Child care in the US has a long history that dates back to the Colonial Era. However, the first Model Day Nursery, and precursor of modern childcare centers, was unveiled in 1893 by New York philanthropist led by Jewell Dodge. The National Federation of Day Nurseries was then organized in 1898 with a goal to ensure that “approved methods of rearing children from infancy on” are followed and to advocate high quality early childhood care. Since then, the childcare industry has radically evolved.
For too long, childcare operators and workers have relied on manual, paper-based processes. From checking-in and –out to creating invoices and payment of tuition to managing payroll and taxes, all of these tasks where done manually.
Time-consuming and tiresome back-office functions hinder care workers from focusing on their core duties and responsibilities. Their attention is divided between the care of children and various clerical tasks; as a result, quality of care is compromised.
Fast forward to this day, technology offers better ways to manage and run a daycare center. Among others, computers and IT solutions greatly unburden childcare center owners and providers. There are childcare management software systems that are uniquely designed to automate business-specific processes. This enables operators to get rid of all paperwork and spend more of their time on actually taking care of children.
Daycare management software proves beneficial for childcare administrators, workers, parents and children. Below we take a look at some of the reasons why your center needs this application.
As mentioned above, childcare workers juggle through a lot of paper-based processes. From taking check-in and check-out time to documenting baby diaper checks and feedings to recording developmental milestones, the list just goes on and on. Aside from the paperwork directly related to childcare, there are many other administrative documents like payroll, attendance, billing, etc. All of these documents require the same level of accuracy and timeliness.
Childcare management software automates and digitizes these processes and documents. Employees can easily accomplish necessary paperwork (often repetitive). Data are saved into the database and can be generated or retrieved anytime, anywhere. Going paperless also reduces costs in paper and ink, as well as, postage and record management.
More time with children
Perhaps this is one of the best benefits childcare software brings into you business. Computers can help your staff save time from repetitive and time-consuming tasks. With software platforms, paperwork that usually takes minutes to complete can be done in just a matter of seconds. They can accomplish daily reports with ease even with just a simple click. The same is true with childcare center owners. You can accomplish all managerial tasks quickly using the program. This allows you to spend more time caring and managing children, and ensure better service.
Better revenue collection
Instead of conventional paper invoice, childcare software allows you to schedule and send digital invoices to parents. You can also send reminders to notify parents ahead of time which can help them prepare. This can greatly help increase prompt payments and revenue collection. Childcare software can even be customized to receive payments online for additional convenience.
Since schedule changes are not uncommon, as much as possible, you want to bill the actual hours served. With childcare management software, the attendance feature allows you to track and bill for every minute spent by every child under your care. Among daycare centers that bill manually, there is always the risk of not collecting the actual amount. This could mean hundreds in lost revenue.
Childcare management systems can be programmed to include security features, such as biometric finger scan. With this feature, only authorized people can access the center. You will also be aware of who drops-off and picks-up every child in your care. Adding high-security measures reduces your liability as you are sure children are pick-up only by designated caretakers.
Improve home-school link
Crucial in effective childcare is the engagement and cooperation of parents and family. Childcare administration software provides an accessible communication channel where parents and care workers can connect with each other. It keeps parents informed about emergencies, changes in schedule, daily reports, and other information relevant to the care of the child.
Parents appreciate the convenience the program gives. The instant messaging feature allows them to reach out the center for any concerns or requests. The close collaboration between the parents and the care workers definitely help ensure better care of the children.
Gain deeper insight into child development and progress
Childcare management software records every developmental milestone of a child. It allows childcare providers to videotape these milestones. The daily report provides an accurate monitoring of the progression and development of each youngster in your care. You can easily retrieve these files to evaluate and gain deeper insights about the child’s development. Usually, this sort of data cannot be fully document manually through pen and paper reports. These records are also helpful in the early detection of potential developmental delay that may require medical attention.
Finally, technology saves you time, effort and money running your childcare center. These software systems are developed to serve the unique needs of your daycare. Considering its numerous advantages, it’s not surprising why many childcare operators opt to have one installed in their business.