Parents want better communication and more convenience

Parents want better communication and more convenience

Communication and coordination is critical. Technology can streamline communication while also engaging parents more fully in their child’s experience.
Send News Alerts Throughout the Day

Besides indicating a child’s status at your center, a mobile communication app enables you to send news alerts, messages, updates and other information through real-time notifications. It can also allow parents to monitor their child’s achievements throughout the day.

Handle Emergencies More Efficiently and Effectively

Imagine a scenario in which you have to close your center because of a snowstorm or other emergency, but some parents don’t receive the message because they already left the house before you called – or maybe they failed to check your center’s website. With the ability to send real-time notifications through a mobile app, you can ensure that parents never miss receiving vital information.

Provide Written Reports at the End of the Day

Many child care centers provide a written report of each child’s activities and progress at the end of the day. But when parents leave their children with you, this is often the first extended absence they have experienced from their child – and it is only natural that some parents might feel anxious or want to learn how things are going before pick-up time rolls around. A mobile app allows you to delight your parents throughout the day.

With a real-time communication app, you can engage with parents and satisfy their curiosity throughout the day by sending them updates, photos, and even short video clips showing key happenings and milestones. Parents appreciate getting these glimpses into their child’s day. Providing a more personal touch to their experience with your center.

Communicate Regularly Without Disrupting Staff

To make sure these real-time updates do not get in the way of actual child care, it is essential that your teachers and other child care providers have an easy way to capture special moments.

Teachers already record their observations about children’s behavior and development; if they can send parents quick updates from the same system they use to log this information, then these updates will not disrupt their daily workflow.

See how one cohesive platform can simplify your workflow!

For Parents, It’s All About Convenience, Convenience, Convenience

Real-time updates are terrific, but parents also want to be able to view a summary of their child’s progress at a glance. They want an easy way to register their child, schedule child care service, and provide medical information, permission forms, or other information as needed, without having to visit your center in person to drop off this information. And they want convenient options when it comes time to pay for child care.

Technology can simplify payments:
  1. It frees busy parents from having to think about making payments. It’s all about their convenience.
  2. It prevents you from having to chase down payments from late-paying clients.
  3. It simplifies your record-keeping.

As parents have more choices about where to send their children for child care, the quality of their experience plays a big role in the choices they make.

This includes not only the quality of the care their child receives, but also important factors such as safety, convenience, communication and engagement. These are all areas where technology can help set your services apart from your competition.

Key Benefits To Using A Child Care Management Software Program

Key Benefits To Using A Child Care Management Software Program

Why Child Care Center Software Is Important For Your Business

Most children today spend half of their young life in and out of child care services due to this economy requiring a double household income. Almost one-quarter (23.4%) of these children are under the age of five and will spend eight to ten hours daily with other adults and kids outside of their family. This includes day care centers, nurseries, and preschools just so their parents can provide not only for their household, but be able to afford the best child care services available to them.

How can we better protect and educate our children for their parents? By providing them with the easiest and safest child care center software program to reassure their children’s success and protection. On a daily basis, the center’s staff are continuously gathering information from parent signatures to infant feeds. One major benefit to using a child care management system software program is slicing away all the time-consuming tasks along with the paper to pen wastes.

By consolidating all of the various binders, whiteboards, and cubbies, you are centralizing and automating the daycare centers daily charting into one location; one file specific for each individual child. This will not only make it easier to keep track of what each child’s daily routine is, but you will be able to provide a printout for the parents if they ask. You will also begin to notice a few other benefits to the child care administration software once you implement the new technology.

Using upgraded child care management software programs doesn’t come without its challenges but making things easier for your staff members will always make things easier for you. By improving their workflow will give them more time to focus on the children instead of continuously filling out forms and making copies for their files. Having a child care center software program will allow your staff to be more productive, happier, and reduce employee turnover.

Additionally, a good preschool software program will allow the parents to engage by using an app to communicate with staff and allows them to stay informed of their child’s day. With the growth in technology over the past two decades, there is an app for everything! What better way to provide comfort, security, success, and reprieve for not only our parents but our staff as well.

Parents Demand Enhanced Safety

Parents Demand Enhanced Safety

The most important factor in choosing a child care provider for many parents is a safe environment. One survey of parents, from the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, found that this was the number one issue for 36% of parents. Cutting edge child care centers are finding that the right technology can help put parents fears to rest by ensuring their child remains secure in their care.

One of the biggest fears on the mind of every parent is the threat of their child being abducted while the parent is away. It’s unlikely a stranger will be the culprit. A more likely scenario is the danger that a child might be taken by an adult that he or she knows. Child care centers need to be prepared for these kinds of situations by having a secure way for parents to drop off and pick up their child. Ideally, all entrances into your facility should be kept locked at all times, and access should be granted only to those who are authorized to enter. So how can you control who enters your facility?

See how we can add a greater level of security in your center.

A system that is becoming increasingly popular is one that allows secure entry to your facility through a simple QR scan. It’s much like the one airline travelers now use to board their flight. A big advantage of this type of system is that it can easily be modified to accommodate trusted friends or family members if someone’s drop-off or pick-up plans should suddenly change.

With a QR code scanner, parents can add another person who is authorized to pick up their child to the system on the fly. Then the system notifies the parents that the child has been picked up by the appropriate person. Parents appreciate knowing when their child has been signed in or out of the facility.

An app that shows the status of a child in real time can give parents this peace of mind, while also ensuring that all family members who are responsible for daily drop-offs and pick-ups are on the same page. No one can pick up a child without an appropriate and approved QR code, giving parents peace of mind.

