Service deliveryDigital Customer ServiceCouncil websites show progress in presentation of childcare information and services

Council websites show progress in presentation of childcare information and services

Results of the latest survey on council website performance show progress is being made on the presentation of 'Find Childcare' services on mobile devices

Results of the latest Better Connected survey on council website performance show progress is being made on the presentation of services on mobile devices, based on the findings of the ‘Find Childcare’ task.

Reviewers were asked to test websites on the sort of questions parents and carers seeking childcare might ask, using a mobile device. Overall, 52% of councils tested – including all 206 UK councils with responsibilities for children’s services – were assessed as providing a good or very good service for the task. A number of councils recommended for the task were cited as providing an ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’ service.

According to Better Connected, although ‘Find Childcare’ is a relatively straightforward, requiring the presentation of specific information about well-defined things (e.g. availability of free childcare for two- to four-year olds) it almost always led reviewers into directory services hosted on third party platforms.

Directories linked to council websites are often problematic, as has been reported by Better Connected following a number of surveys on adult social care, with platforms from the same provider performing well or badly depending on how well they are implemented and integrated with the main council website, and how well they are maintained.

Viewing directories, with their dropdown menus and multiple options, map facilities and other complex functionality, can also be problematic on mobile devices unless they have been well tested and configured to suit the mobile environment.

 

Good examples

In all, 20 sites are recommended for good practice. There is little variation in terms of the proportion of sites scoring three or more stars between England, Scotland and Wales, despite slightly different arrangements applying in England and Scotland – where there is a centrally provided Family Information Service – and significantly different ones in Wales. No Welsh site scores more than three stars, however.

A number of top examples were highlighted in the full report, which can be found here.

Reviewers gave Buckinghamshire full marks for its site, saying that the childcare directory worked well on mobile and there was a good spread of information available between the main council site and the Family Information Service one.

Bradford was also praised for the way the Family Information Service is integrated into the main website design – reviewers said this is brilliant from a user perspective on a mobile as it makes the whole journey seamless, which is essential when you have limited screen viewing. The use of a Parents Voices video also helped to lift the content.

Manchester was also praised for being a sleek example of a well-designed site that works responsively and all areas from homepage category to search results are quick and accurate.

Related Articles

Intelligent information capture and the future of digital customer service

Digital Customer Service Intelligent information capture and the future of digital customer service

19h Austin Clark
Contact centres: the intersection of software innovation and changing consumer behaviours

Digital Customer Service Contact centres: the intersection of software innovation and changing consumer behaviours

4d Austin Clark
HM Land Registry to launch new Local Land Charges service

Digital Customer Service HM Land Registry to launch new Local Land Charges service

4d Austin Clark
Q&A - Jonathan Owen and technology at local council level - part 2

Digital Customer Service Q&A - Jonathan Owen and technology at local council level - part 2

5d Austin Clark
Library innovation equals success for North Somerset

Digital Customer Service Library innovation equals success for North Somerset

7d Austin Clark
Digital public sector challenges for Scotland announced

Digital Customer Service Digital public sector challenges for Scotland announced

1w Austin Clark
Buckinghamshire appoints first joint ICT director across County Council and NHS

Digital Customer Service Buckinghamshire appoints first joint ICT director across County Council and NHS

1w Austin Clark
The need for technology in today’s contact centres

Digital Customer Service The need for technology in today’s contact centres

2w Austin Clark