Every childcare business has its own set of operational needs. To run your childcare center effectively, there are systems and procedures that must be followed with careful attention. Sometimes, these systems require changes to adapt to significant growth or necessary shifts in the childcare industry.
To maintain the best possible procedures and routines within your childcare business, here are five tools you don’t want to operate without.
1. An Established Online Presence
These days, everyone uses the web when making decisions. Whether it be shopping for a new product, comparing the best services in the area, or scoping out new schools in the community, parents are especially internet-savvy when it comes to selecting what’s best for their child.
Where families send their children for childcare is not something they take lightly. They want to know what your program is about, who works there, and which curriculum standards your school is abiding by. Having an up-to-date, accessible online presence as a childcare provider is key to winning that positive first impression.
If your childcare center has a website, make sure it’s user-friendly and displays an accurate representation of your facility. In addition, posting regularly on social media can boost the validity of your brand because it shows that there are real humans who value communication with their community beyond the nine to five work hours.
Keeping your childcare business active online is a great practice. It benefits your business in several ways, including:
- Captures the attention of local families interested in finding childcare
- Shows that you value online communication with parents
- Proves your business is modern, relevant, and reliable
- Showcases the key features of your location, including pictures and amenities
- Shares updates, announcements, and special events people need to know about
- Helps people find you online, with proper SEO and quality content on your site
The first step to attracting success within your childcare business is to get online. When a school or daycare doesn’t have a website set up, parents will be less likely to inquire about enrolling their child.
2. Classroom Management Tools
Classroom management tools ensure your teachers can run their classroom smoothly, spending less time on paperwork and more quality time with the children. The most important features of any classroom management tools include attendance tracking, curriculum management, and incident reporting.
These tools are usually software platforms that teachers and administrators can access from their computers, tablets, and even smartphones. They make it easy for teachers and administrators to quickly record observations, take attendance, and keep records. Before these tools became popular, teachers would have to record everything manually on paper, wasting time and money.
Some of the ways childcare centers can use classroom management tools include:
- Taking attendance
- Keeping track of teacher:child ratios in every classroom
- Recording observations against learning frameworks
- Planning lessons from pre-selected curriculums
- Maintaining records required by local regulators
- Recording minor accidents and incidents
3. Seamless Parent-Teacher Communication
When parents enroll their kids in your program, they expect clear, consistent communication. They want to know what their child is doing at your center, how their child is behaving, and what happens throughout the day and week.
Gone are the days when parents would be in the dark about how their kids’ day is going. Now that smartphones are in nearly every parent’s pocket, direct messages and emails can swiftly deliver updates and important alerts.
There are apps that fulfill ongoing communication needs between childcare staff and parents. Send out instant notifications to guardians and let them know what is happening throughout the day in real-time. Deliver injury and incident reports as they happen. Ease the stress of a mom with a child with sleep regression by notifying her there was a quality nap today.
Parent communication apps for childcare help both providers and guardians. These tools increase communication by:
- Allowing instant, automatic updates throughout the day
- Tracking and recording important information
- Notifying parents of special moments and achievements, not just concerns or issues
- Confirming guest pickups (for example, if a grandparent is picking up a child)
4. Simple Payment Processing and Accounting
One of the challenges technology solves in childcare centers is the process of receiving and tracking payments. Without digital tools, it can be extremely difficult to keep up with accounting and bookkeeping.
There are a large number of children and families to account for. Tracking enrollment, late fees, event payments, and more is simply not feasible without the right processing software. This is especially true if you’re operating a larger, more well-established childcare facility. If that’s the case, making sure you have everything you need in one place makes the world of a difference.
Online accounting software helps your childcare business in many ways, including:
- Organizing monthly or annual enrollment status for each child
- Easy access to financial information and receipts for parents and staff
- Tracking the overall funds of your childcare center
- Legitimizing your bookkeeping for legal and tax purposes
- Saving time and money all year long
Get your childcare business on the right track with online accounting. It’ll save everyone the headache of missing payments, losing receipts, and forgetting which family paid for enrollment.
5. Multi-Functional Childcare Center Management Software
Get the best of the best childcare business tools with childcare management software throughout your business. There are tools that deliver all of the above functions and more in a program-specific way, created specifically for childcare providers.
Management software for childcare centers makes it easier to run your business. It helps your staff get on the same page and complete tasks, encourages parent-teacher communication, tracks important documents and compliances, and allows multimedia resources for everyone involved in your facility.
Extra features of childcare management software include:
- Fully-functional mobile app for parents and staff
- Contactless check-in and check-out for guardians
- Photo and video sharing of child activities throughout the day
- Individual learning and assessment records
- Staff checklists and safety protocols for important changes, such as COVID-19 regulations
- Parental surveys to continually update and improve your childcare programs
- Automatic payment options for consistent enrollment
- Incident reporting with detailed diagrams and written descriptions
How to Set Up Better Childcare Business Tools
Childcare centers all around the world are implementing all the beneficial features of digital management for a reason. It makes the jobs of childcare workers easier, ensures parents have access to the features they need, and allows leaders to focus on what really matters — being present and caring for students.
See for yourself how digital tools can encourage the growth, maintenance, and positive reputation of your childcare business. To learn more about setting up a platform that helps you build a better childcare business, schedule a free trial of Daily Connect.