, we planned to have 11 simultaneous press conferences throughout the state hosted by local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies. Media and other key stakeholders would be invited to learn about the launch of Child Care Online and the new Online Referral Module. Leading up to the press conferences, materials would be developed to highlight the new products, to raise the awareness for Paths to QUALITY as an effective tool to evaluate child care, and to celebrate the accomplishments of all participating child care programs.

While the subcommittee charted the course to launch, IACCRR’s data team participated in a NACCRRA focus group for Child Care Online. The focus group met regularly to discuss, test and enhance the existing Child Care Online software so that it would ultimately meet the needs of our users. Through this process, we thoroughly tested and retested both the form and the function of the software. We also continued to re-evaluate our training materials. One of our primary goals with Child Care Online was to ensure that it was a system without barriers. We did not want the technological aspects of Child Care Online to prevent providers from using it. We felt that to be a useful tool for providers, and ultimately parents, that it needed to be intuitive. This philosophy guided our practices when it came to recommending software enhancement and creating training programs and materials.

Prior to opening Child Care Online for use, we determined that we would control access by ensuring that only eligible providers could access Child Care Online. We came up with an online sign up system that would allow providers to request access to the system. This allowed us to ensure eligibility before granting access, monitor caseloads by only giving access to those who had requested and were eligible, and to track our progress toward our 20% goal.

In February 2012, we began meetings with each of our 11 CCR&R agencies to acquaint them with Child Care Online and train them in its basic use. We also began our first marketing blast by sending letters to all providers in the state, announcing this exciting new product and letting them know to look for upcoming trainings in their area.

Beginning in March 2012, we held trainings in each of our CCR&R service delivery areas. This was a 2.5 hour training in the evening allowing providers to get their first glimpse of Child Care Online, learn how to use the system and sign up for access to the program so that they could begin working on their profile. We attempted to market the product heavily during this time period so that when we went “live” on May 11th, parents would be able to see a variety of online profiles right away. 

In addition to local training sessions, we also held weekly webinars with live online demonstrations of Child Care Online. These were 1.5 hours long and were offered through March, April and May. We have continued to offer these monthly since the release of Child Care Online.

Our trainings were well attended and a significant buzz was created about Child Care Online. Each training yielded multiple sign ups and we ended up meeting our goal of 20% of eligible providers signing up for Child Care Online.

On May 11,2012, we held 11 simultaneous press conferences around the state, each attended by representatives of the CCR&R agency, a representative of IACCRR, a representative of our partner agencies IAEYC and the Indiana Bureau of Child Care. Other stakeholders were on hand - local officials, media, parents, child care providers, and business representatives. At these events, the new Online Search was demonstrated and sample profiles were viewed through Child Care Online. News coverage appeared in local newspapers, radio and television – all promoting Child Care Online. Overall the system was touted as a win- win for providers and families. Providers gained a free marketing tool, a way to promote their business and demonstrate their commitment to providing quality child care. Parents gained a new avenue for searching for care, being able to virtually visit sites with the click of a button, saving them valuable time and allowing them to compare and contrast varying types and levels of quality care.

Since the launch of Child Care Online, sign-ups continue to roll in daily. We have heard praise for the program from our agencies, our providers and parents in our communities. The implementation process was a lengthy but a well-coordinated effort, through which we gained invaluable insight which allowed us to make Child Care Online the best it could be for our State.

The graph below shows the current participation status of Child Care Online eligible facilities (As of October 24, 2012). Participation is defined as programs that are either in the process of developing a Child Care Online profile or have completed a Child Care Online profile. Keep in mind Child Care Online has been available in Indiana for just over 6 months.

 image

This graph breaks participation into three groups – eligible facilities not participating, eligible facilities in process, and eligible facilities with completed profiles.

 image

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or if you are interested in getting started.

Contact Information

Jennifer Bump

Director of CCR&R Quality Assurance

Indiana Association for Child Care Resource and Referral

3901 North Meridian Street, Suite 200

Indianapolis, IN  46208

Toll-free (800) 299-1627