#1 Childcare Management Software for administrators, teachers and parents

Help Resources for iCare

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Contact tech support

Email : tech@icaresoftware.com
Call : 978-266-0224
Fax : 978-266-0223

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Instructions for the call

Audio part of the call: If you are at a single location, we’ll call the number provided above. Otherwise, you will receive instructions from us for the teleconference.

Video part of the call: Go to www.icare.glance.net The presenter will provide you a session key to connect.

Getting started guides

It is easy to get started with iCare. These simple guides will show you how to set your preferences in iCare, how little you need to do everyday and give you tips on other niceties.

To use these guides can open them on your computer screen or print them as PDF.

Ask a question

For any question or help you can email to the Tech Support Group or post your question to the iCare Knowledgebase through the link given below.

This method also sends an instant email to the Tech Support Group. However, it adds your question to the KB, which makes it easier for you to search for it in the future.

Search iCare Knowledgebase

The iCare Knowledgebase is set up in the question and answer format. Questions are posted by iCare users or our Tech Support Group. If a question has been answered in another article we remove it otherwise it is published for open search.

Tips for smarter search are given on the main page of the KB. These will help you on how to narrow down your search and find relevant articles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Accounting

Q: Can we create our own chart of accounts?

A: Yes, you can replace the built-in chart of accounts if desired.

Q: We use another financial accounting system. Can we interface iCare and that system?

A: You can export transaction-level AR details out of iCare but you will most likely not import them in your financial accounting system. However, iCare also has a chart of accounts and GL system running behind its AR system. Consequently, from iCare you can get journal entry numbers for your financial system.

Signup

Q: Can we use iCare Lobby at multiple locations? Do we have to subscribe for each location?

A: iCare Lobby can be used simultaneously from any number of locations. Yes, each lobby station requires a subscription.

Q: How many parents can login in the Parent Portal?

A: There is no limit to the number of parents that can login at any time simultaneously.

Software Installation

Q: How do we transfer family data from my old system to iCare?

A: You’ll download an Excel template, copy and paste your data into it and use the import feature in iCare Admin.

Q: How do we inform parents about using Parent Portal?

A: Simply send an email to all parents from the messaging form in iCare Admin. Their login credentials – username and password – will get included in the email.

Family Data and Records

Q: Can we manage our waiting list in iCare?

A: Yes, iCare has an enrollment application form with many tracking fields for managing the enrollment process.

Q: What happens when immunization and medical tracking requirements change?

A: Immunization schedules for every state are maintained by us in the database. Medical tracking fields are user-defined so you can add or remove fields.

Centers, Preschools and Montessori

Q: What happens if children stay beyond closing time?

A: A late pickup can be set to bill automatically.

Q: What happens if children stay beyond their scheduled (contracted) hours?

A: You can turn on automated additional charges – charges for attendance beyond contracted schedule. There are 2 types of additional charges:
1.Additional days and hours – attendance beyond schedule but within regular hours.
2.Late pick-up – attendance beyond closing time.

Accounts Receivables

Q: When children stay beyond their scheduled (contracted) hours or days, how does iCare process the additional charges?

A: iCare has a timed Dayending Process that runs every night. It compiles attendance and depending on your settings it will post charges for additional hours and days attended and for late pickups after the closing time.

Q: To start billing and accounting in iCare what do we have to do?

A: You will set up children’s fee and the opening balances for private and subsidy accounts.

Report Making

Q: What is the iCare Data Browser?

A: The iCare Data Browser is a tool for creating custom (ad hoc) reports.

Q: Can we write my own database queries in iCare?

A: Yes, absolutely. Or, if needed, you can copy and paste queries sent to you by an iCare engineer.

Signup and Getting Started

Q: Can we print receipts on a 3″ receipt printer?

A: Yes, absolutely. Or, better still you can email the receipt automatically after accepting the payment. For online payments, a receipt is automatically emailed to the parents.

Q: Can we use a cash drawer with iCare?

A: Yes. We recommend an APG product. You can order that through us.

Getting Started

Q: Can we print receipts on a 3″ receipt printer?

A: Yes, absolutely. Or, better still you can email the receipt automatically after accepting the payment. For online payments, a receipt is automatically emailed to the parents.

Q: Can we use a cash drawer with iCare?

A: Yes. We recommend an APG product. You can order that through us.

