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The Childcare Management Blog

How to Make Childcare Attendance Tracking More Efficient

Posted by EZChildTrack Team on Aug 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM

make childcare attendance tracking more efficient

Days at any childcare facility are bracketed by the mayhem of parents rushing to drop off or pick up their children as quickly as possible. Any staff member may be called upon to mediate between two parents who need the same roster sheet. The children must be watched to ensure nobody goes missing in the melee.

This happens twice a day, every day. Thank goodness for weekends. However, there are ways to tame the terror that drop off and pickup can become. You can welcome calm to the mornings and afternoons that you never dreamed you could have, while easily keeping track of little moving bodies and late parents.

Efficient and accurate childcare attendance tracking is a crucial element of your business for several reasons. The smoother it goes, the better your facility operates. Proper attendance tracking can even bring in a little extra revenue without added work on your part.

Let’s look at why you need to track attendance and how to make childcare attendance tracking more efficient.

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It is important to track attendance

Tracking attendance is an essential part of your daily operations.

  • The state government requires it. To retain licensing, you must take attendance daily and review the rosters to ensure parents have signed and dated correctly. Then the records must be retained in a filing system.
  • If your facility provides transportation, you are required to take attendance before and after every trip.
  • If you have children receiving subsidized care, government programs mandate caregivers to keep a record of attendance to confirm parental claims of when a child was in care.

To protect yourself in licensing audits and against liability, take accurate attendance at every juncture.

Your daily operations and business planning rely on accurate attendance figures. From there you can estimate the number of children you will have for the next year. You can also determine which times and sessions are most heavily attended and manage your marketing, staffing, and procurement accordingly.

Knowing attendance numbers also ensures you have the correct student-teacher ratios without overstaffing and paying too much in wages in comparison to the facility's attendance. Calculating full-time equivalency is difficult without understanding your average attendance rate.

Finally, attendance is vital for security. Parents place their children in your care, trusting they will be safe. You need to know that every child is leaving with an adult authorized to pick them up.

Tips for efficient attendance monitoring


Tip #1 - Redesign the sign-in sheet.

Take a look at your current sign-in sheet. If it appears too busy or disorganized, or there is not enough room to record the required information, redesign the sheet so it is easier to use.

You need the check-in and check-out lines to keep moving. The less time it takes to fill out the sign-in sheet, the quicker the process will proceed.

Provide ample room for parents to initial and time stamp their child's drop-off and pick-up times. At invoicing time, it is easier to transfer the information to your billing system accurately.

Better yet, automate sign-in and sign-out with childcare management software. You and your staff can quickly check children in and out of the facility on your smartphone or tablet.


Tip #2 - Keep plenty of copies of the sign-in sheets available.

Prepare a binder with copies of blank sign-in sheets close to the check-in area, so you have ready replacements for full sheets. Also, make sure any new children are added to the attendance roster before their first day of attendance. Both of these practices should reduce wait times.

Advance preparation is essential to efficient attendance monitoring. Many childcare management software solutions simplify this step. From the moment the child is enrolled, the name is added to the electronic roster.

There is no need to take additional steps to transfer information to multiple documents or databases.

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Tip #3 - Value accuracy.

Provide a digital clock with the date near the sign-in area. Select one with a large face and prominent numbers to mitigate errors of time and date. Incorrect entries create problems later.

You can prevent other errors, such as parents initialing the wrong line by creating a sign in sheet for each child, although that may hamper efficiency as parents look for their child’s sheet.

Childcare management software can allow sign-in and sign-out with a barcode scanner and badges. An alternative is a smart card reader that records time quickly and accurately.


Tip #4 - Review sign-in sheets daily.

At the end of each day, review every initial, date, and time for accuracy. You can quickly find and correct errors without trying to recall the information days later. If you review the sheets at the end of the week or month, detecting an error will slow down your billing process and potentially create a dispute with a client.

Childcare management software automatically enters the correct time and date for each child. The information is stored in a central database accessed by all the modules of the software. The time and date need be entered only once, eliminating transfer and translation errors.

When it’s time to invoice, your billing software has all the data necessary to create the invoice including fees and penalties for late pick-ups.

The benefits of efficient attendance tracking

Efficient attendance tracking adds value to your childcare business, saving time and money.

  • Accurate attendance tracking ensures your billing data is always to up-to-date and error-free. There is no need to spend time correcting errors or filling in forgotten fields.
  • Efficient attendance tracking streamlines the process so the children can enter the facility quickly and with less confusion. Parents are not delayed and will be in a better mood as they drop children off.
  • You spend less time on administrative tasks.
  • Accurate attendance records allow you to plan future business growth while simplifying daily operations.

Look for childcare management software to automate your attendance tracking. Parents can sign in multiple children quickly. You can record attendance by activity to determine where you need to make changes in your offerings or marketing. You can also manage staff attendance to streamline payroll and scheduling.

Childcare attendance monitoring is required for licensing. Since you must take attendance, take advantage of the data to manage your childcare facility and generate new business and revenues using data stored in your childcare management solution.

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