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.”

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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 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!