Making finding childcare easier
The department brought Balance Internet on board in February 2018, to build a proof of technology for their Service Connect platform concept. Successful delivery of the proof of technology was followed by the development and delivery of the industrialised solution and onboarding the first tenant – Childcare Finder.
In collaboration with DHS project team Balance Internet provided:
- Digital Strategy
- User Experience Design
- User Interface Design
- Service Design
- Platform Architecture & Engineering
- Implementation & Deployment of Software Solution
The Department of Human Services wanted to transform the way that people connect with childcare providers — giving people a single place to search for providers and their contact and location information, the details of their service offerings and availability, and how providers rate against the National Quality Framework.
The opportunity for the Department of Human Services was to provide Australians with a consistent service delivery experience and contribute to the digital transformation of government services for the benefit of all Australians.
A platform called ‘Service Connect’ was to be developed, it would initially host a new ‘Child Care Finder’ and over time grow to host a range of additional programs, including those outside of childcare.
Service Connect and Child Care Finder, needed to be a scalable platform with high traffic capabilities, able to accommodate additional features, and future provider programs.
Child Care Finder was to replace the previous “My Child” website, which did not make use of a contemporary digital experiences on both desktop and mobile devices, restricting the ability to search for providers at the user’s convenience and get enough information for them to make an informed decision.
The initial phase of the project produced a proof of technology to deliver the foundations of an industrialised version of the Childcare Finder which was done through a series of prototypes based on essential requirements and using agile project management and DevOps processes, incorporating key development tools and platforms.
The next phase of the project saw Balance Internet delivering the public release which included the necessary functions, designs, accessibility and user experience to the digital standards required.
This phase also included the integration with internal Department of Human Services applications to present the detailed data for each child care service such as availability, location, facilities (nappies, foods, services) and national quality ratings.
To meet the high standards required by a Federal Government agency, the application underwent regression testing and quality assurance before public release, was extensively tested for performance and security, and had regular accessibility audits to adhere to WCAG 2.0 AA Standards .
The new Service Connect platform was developed for the Department of Human Services using open source technologies with the Department of Education’ Child Care Finder being the first offering of services to the public. The new platform has a fully responsive WCAG 2.0 AA compliant user interface and was tested for optimal performance and security under peak traffic loads.
The application was refined with additional requirements using agile methodologies, ensuring late requirements were developed, tested and deployed. The platform was launched to Australian citizens in December 2018, with the announcement from Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, the Hon Michael Keenan MP.