Documenting accurate attendance can affect your billing and finances, so it’s a crucial aspect of your child care business. Plus, taking time to discuss attendance with your clients after delivering invoices is precious time you don’t have, which means you need documented proof of drop-off and pickup times. Child care management software can help you with ensuring that your attendance records are complete and accurate.
How poor child care attendance records hurts your finances
You might not have taken the time to think about the impact of your attendance records on your child care center’s finances. The largest impact is inaccurate billing. If you don’t know the days that a child attended your center, you can’t charge the parents for that child’s attendance.
Plus, if you need to bill your clients automatically and don’t have a seamless way to integrate your attendance tracking with your billing, you won’t be able to bill accurately for added costs when a child is picked up late. That means that you’ll be footing the bill for your teacher’s overtime to accommodate late pickups without getting any compensation or reimbursement for that overtime.
When your attendance tracking is inaccurate, it also makes it very difficult to add flex time and part-time options to attract even more clients to your center. If you allow parents to bring children a couple days a week but don’t know when those days are, you can’t bill for it. Or, if a part-time child needs to attend full-time for a week due to a parent’s altered work schedule, you might lose money there too.
Validating for subsidized care
Subsidies must protect themselves against fraud and to do so, they require that attendance be authenticated with a signature or photo. And you never know when an inspector might visit your center to verify your records are accurate according to how you’re billing them.
Without keeping your records updated correctly and documented, you could miss out on full payment from such organizations.
How attendance tracking affects your child care center’s staffing
It’s very difficult to schedule teachers accurately when you don’t know what your attendance looks like from week to week. In fact, you might be paying too many teachers for your current enrollment and be completely unaware of that fact due to poor attendance tracking.
Attendance tracking mixed with strong reporting allows you to ensure you cover your student-to-teacher ratio accurately without overspending on your payroll. Having to constantly call in substitute teachers can also get expensive so you want to be sure you get it right from the start with your staff scheduling, and strong attendance tracking can help with that.
Can you just use paper records for attendance tracking?
While it is possible to keep accurate attendance records on paper, you’ll do much more manual work if you choose to track attendance on paper instead of digitally through your child care management software. When you track on paper, you have to move that all over to your billing system when it comes time to invoice your customers.
Plus, it’s difficult to update paper records throughout the day. For example, if a child goes home early and now has some additional flex hours to use for the week, you’ll struggle to keep track of that using paper. And those overtime hours will also need transferred to your billing system, unless you want to cover those costs yourself.
The iCare Software Lobby App
iCare Software’s Lobby App works on any device, including laptops, tablets and phones. Plus, you can use it anywhere, which is convenient for child care centers that have a variety of age groups that they service. Capture attendance in the lobby, classroom, bus or at the curb.
Plus, you won’t have to deal with disputes when you use the iCare Software Lobby App because it has three ways to authenticate attendance.
- Signature capture: have parents sign their children in to avoid confusion or arguments over attendance.
- Photo capture: with photo capture, you can prove who dropped the child off and when if that ever comes into question.
- Location retention: the app closes when the device it’s running on leaves the premises, which means you can’t track attendance when someone isn’t at your location. This makes it even more secure.
The iCare Lobby App also integrates with a wireless door switch that automatically opens the door for authorized people. That way you can keep your center secure while also tracking who comes in and out.