AP Forms must have a termination date

Commencing immediately all new AP forms completed by CIH families must have a termination date, which should be 12 months in the future, i.e. the same date as the start date, but just one year later. To date, the practice has varied with some coordinators preferring to leave the AP open-ended, so that families can catch up on any missed payments.  In one way, this makes sense, but we are facing a growing number of families who simply don’t cancel their APs and this creates a real problem when we are unable to (a) contact them to stop their APs and (b) return the overpaid funds.

We now have over 500 families who have overpaid and this is huge job trying to contact them and get them to stop their APs.  One Taranaki family holds the record for overpayments – a whopping $1700!  This family has continued to pay for more than three years after our subsidised internet connection ended.

We are going to have a blitz on contacting the families who have overpaid, starting with the 21 families who have overpaid by more than $500.  I find it hard to think of any family who wouldn’t welcome a $500 cheque for Christmas!

Automatic Payment Regional Codes

For ease of reference, the “Code” field data for each CIH region is summarised below. The example is for 2degrees connections.  “2DEG” should be replaced with a suitable abbreviation for other ISPs.  This information is to be entered in the “Code” field of family automatic payment forms.  The family lastname and firstname initial should be entered in the “Particulars” field (e.g. Henare, P).  The CIH family number should be entered in the “Reference”field.

Coordinators should pre-enter these details in the AP forms BEFORE handing to families to ensure the information on the deposits is accurate.  Without these details it is very difficult to match the payment to the family.

Computers in Homes Region Code
Auckland – Central 2DEG-AKC
Auckland – East 2DEG-AKE
Auckland-Franklin 2DEG-FR
Auckland – Mangere/Otahuhu 2DEG-MO
Auckland – Manurewa/Papakura 2DEG-MP
Auckland – Papatoetoe/Otara 2DEG-PO
Auckland – West 2DEG-AKW
Central North Island 2DEG-CNI
Christchurch 2DEG-CH
Dunedin 2DEG-DN
Eastern Bay of Plenty 2DEG-EBOP
Far North 2DEG-FN
Gisborne 2DEG-GS
Hastings 2DEG-HB
Hauraki/Coromandel/Thames 2DEG-HCT
Manawatu/Horowhenua/Kapiti 2DEG-MHK
Nelson/Marlborough/Buller 2DEG-NMB
Northland 2DEG-NOR
Porirua 2DEG-POR
Rotorua 2DEG-ROT
Southland 2DEG-SOU
Tairawhiti 2DEG-TAI
Taranaki 2DEG-TAR
Tauranga 2DEG-TG
Waikato 2DEG-WAI
Wairarapa 2DEG-WPA
Wairoa 2DEG-WOA
Whanganui 2DEG-WAN
Wellington/Hutt 2DEG-WN
West Coast 2DEG-WC

 

CIH Google Sheets and Blog Quiz

Congratulations to the two teams that achieved the highest scores at the Whangarei Hui in the CIH Google Sheet Quiz.  As explained at the hui, the purpose of the quiz was to provide a checklist of the “rules” for entering data into the CIH google sheets.  I want to make sure that every keeps a copy of these “rules” on hand when they are working with the google sheets.  You can find it here whenever you need it.

CIH invoice processing from 1 September 2016

As discussed at our Whangarei Hui, we will be implementing new invoice processing arrangements for CIH and other 2020 projects from 1 September 2016.

  1. Coordinators and other 2020 personnel who are authorised to spend project funds must sign all invoices from service providers and contractors such as trainers and technicians relating to work they have commissioned.  Signing the invoice is confirmation that the details are correct and that the service has been provided.
  2. Coordinators must ensure that there is adequate information on each invoice to ensure the expenses can be correctly coded and entered to Xero by the Wellington office.  This includes the type of expense (e.g. computers, training, travel, etc.)as well as the project, selected from the following list:
    • CIH 2014-15
    • CIH 2015-16
    • CIH 2016-17
    • Stepping UP
    • ICDL Commercial
    • KiwiSkills Jobseeker
    • Refugee 2015-16
    • Refugee 2016-17
  3. Invoices and attached receipts for expense claims must then be scanned and sent to accounts@2020.org.nz
  4. Invoices will be coded by the Wellington office, entered to Xero and paid. This is a significant change, as Coordinators no longer need to enter invoices to Xero.
  5. Note this applies to all coordinator invoices as well as those from other contractors.

