Childcare center owners, and their teachers, give their time, energy, and skills to ensure that children in their communities receive the education and care they deserve.
But sometimes working at a childcare center poses a unique set of challenges. Whether it’s administrators being buried in a mountain of paperwork, or teachers struggling to track a child’s learning progress against developmental milestones, there’s no shortage of challenges for childcare professionals to overcome.
Thankfully, the development of technology in the childcare field is making it easier for childcare professionals to address these challenges. By embracing technology, childcare center owners and teachers free themselves to spend more time delivering high quality childcare and education to children, strengthening their business.
At Daily Connect, we’ve been in the childcare technology business for 12 years now, so it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about the challenges faced by childcare providers of all sizes, all over the world. Here’s some of the most common challenges, alongside our tips to help you overcome them:
#1 Keeping up with licensing requirements and state standards
It’s important to always stay compliant with federal and state regulations for childcare. Licensure means a center is legally meeting the basic requirements mandated to safely and effectively run a childcare business. This is the foundation of any successful childcare business.
Maintaining all the necessary paperwork, safety routines, emergency protocols, and detailed records can get confusing without the proper levels of organization.
Getting organized and setting up a system that ensures you’re meeting all standards will keep your childcare center running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. You’ll also have peace of mind, knowing that if inspectors ever do pay you a visit, you’ll have everything you need right there.
Make sure you have proper tracking in place. Always keep up with license proof, renewal dates, and future requirements. Consistent checks are commonplace, and help to prevent issues with record-keeping down the road. Consider embracing a technological solution to help – particularly to store files and track legal documents you don’t use often.
#2 Too much paperwork distracts from spending time with children
Because of the need to track and record so many various factors, running a childcare center requires a lot of paperwork. Not an hour goes by without teachers and staff recording daily activity that requires some type of form.
Sifting through all the different forms and communication logs can take a lot of time. If a situation comes up where a child is in danger, the last thing a professional wants to focus on is finding the right form inside the filing cabinet. But it’s often required to have the proper documentation on file and to fill it out promptly to prevent liability issues.
Paperwork is time-consuming, boring (let’s face it), and distracts you from spending time with children creating meaningful bonds. That’s not to mention the cost. Many childcare centers spend thousands of dollars every year on paper and printing!
Whether it be a child check-in, taking supplies inventory, noting an accident, or filling out a behavioral slip, keeping all paperwork available and ready is a no-brainer. Consider switching from paper to digital forms that are handy to each staff member. This can save hours spent per week printing and looking for physical copies inside a folder, and it’ll also make life easier for parents.
#3 Incident reporting and the professional liability of staff
Incident reports include the time and date of the incident, what happened, symptoms the child showed after the incident, and how the incident was treated on-site (or off-site, like in a hospital, for emergencies).
Even minor incidents are required to be recorded, such as bathroom accidents, aggressive play with other children, or abnormal behavior. Staff must report these events to legal guardians not only to avoid potential liability but to maintain open communication that ensures safety and trust.
What if there was a way to digitally record all incidents? Having all the documents filed and searchable within a software makes it reliable not only for staff members but parents as well. It also gives easy access to incident history for any mandated report cases.
#4 Trust and communication with parents & guardians
One of the biggest concerns parents have when finding the best childcare provider for their children is trust. How can parents trust the center to give their children the supervision, care, attention, and learning opportunities they need?
The worst thing a childcare provider can do is fail to communicate fully with a legal guardian. Parents want to know how their child’s day was, what they did, and both good and bad moments they might’ve experienced. Radio silence causes parents to stress about their child, whereas quick updates can put their mind at ease.
For staff working with multiple children all day long, it’s easy to forget the smaller moments that stood out for each child when pick-up time comes around. Most parents receive highlights and main occurrences of each day, but rarely do they get to hear about the child’s most memorable achievements.
Now with technology, there are ways to update parents in real-time about what their child is doing throughout the day. Apps like Daily Connect allow parents to see photo and text updates – covering everything from what their child ate for lunch to photos of their work in art class. This brightens parents days, strengthens their relationship with you, and helps build high levels of trust with your staff.
#5 Ensuring the health and safety of every child
The safety, health, and well-being of children is the top priority. Childcare centers are a safe environment, but like everywhere else over the past year, dealing with the threat of COVID-19 has proved a major challenge to many childcare centers.
When it comes to safely reopening your childcare center, the health of every child, parent, and staff member is on everyone’s mind. If one child is sick, they put everyone else at risk, including the families of other children attending.
During COVID-19, childcare centers want to meet CDC guidelines to maintain a safe and sanitary environment for every child. This means regular cleaning, monitoring each child’s temperature, and watching out for any potential symptoms of illness.
Pandemic or no pandemic, the health of your child is crucial. Recording individual health signs is easier than ever. Some apps have features that allow teachers and parents to observe the status of their child, to put them at ease while knowing the site is being responsible and safe.
#6 Tracking behavior, learning, and developmental progress
With so many kids to guide each day, how can childcare professionals make sure every child is progressing? Childcare staff do not just supervise and play with children, they also play a critical role in observing and shaping their developmental progress.
Every licensed child care center conducts learning evaluations for the children they care for. The school and the child’s parents must know how he or she is meeting developmental standards. Giving each child the attention and evaluation they need can take time, become interrupted, or be unrealistic if the person doing the evaluation is not with the child every single day.
Using progress monitoring systems that include lists of long-term information collected over time is a radical improvement. Automatic reports can track ongoing progress, and keep everyone updated on the child’s progress towards key developmental milestones.
It’s important to note that different states and countries each have their own learning frameworks and standards. Daily Connect has a huge variety of learning frameworks from around the world built in, and makes it easy for teachers to track children’s progress against the relevant learning frameworks in their local area.
How technology and software can improve childcare centers for good
Automating parts of the administration and communication process within childcare centers is a smart move for any facility. Because everything is moving online, it’s growing easier to implement technology solutions in any industry – including childcare!
At Daily Connect we understand the importance of remaining compliant with safety standards and upholding top-notch communication between staff and parents. Using the power of technology to overcome challenges often seen within childcare centers, more children can receive better attention and care.
This essential childcare app is a win-win for kids, families, and childcare professionals. Daily Connect works for you so you don’t have to work as hard on the tasks that distract from childcare.