Skilled volunteers delivered Microsoft Excel team education and Tech Therapy support to team of child development coaches at Child Care Resources Inc. that works with Mecklenburg child care programs to support, sustain, and advance high quality services.
Realizing that they could improve their effectiveness by going paperless, but knowing they needed support to fully get there, CCRI’s Quality Every Project reached out to Apparo for Team Training and Tech Therapy. They were connected to Excel trainer Tom Hinkle and skilled volunteers from CapTech: Anthony Beeker and Joseph Shaw.
Quality Every Day provides one-on-one coaching and group training, focused on supporting, sustaining, and advancing the quality of Mecklenburg County’s child care programs, with priority given to those that serve low-income children and families. QED’s coaching team of twelve supports 65+ child care programs annually that serve children ages 0-5. The team was interested in learning more about ways to further streamline their data collection, analysis, and reporting capabilities to enhance efficiencies.
We met with Lee Perry, CCRI’s Quality Every Project Manager, to learn about the significance of this work and its anticipated impact. Lee explains, “My team needed more training to improve and expand their use of Excel. Each quarter I have to produce reports that track outputs and outcomes and it takes me 1-2 days to gather and compile the data from my team. I knew we could save considerable time consolidating data if the team became more proficient with Excel.
“We were a tough team to train because our QED coaches are at many different levels of Excel proficiency. The Apparo provided volunteers were so patient with our questions and taught us many useful tips and tricks. Now our team has improved confidence. They are using Excel consistently and are sharing their knowledge.
“Our Tech Therapy volunteers were gamechangers. They followed up thoroughly and were extremely detailed. While we already had access to Microsoft 365 across the organization, the volunteers also coached us on how we could better use this software. Now, instead of struggling to integrate our third-party forms with Microsoft, we use Microsoft Forms. Our team also now uses OneNote for documentation, which keeps us more organized and provides easy, consistent access to data.”
In conclusion, Lee says, “We really appreciate the time all of our volunteers put in working with us.”
In summary, as a result of this work with Apparo, CCRI’s Quality Every Day coaches have:
- Increased access to on-demand data (especially important in given that coaches spend most of their work day in area child care programs and not at their desks)
- Increased efficiency with reduced time spent on gathering/compiling data for quarterly reporting – 1-2 days of work is now a few hours, estimated to save nearly 50 hours annually
- Improved data gathering process (pre and post training data collection with teachers) through use of Microsoft Forms – easier for the teachers to provide data and saves nearly 30 additional hours annually (45 minutes per each of 36 trainings) which was previously spent scoring results
- Increased organization and ease of access to documentation, through use of OneNote
With increased understanding and more efficient use of Excel and Microsoft 365, CCRI’s Quality Every Day team will have deeper insights into needed areas for focused services and more time to spend in classrooms delivering coaching to teachers – all to support and advance the delivery of high-quality child care for children in the programs served.