New look for 2016-17 Google Sheets

Over the next few days, coordinators will notice a change in their 2016-17 google sheet. Following suggestions from Christina and Kristina, I have given the 2016-17 google sheet a thorough over-haul, removing unused fields and grouping data elements to make things more accessible for coordinators.  If you want a sneak preview, take a look at Auckland East, although a few other regions have already been migrated.  You will not need to adjust any data that has already been entered, as this will automatically be moved to the new locations.  Greyed columns and lines contain formulae or fixed data (such as family numbers) and must not be overwritten.  Otherwise I think you will find the new sheets a delight to work with (that might be overstating things a bit, but I am sure you will quickly get what I mean).

Just a couple of ‘traps’ to watch out for:

  1. Reds, oranges and yellows remain and are conveniently summarised in the first few columns.  If you think the count is wrong, you can change the number in cell A2 (e.g. from 1 to 2) and this will initiative a colour count update.
  2. Temporary Notes (column F) is for exactly what it says (temporary notes); these should only be a short ‘aide memoire’ that should be deleted when no longer required; longer notes that you would like preserved are welcome in column BF.  The reason will be obvious to most of you who like to write screeds of notes – this quickly expands to the field to a point where the sheet becomes very hard to use.
  3. Do not enter the family email in column N; this is mirrored from column AO.
  4. You no longer need to enter the family contribution Payment Amount (column S), as this is determined by the AP Frequency (column R).  Weekly = $10; Fortnightly = $20, Monthly = $40
  5. All the family contacts details have been moved towards the end of each sheet; these fields will be populated from the online registration forms.

As always, constructive feedback is welcome, but there is a lot of effort involved in updating and checking the sheets, so we can’t promise to accommodate all suggestions immediately.

Updates to the CIH online Family Registration Form

 

Thanks for the feedback from the Coordinators who have started to use the online registration form – 5 regions are now using this and have provided useful feedback on the design of this form.  As a result, we have made some improvements:

  • a tick box for the $50 commitment
  • a signature field
  • adding validation for phone number formatting
  • fixing a glitch with email address validation
  • adding a couple of omitted fields (Child 4 & 5 DOB)

The process currently is:

  • participants complete a paper-based version of the registration form which includes their time preferences for training
  • when accepted onto the programme participants (or the coordinator) transfer this information into the online registration form (this should happen on the first night of training)
  • the google form populates a secure google doc and selected fields are then transferred manually to the main Computers in Homes MOE 2016-17 google sheets ( we are using a manual process at this stage but this may be automated in the future)

Please note:

  • There may be a day or two between participants entering their info and it being available in  the main Computers in Homes MOE 2016-17 sheet
  • The form is for new Families starting with CiH. Once the data is entered and transferred to the main google sheets, all updates should be carried out in the main google doc
  • We have discovered that families who enter the data themselves may not take a lot of care in terms of capitalising their names or street names, so coordinators will need to review the data once it appears in the main google sheets and make any corrections.
  • Date format: the form takes the date and time format from the computer & browser used with the form.  Our preference is dd mmm yyyy e.g. 29 Jul 2008 or dd/mm/yyyy.  If you see other formats e.g. American mm/dd/yyyy 07/29/2008 it is because the training computer Languages and Regions has not been set to NZ. Unfortunately we can’t use the form to force our preferred format – but it’s an opportunity to get the PCs used by participants set to NZ time!

