About Mellombølgen kindergarten
Mellombølgen kindergarten is one of the most modern and up-to-date kindergartens in Norway. It is also one of the largest. It currently has capacity for 230 children and employs 56 people, of various age groups, genders, and with a diverse range of skills. The staff cohort consists of 50% kindergarten teachers, 15% child and youth workers, 30% kindergarten employees, and 5% who are in kindergarten teacher education. The kindergarten prides itself on its high level of child and parent satisfaction, with a specific focus on developing children’s confidence in their social and language skills. Mellombølgen kindergarten is set in a beautiful location, with a forest and light trail as its nearest neighbor.
The scale of the challenge
The logistics of a kindergarten this size was already quite complex before the pandemic. The last year and a half have brought new, significant challenges related to its staffing. Quarantines, social restrictions, extraordinary regulations, and new department structures have raised the administrative workload dramatically. Handling all of this manually has taken a significant toll on staff and managers.
In response, city officials were seeking new ways of streamlining processes and reducing manual workload. They recalled a new software being implemented in Oslo’s healthcare sector, Globus AI, and wondered if it could be applied to the kindergarten. Prior to this, in 2019, the Department of Business Development and Public Ownership selected Globus AI as an innovation partner to solve challenges related to healthcare staffing in the city of Oslo. When the third Covid-19 wave hit in spring 2021, Globus was already deployed to improve staff scheduling in the home health sector in the city.
Introducing Globus AI’s solution
City officials introduced the Globus AI team to Mellombølgen kindergarten. At first, the managers, Espen Wiik and Stine Tangevold, were skeptical. They had invested time and money in other software solutions before without getting the results they anticipated. Stine was unsure if yet another solution would be worthwhile to test.
“I must say I was very skeptical. We were busy. Very busy handling all the regulations and extra work with Covid-19, and then spending time on learning and implementing something new… But I’m very happy we did. It was easy and intuitive. I didn’t realize how much time I’d spent on coordination until that time was freed up by Globus AI.”
Through Globus AI, the time spent on planning staffing and reaching out to temporary staff has been cut in half. This came at a critical time for the kindergarten, as due to the pandemic, an increasing number of substitute staff were required. Workloads increased dramatically, and day-to-day management became more complex. To help during the third wave of Covid-19, Globus AI set up Globus Staffing for Mellombølgen free of charge.
"During Covid-19 we have had so many things to think about. Who belongs in which cohort, who can work in which department, who is in quarantine, and continuous changes in work calendars. It's so helpful to have a tool that can support us and help offload tired minds, " explains Stine Tangevold. She continues, "Compared to having a manual overview in disparate systems and spreadsheets, Globus AI is infinitely superior. Globus AI updates automatically, and is available on my mobile, tablet, home computer, and work computer. For me personally, as someone who likes structure and to keep track, the complete staffing overview is fantastic."
Globus AI’s COO, Tor-Håkon Hellebostad, worked closely with Mellombølgen during and after the implementation. He is very pleased with the reaction and the effects seen in Mellombølgen.
“This is very aligned with our vision of empowering people and helping people become the best version of themselves. Globus AI’s staffing assistant is freeing up valuable administrative time that can be used to improve operations and make life better for the children and workers. It feels good to support them during the tough times of the pandemic.”
“We are working hard so that this trial project will roll out to other kindergartens in Norway and beyond. I think we can have a big impact in this sector, both on kindergarten teachers, managers, and children. We are already onboarding the second kindergarten in the city district and we have a plan for rolling out to a third one right after summer,“ Tor-Håkon Hellebostad finished.