Hardware Options

Q: Can we print receipts on a 3″ receipt printer?

A: Yes, absolutely. Or, better still you can email the receipt automatically after accepting the payment. For online payments, a receipt is automatically emailed to the parents.

Q: Can we use a cash drawer with iCare?

A: Yes. We recommend an APG product. You can order that through us.

iCare Lobby

Q: What is self-check-out?

A: This allows parents to get their charges for the day and pay through iCare Lobby after checking their children out. It eliminates the need for your teachers or cashiers to do so.

Q: What is signature capture for and how does it work?

A: You can turn on signature capture for staff and parents. If done so, they will be asked to sign on the tablet before checking in or out. This then provides authenticated attendance entries.

Children’s Notes – Daily Activities and Development Milestones

Q: Do teachers and parents know that they have new (unread) messages?

A: Yes, the messages icon displays the number of unread messages they have.

Q: Can notes be written by administrators too?

A: Yes, the notes feature is available in iCare Admin, Parent Portal and Teacher Portal.

Drop-In Centers

Q: What does iCare have for cashier management?

A: iCare provides cashier reconciliation process. You can choose to reconcile cash for individual cashiers or all cashiers combined. And, you could choose to open and close shifts by putting and taking cash out from the cash drawer. The reconciliation report shows details of all cash transactions including how much cash should have been there at the end of the shift so you can find where the problem was in case of a discrepancy.

Q: We offer a preschool program as well as drop-in care. Can iCare handle both simultaneously?

A: Yes, through what we call the ‘billable hours’ feature. Scheduled hours are subtracted from total hours to get billable hours, which are then billed as drop-in hours.

AR FEATURES

Q: Frequently, subsidies do not pay exactly the amount that was billed. Is it possible to make adjustments after the fact?

A: This happens quite commonly. Yes, using the transfer feature you can easily make these adjustments.

Q: Occasionally, children’s family situation changes. Is it possible to change and transfer accounts for one payer to another?

A: You can change children’s contracts and accounts (payers) at any time and can transfer transactions of one account to another.

Messaging, Alerts and Notifications

Q: How does the welcome message (bulletin board) in Parent Portal work?

A: You can change the Welcome Message at any time and it is very easy to do so. It works like a bulletin board. You simply type and format the new message in Word or any desktop publishing program and copy its HTML version in to iCare Admin.

Q: What types of automated alerts can be set in iCare and how do they work?

A: You can set up alerts about the following:

  • Children who have not arrived on time in the morning

  • Immunization, medical and required documents becoming due soon

  • Payments not received on time

  • Enrollment or discharge requirements not complete

  • Payment, enrollment and registration activities on the Parent Portal

These notifications are delivered by email to the parent or admin as the case may be or delivered to the parents through the main page of the Parent Portal.

Parent Portal

Q: Can parents read teacher notes and communicate with teachers?

A: Yes, absolutely. Parent can read teacher notes about their children’s activities and development and respond or write to teachers. They can also see the number of unread notes they have.

Q: What are the features of online payments?

A: Parents can make a single payment or set up a recurring payment plan. They can pay by type of card that you have chosen to accept; for example, you may not accept certain cards because they have a very high transaction fee.

Staff Data

Q: Our children’s schedules vary a lot. Can we determine how many staff we need at different times?

A: Yes, the Interactive Staff Scheduler allows you to optimally schedule staff in 30-minute intervals.

Q: Can we maintain temporary (on-call) staff?

A: Yes, you can enter temporary staff and their availability schedules for managing substitutions.

After-school Care

Q: Does iCare handle school half-days and closing days?

A: Yes, you can set school half-days, closing days and holidays. And, for each you can have different scheduling types. For example:
1.Regular day options may be AM and PM
2.Half-day options may be AM and Half-day

Q: Can we have parents have a recurring weekly schedule and bill accordingly?

A: Yes, iCare allows both weekly and monthly scheduling.

General Ledger and Financials

Q: Can we create our own chart of accounts?

A: Yes, you can replace the built-in chart of accounts if desired.

Q: We use another financial accounting system. Can we interface iCare and that system?

A: You can export transaction-level AR details out of iCare but you will most likely not import them in your financial accounting system. However, iCare also has a chart of accounts and GL system running behind its AR system. Consequently, from iCare you can get journal entry numbers for your financial system.

Teacher Portal

Q: Can teachers write notes about children’s activities and development?