 

Family Registrations for 2016-17

Thank you to the coordinators who have trialed our new online registration form; we have had such positive feedback that we would like to adopt this immediately across the whole programme for 2016-17.  So this is now “compulsory” for all registrations.  Some coordinators are using this as a practical exercise at the first training session and that is fine with us.  Others are using the printed form and then data entering themselves. Clearly the first option will save you a bit of effort and gets everyone off to a good start on their digital learning journey – filling in online forms is definitely a skill we want all CIH families to have.  And it can even provide a learning opportunity for participants – one family in Christchurch didn’t know their postcode, so the tutor took the opportunity to get everyone to go to the NZ Postcode site and enter their own addresses to find their postcodes.

But perhaps the biggest advantage for coordinators is that information loaded through the online form will be used to populate your Google Sheets, saving you even further work!

For the two or three coordinators who have already made a start populating the 2016-17 google sheets with family names, please now re-enter the data into the online form (you can access this from the secure area of the CiH website).

Please make sure you are using the new registration forms (also in the secure area of the CiH website), so that you are capturing details about participants’ children at the time of registration.

New column in 2016-17 Google Sheets

I have added a new column (AY) in the 2016-17 Google Sheets for coordinators to record that they have received and are holding a signed copy of the family agreement form.  This is a simple pull-down (YES/NO) menu.  I would expect this to be completed by the end of the first week of training. This is required to meet the new reporting requirements of our CIH contract.

New CIH Family Agreement from 1 July 2016

All families participating in Computers in Homes from 1 July 2016 are required to complete a newFamily Agreement 1 (July 2016).  The new form deletes some components of the old agreement and adds a new requirement about information sharing with Government agencies (last bullet point).  We are legally required under the Privacy Act to obtain the explicit approval of participating families to permit us to inform government agencies the names of families who have participated in Computers in Homes.  Families need to be reassured that this information is solely for research and evaluation purposes; the results of any analysis carried out using this information will not identify individual families; the data will always be reported in such a way that individual families can not be identified.

New Registration Form for CIH Families

As from today (1 July 2016) all coordinators are required to use a new  FamilyRegistrationForm when registering families.  This is required to capture some additional information about participating families, including date of birth and children’s names and birth dates.  We have an online version of this sign-up form in the secure area of the CIH website (Coordinator Resources):

http://computersinhomes.nz/resources/coordinator-resources/family-recruitment-form-google/

Coordinators are required to transfer the data from the registration form to the online form and this will populate our google sheets.

This is the first step in a new integrated approach to data capture, where CIH family data is entered in one place only, something many of you have been asking for, for some time.  This is a work in progress, so there might need to be some manual back office updating before everything is working as we need it, but we have to start somewhere.

It has already been suggested that maybe families could enter the data themselves as part of their first class.  This is a possibility (assuming they have the confidence to do this) but the forms would still need to be completed manually some time before the start of the first class, as they are also used to help schedule classes at a time that suits everyone.

Anyway, let’s give it a go and we can improve our processes as we move forward.

Chris T has raised some points below and I have included my comments by way of a response:

Chris:  Actually, I’ve had another look at this form and think there’s some other things missing.  There’s no provision for providing contact details for prospective participants.

My response:  There is provision for a physical address and a phone number.  What other contact details would you expect, given that it is highly likely applicants would not already have an email address, or if they did, no computer to access their email.

Chris: There’s no “features and benefits” for prospective participants.  For example:  They are entitled to a computer, subsidised internet connection and tech support.  

My response:   I guess this could be added, but I would have expected this to be explained at the parent information evening or through other communications.  The registration form is really just intended as a registration of interest and to help trainers plan a suitable training time.

Chris: You could also cut down on space by replacing the table under the question “what time suits? and put Morning/Afternoon/Evening on one line and Days of the week on the next line.

My response:  This becomes a problem when “Tuesday Morning”, “Wednesday Afternoon” and “Thursday Evening” all suit.