Running any business without the help of technology is nearly impossible in this day and age. The question now is how to get the most out of your technical solution. For childcare, parental expectations and the need to streamline operations require a quality childcare management system that provides the tools needed to run your business.
Getting the most out of your childcare management system means taking a close look at your operations and processes, determining what problems the software can help you resolve, and taking the time to customize the various applications to your specific childcare operation.
Choose Web-Based Software
Software as a Service (SaaS), also known as web-based software, provides affordable flexibility. Web-based software eliminates the need to load and maintain software on your business computer or server. You don’t need to have an IT staff, and you certainly won't need to pay for updates.
Web-based software is sold on subscription, with monthly payments that include the cost of software updates and maintenance. You access the software via a web-browser from any compatible device, so you and your staff aren’t locked down to one workstation or office.
You can take care of business from anywhere at any time. When your business is childcare, software provides automation and storage that can streamline any business process and keep your records up to date.
Automation takes over those manual processes requiring pen and paper or even several computer programs. Administrative tasks can be repetitive and work-intensive, taking up time and effort that is better spent building your business and taking care of the kiddos.
Automation eliminates errors and duplication, improving the quality of all your business practices. Promoting your automated processes and software attracts clients, especially parents who grew up in a digital age and expect everything to be online. It also makes data gathering a breeze. You can make business decisions on the fly or generate reports for tax filing or licensing purposes.
Automation simplifies your business operations, allowing you to spend time on more valuable pursuits.
Data Gathering and Storage
Use your childcare management system to gather essential data and store documents and files without the need for file cabinets, folders, or paper of any kind. Instead, all the information you need to operate your childcare business fits into the central database of the software. From there, other applications can access the information for multiple purposes.
- Download and store immunization records and set the system to notify you when a vaccination is due or the information is otherwise outdated.
- Store demographics and family information for each child, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for any family member with authority to pick up or make decisions for the child.
- Store emergency numbers for quick access in case a child becomes ill or injured while in your care, or when other issues affect changes in pickup or dropoff time or location.
- Track child development and progress, with easily generated reports and transparency for the parents.
- Gather all documentation and reporting necessary for licensing administration, budgeting, and business decisions.
- Keep attendance without rosters.
Determine what pieces of information you are required to have on hand and who needs access to that information. When implementing your software system, configure the settings to match your needs. Periodically audit your processes for any required changes.
Are you still using paper rosters or binders to take attendance? Are you asking parents to huddle around the daily attendance sheet to sign their child in or out?
Streamline attendance and never again ask a parent to go back to correct a record. Childcare management software can be set to timestamp each check-in and check out through a barcode, smart badge, or another method. Staff can use a smartphone, tablet, or other devices to record the data as the child comes and goes.
Automated attendance helps you with space utilization as well. If you see that one class requires more space while another has room, you can use the data to rearrange classroom usage for efficiency.
The time and date of each interaction will be stored; no dates are missing or incorrect. Parents can quickly get their children into and out of the daycare. Also, you have an audit trail if any issues come up, or you need to prove enrollment numbers for agency payments, grants, or business reasons.
Automating your attendance also helps you set an accurate budget and plan meals efficiently. Many childcare management systems also help with menu preparation and meal tracking for each child and in aggregate. You can reduce food waste and easily serve special dietary needs.
Billing and Payment Processing
Manual billing and payment processing is another highly repetitive administrative task that is easily automated using your childcare management system. Customize your billing with your business information, client information, and a detailed invoice of charges and fees. Set the system to email the invoice or make it available within a secure parent portal, notifying the parent if there is a bill awaiting payment.
You no longer need to print bills and send them home with each child or family. Also, you don’t need to collect checks and make trips to the bank to deposit them. Take advantage of the ability to accept multiple forms of payment, including credit cards and bank drafts. You can process payments as they arrive, smoothing your revenue stream. And since the system automatically tracks late pickup and late payment fees, they will never again fall through the cracks.
Overall, you collect more revenues with less effort.
Build Communication and Trust
Set your childcare management system to send messages to all your clients or specific parents automatically as needed. When parents and caregivers know they are in the loop at all times, they come to trust your childcare business. When parents trust you, they are more likely to recommend your services.
Along with that trust is the knowledge that you are letting them share in the milestones their children achieve while in daycare. Parents also know they can be reached in an emergency.
Configure your software with the appropriate information, from phone numbers to people authorized to pick up each child. Staff quickly accesses the information as needed to keep things functioning smoothly. They know they can provide feedback whenever they like, and you have a way of tracking all interactions between your childcare establishment and your clients.
Childcare management software solutions take most of the administrative burden off your hands while providing actionable data to help you run your business efficiently. When you are no longer tethered to your desk full of papers and documents, you can plan, promote, and grow your childcare business by opening new locations and coordinating across the enterprise.
Contact EZChildTrack to learn how our software can be customized to help your childcare business.