A: Yes, they can easily enter child notes and communicate with the parents. They can write individual or group notes.

Q: Can teachers enter class attendance?

A: After logging-in, in the Class Attendance Page, they’ll simply tap for absence or presence. This page also works as a class roster as it shows who is signed up in the class.

Attendance Management

Q: Can staff or children be moved to another room in the middle of the day?

A: Yes, to balance your ratios, especially in the mornings and afternoon when children are coming and leaving, you can do so through the Ticker or iCare Lobby.

Q: We use rounded-up attendance. Does iCare handle that?

A: You can set up round-up and cutoff times (in minutes) for attendance of staff and children. Say, you set round-up as 15 minutes and cutoff as 5 minutes, then an attendance of 1 hour 6 minutes will be posted as 1 hour and 15 minutes and an attendance of 1 hour and 34 minutes will be posted as 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Classes and Camps

Q: We have a huge problem in managing the waiting list. Can iCare help streamline it?

A: Yes, you can set your class enrollment and waiting capacities. Parents will be instructed appropriately when they use the scheduler and you will have the controls to manage – confirm or drop – the waiting list through iCare Admin.

Q: Can parents sign-up in classes through the Parent Portal?

A: Yes, absolutely. And, you can set options on how the portal would work for them.

iCare Admin

Q: How does the welcome message (bulletin board) in Parent Portal work?

A: You can change the Welcome Message at any time and it is very easy to do so. It works like a bulletin board. You simply type and format the new message in Word or any desktop publishing program and copy its HTML version in to iCare Admin.

Q: What types of automated alerts can be set in iCare and how do they work?

A: You can set up alerts about the following:

  • Children who have not arrived on time in the morning

  • Immunization, medical and required documents becoming due soon

  • Payments not received on time

  • Enrollment or discharge requirements not complete

  • Payment, enrollment and registration activities on the Parent Portal

These notifications are delivered by email to the parent or admin as the case may be or delivered to the parents through the main page of the Parent Portal.

Program Management

Q: Can we track the CACFP eligibility categories for the families and get the meal counts accordingly?

A: Yes, you can do a batch or individual update.

Q: How is attendance and meals served related in iCare?

A: Most likely you will be required to keep meal roll-call sheets filled by the cook or teachers at the point of service. However, these sheets will match meals calculated by attendance if you have entered your meal times and are collecting live attendance. For the quickest way to enter the data you will take 2 steps:

  • With one-click of a button enter the meals served calculated from attendance

  • Manually enter exceptions where the calculated meals do not match the actual meals served

FDC Placement Agencies

Q: Can we create (AP side) invoices for providers and drivers?

A: Yes, absolutely. You can maintain rate charts for both providers and drivers and generate the AP side invoices based on services rendered.

Q: Can we create (AR side) subsidy invoices?

A: Yes. iCare includes a site-based rate chart so you can easily generate subsidy invoices based on services rendered.

Food Program

Q: Can we track the CACFP eligibility categories for the families and get the meal counts accordingly?

A: Yes, you can do a batch or individual update.

Q: How is attendance and meals served related in iCare?

A: Most likely you will be required to keep meal roll-call sheets filled by the cook or teachers at the point of service. However, these sheets will match meals calculated by attendance if you have entered your meal times and are collecting live attendance. For the quickest way to enter the data you will take 2 steps:

  • With one-click of a button enter the meals served calculated from attendance

  • Manually enter exceptions where the calculated meals do not match the actual meals served

iCare Cloud

Q:What is the reliability and performance of the cloud service?

Answer: It is available 24/7, 99.9% up.

Report Making, Messaging and Custom Fields

Q: How does the welcome message (bulletin board) in Parent Portal work?

A: You can change the Welcome Message at any time and it is very easy to do so. It works like a bulletin board. You simply type and format the new message in Word or any desktop publishing program and copy its HTML version in to iCare Admin.

Q: What types of automated alerts can be set in iCare and how do they work?

A: You can set up alerts about the following:

  • Children who have not arrived on time in the morning

  • Immunization, medical and required documents becoming due soon

  • Payments not received on time

  • Enrollment or discharge requirements not complete

  • Payment, enrollment and registration activities on the Parent Portal

These notifications are delivered by email to the parent or admin as the case may be or delivered to the parents through the main page of the Parent Portal.

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