Work Wiser

Work Wiser

Tobitha Stromile has been at W.I.S.E. Academy in Cedar Hill, Texas for 22 years. “I started using Child Care Manager in 2000 and used it until they changed over to Smartcare last year. This new system helps me so much!”

Smartcare helps with:
  • Child and Staff Attendance
  • Automation of Billing
  • Late Payment Reminders
  • Adding Late Fees
  • Communicating with Parents
 
Automation features were missing

There was so much she was missing in her old software. Tobitha said, “Some weeks I would forget to go in and bill people. I’m not a director who sits in my office all day. I’m teaching classes, I’m very involved in the curriculum, I’m cooking, and doing so much. So, I’d often forget to do certain things in the old software. Now I don’t have to worry about it.

“This new system helps me so much. It helps by sending out automatic tuition billing every week. With Child Care Manager, I had to do everything manually. I would have to print off a receipt and do everything by hand. Now it’s automatic. Parents clock in every day when they drop off their children and clock out when they pick them up. The system knows how long we cared for their children and it bills them automatically. It also emails them a receipt. Tuition is vital to keep things operating. I like that you can set up the tuition and it takes care of everything.”

See how we can help you solve your billing and late payment concerns

Solving the problem of late payments and late pick ups

One area where Tobitha really noticed a difference was in late payments. “It’s really cut down on late payment problems. The system always notifies the parent if their payment is going to be late.  So they’re able to make their payment on time. If they don’t, the system automatically assesses them a fee, so I don’t have to do that anymore.”

Tobitha also has noticed a big difference in parents arriving late to pick up their children. ““I set up the late pickup-fee option in the system and that has really helped.

Since the software knows exactly when they check in and when they check out their kids, the software automatically assesses them a late fee if they arrive late. It’s no longer a personal thing where they think I’m charging them for being late. They just know the system is going to charge them automatically. It’s documented and proved clearly by the system.

This has really cut down on parents being late. I always felt terrible charging late fees and would often forget. Parents got used to me not charging and would arrive later and later. Now they get there on time.”

Enhanced Staff Communication

One area Tobitha didn’t expect to use so much was Smartcare’s staff communication features. “Now, I don’t have to go into Outlook and send emails to everyone. I can send messages right through the Smartcare system, which saves me time.”

She’s also found it very convenient for payroll: “I really like the new clock-in system. I used to use a fingerprint machine. But I like the idea that the staff has to clock-in through the kiosk. They have to clock-in to use the tablets I have for everyone.” This makes everything seamless.  Our staff is able to communicate more with parents. They’re able to document where the children are in their progress and if they are reaching their goals.  The staff also writes down assessments and observations.

“My staff is now documenting everything.  Then, when I have a conference with the parents, I can go into the staff’s notes on their child and give the parent a full assessment of where their child is, what issues we’re having (if any), and the details really make the parents happy. We can even send them pictures of their child.  The parents feel more connected. They feel like they’re partnering with us better in the education of their children.”

They’re seeing pictures through the day. They’re getting notes faster and more often. The system has really made our relationship with parents better. They really like the check-in system. It’s easy to use and frees me up to work with the kids and greet the parents.”

The Blessing of Automation

Tobitha sums up her experience with Smartcare by saying, “Our day-to-day is so busy, Smartcare takes away a lot of the manual application of so many things. It really helps. I like it so much that I’m telling all of the other childcare centers in my area to use Smartcare. About 10 centers have signed on with Smartcare after I told them to try it. When they come back to me, they’re telling me, ‘We like Smartcare so much better than what we were using.’”

What Makes A Good Child Care Business Software?

What Makes A Good Child Care Business Software?

It is a little known fact that nearly one-third of families spend at least 20% of their household income on child care. And of course, why wouldn’t you spend the money to make sure your child is being properly cared for? As a child care provider, you are responsible for making sure a family’s child is safe, happy, and healthy for the duration of time that they are under your care. One of the greatest assets a child care provider has at their disposal is a child care business software. What should you look for in your child care management system software? Continue reading below to find out!

1. User Friendly

There is almost nothing more disheartening that downloading a new app only to open on your mobile device or tablet and be very confused. So one of the first things you want to look for in your child care center software is, is it user-friendly? Do all of the buttons make sense, is it easy to navigate? What does the organization system look like? Do you even like it? This last question here is super important. So yes, you got this software that is meant to make your business and your life a little easier to manage, although, now that you have been using it, you hate it. It is super tedious to use, annoying to log into, etc. This is an example of a bad child care business software. While yes you want something that will be a helpful tool, the best app still might not be the best for you.

2. Purpose

So another thing to keep in mind, what is the purpose of your child care management system software? Do you need it for roll call, do you need it to keep track of which parents’ contact belongs with which child, or are you a preschool teacher who needs software for, well, everything? Looking at the purpose of a child care administration software will help you narrow down your search and help you find the software that will work best for you! There are differences between child care business software and say a preschool management software. One is slightly more specific than the other. This means that the available features for the software or app are going to be a little more specific as well.

3. Growth

So now that you have found the perfect software, you are probably so excited to get started, but is it the best software for you? You have to think big when in business. You must be thinking in terms of longevity. Sure there are going to be plenty of child care business software out there that are great for you right now, but can your software grow with you? It seems like an irrelevant question as you could just go and find another software, but there is software out there that is meant to grow with you. If your numbers increase, no worries. You need more and more data, done. You want something that will be simple and stay simple, check! Make sure you are looking at the whole picture of your business before choosing which child care business software is for you!

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