The best way to get started with LIFT

Ensure LIFT is set up ready for use

Before starting, it is important that LIFT is set up to allow you to easily use all of its features and tools.  To do this, we recommend that you check that you have added: 

- your groups and set up your information about each group and the email which is notified when parents use their portal;

-  at least one programming goal;

- details about your service including your philosophy, contact details and logo;

- your children and families; and

- at least 2 or 3 plan cycles (programs) which you can start adding activities to and linking observations to.

Transition from your old programming system to LIFT

Many teachers have very little time available for administration, hence it is very important that services do not do unnecessary duplication or overlap during the transition period.  It is for this reason we recommend you decide the week you wish to start using LIFT and make a clean break from your old system.

To do this effectively, we recommend you first create a program.  Links to observations, notes etc. from your old programming system/files/notes etc. can easily be provided to your new plans in LIFT using the field 'reasons for the experience'.  After you have created a program, you can choose from a variety of templates to display and/or print your program.  We recommend template 1. as a good 'start of the week' template and then template 3 or 4 as a template you can print/display at the end of the week to also show experience reflections, photos and links to the EYLF curriculum. 

Next we recommend you start adding observations and linking them through to future plans (eg. the next week).  This will start you on the cycle of strength based programming where you are building upon and extending learning.  Hopefully in your next program you will have a number of observations with some "next step" experience ideas to include in your program.  

Getting everyone involved with LIFT

Ultimately the goal is that everyone in your service is actively engaged and collaborating using LIFT.  This includes untrained and trained assistants and qualified support staff who work temporarily with different groups.  It is recommended that these staff start using LIFT as soon as possible by adding simple anecdotes and photograph observations.  Later as they build confidence using LIFT, their observations can be challenged to become more rich and provide suggestions for future learning opportunities and ultimately assist the program leader creating, implementing and following up on programmed experiences. 

Transitioning Parents to LIFT

LIFT opens up enormous opportunities to easily collaborate with families, however many families may not even realise the work early childhood educators put into their programs, let alone that a tool like LIFT could allow them to easily participate in the process.  Hence, initially transitioning of parents involves educating them about how to use and get the most from the LIFT tool.  

Set expectations

Before you transition parents we recommend you establish a 'getting started' criteria that is suitable for your service.  For example you may want to have entered at least 2 programs and maybe 5 observations.  That way when parents first open LIFT they will have something to look at and comment upon.   Similarly, you may want to let parents know what to expect from LIFT.  For example, let them know typically how many and/or how often you will observe their child and/ how often they should share an observation from home. That way you won't disappoint parents who are checking LIFT daily when you are updating weekly or fortnightly. 

Update your enrolment records and privacy policies and procedures

LIFT provides the highest level of security for sharing of information and images online.  LIFT has a strict terms of use policy which requires you to take responsibility for implementing the privacy requirements of families using your service.  Your service should advise and update families of use of LIFT and respond with strategies for managing parent's privacy requirements in the same way you manage sharing of photos in centre displays, newsletters and emails (eg. for group programs) etc. 

Similarly your policies and procedures should take the greatest of care to ensure that families information is only ever made available to persons that family has directly given permission to view.  LIFT has developed a recommended permission form to do this.   

Part of this may require you to update your privacy policy is updated to reflect use of electronic documentation that is both online (cloud such as with email, LIFT and CCMS information) and offline (on your local networks).   If you would like help reviewing the adequacy of your policy, please see our web page 'Ensuring your privacy policy is adequate'

Also we recommend you create or update your programming, parent access to children's records policies, guidelines or procedures.  Here's a link to a universal access template policy for LIFT.

Show parents what LIFT can do and how to use it

Educating parents on what LIFT can do is very important and will help motivate parents to get involved early in the process.  We recommend a number of stratgies to do this:

- Use our recommend parent permission form

- Hold an information night

- Invite families to use LIFT (after permission form is returned) which will give parents instant access to their child's account

- Send out a email - show them snippets of observations, programs and other information on LIFT

- Prepare a notice board presentation - Print out a typical child's portfolio with another parents comments

Need more support?

Please don't hesitate to contact our support team at any time to get further support and assistance getting started with LIFT.