The Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) has been serving children, families and childcare providers since 1976. CCRC runs Head Start centers, subsidizes child care for low income families, offers resources for parents and providers, including child care referrals, training on child development, and healthy eating programs, and conducts research on child development and care, among other similar outreach programs.
In a 750-strong workforce with just one person to manage all the training outside departmental processes, CCRC needed a learning management system for two key reasons. Firstly, they needed to provide more access to training for employees, as there were limits to the amount of face-to-face training that could be delivered by one person. Also, with many remote workers, a four-hour round trip to their nearest office for training was not the best use of their time. Secondly, CCRC needed a more efficient tracking system, particularly for mandatory training requiring refresher sessions each year. This was previously being tracked manually in a spreadsheet, but moving to an automated online system would ensure the process was easier and safer.
As a not-for-profit organisation receiving federal, state and county funding, CCRC was required to obtain three quotes for a project of this magnitude. Various learning vendors recommended Totara Learn as the best LMS for the job, and it turned out to be the most cost-effective option of their top three choices. For this project, CCRC chose to work with Totara Partner eClass4Learning.
eClass4Learning built an API to connect their Active Directory and UltiPro systems to get CCRC’s data into the Totara system. This was a key benefit of choosing an open source platform such as Totara Learn – the interoperability ensured that CCRC could continue to use its existing systems alongside their LMS for a seamless transition to the new platform. The fact the LMS can be extended and customised using plugins was also appealing to CCRC, who wanted the option to introduce new elements further down the line.
CCRC also knew that they wanted to continue delivering soft skills training, such as time management and communication, in face-to-face sessions, which were previously set up using Eventbrite. They now manage face-to-face bookings using Totara Learn’s seminars functionality, meaning they can more easily track who has registered for and attended the sessions.
Along with the face-to-face training, CCRC now offers SCORM e-learning packages, quizzes, certifications and resources online, helping them reach a far wider audience with their learning. This covers safety training, supervisor training and technical training, and runs alongside the face-to-face workshops.
CCRC opted to self-host their Totara Learn platform to keep costs as low as possible – an important consideration as a nonprofit.
CCRC launched its face-to-face training via Totara Learn in May 2017, with the self-paced e-learning launching in June 2017. So far, there have been more than 500 completions of their ergonomics training, and 40 completions of their optional face-to-face supervisor training. They recently launched trainings on Bloodborne Pathogens and Defensive Driving training to nearly 200 Head Start employees.
So far, CCRC is very pleased with how much more efficient Totara Learn has made reporting, enabling them to move away from collating information from various spreadsheets and towards creating reports at the click of a button. The LMS is already making the learning management process less cumbersome, and reducing the administrative workload around reporting.
In the future, CCRC would like to work with eClass4Learning to create more programme-specific training for different departments across the organisation. They hope to be providing learning for up to 1,000 employees by the end of 2018. Once this is complete, they would eventually like to provide learning content for parents and care providers, which has the potential to vastly increase their audience.
“Totara has helped us leap forward in both efficiency and technology. We are now able to provide a greater array of trainings to reach a larger audience. With the different options for delivery, we can cater to different learning styles and scheduling needs, and we can explore courses that have multiple components. We are able to more easily access who has completed mandatory trainings and provide reporting data to the Leadership Team and Board as needed without shuffling through possibly inaccurate spreadsheets.” – Charity Katz, Training & Development Leader