Every childcare business is unique in its operations and needs. For the most effective operation, you must implement systems and procedures to support parents and create effective workflows for your business.
Embracing new tools and ways of doing things will ensure your business stays relevant. And at times, you need to adapt systems and tools as the marketplace develops and your client’s needs change. Here are processes, tools, and routines that you might need to update to keep a modern business.
- Ensure Your Online Presence Is Strong
Most of your target market for childcare services is now millennials. These individuals grew up with technology or were introduced to technology around age 10. Their lives are on their smartphones – including banking, grocery shopping, and scheduling doctor’s appointments. They are expecting the same experience when shopping for childcare services.
To reach parents in your community, you need a strong online presence. Parents want to know a lot about your programs and services before ever making a phone call. So review whether they can find the following information about you online from reputable sources and your website.
- What are your hours of operation?
- What attendance options do you provide?
- What age range do you serve?
- What do other parents have to say about your services?
- What does your curriculum look like?
- How do you stay in touch with parents?
- What can parents expect as far as parent-teacher meetings and learning milestone reviews?
- What can parents expect as far as a daily summary or digital log of what a child did for the day?
- What does your school’s drop-off and pickup routine look like?
- What student-teacher ratios do you maintain for each age group?
As you review what information is available about you online, look at your website’s user-friendly. Ideally, you want it to be easy to navigate and understand for your website visitors.
Consider, too, how easy it is to find your website. Have you focused on SEO so parents searching for childcare in their area will find your center?
- Review Classroom Management Tools
High-quality classroom management tools offer teachers the resources they need to document important information and get back to focusing on spending quality time with their students. When it comes to classroom management, the most important tools include:
- Attendance tracking
- Curriculum management
- Incident reports
Ensure that the tool is accessible from laptops, tablets and smartphones and that you have proper credentialing practices to ensure only authorized users can access the system. But it’s not enough to have these tools at your center. You also have to focus on making these tools accessible to teachers and administrators.
Gone are the days of managing the classroom using paper records. This practice is far slower and more cumbersome than modern technology tools. And digital tools help save money and reduce waste.
A great benefit of a good classroom management tool is that it helps track and manage teacher-child ratios in each classroom, which can help manage expenses while ensuring compliance with state guidelines for these ratios.
But you’ll also get curriculum guides and resources for planning activities and guiding children through the learning process.
- How Frequent Is Your Parent-teacher Communication?
Remember from the opening of this blog that your customers are digital natives meaning they grew up with technology or started using it at a young age. They expect constant communication about their child’s activities and what they are learning about. They want to know how their child behaves so they can continue care at home seamlessly from your childcare center.
And quite frankly, teachers don’t have time to go through all this with each parent during pickup because they have to keep caring for the classroom. Digital communication makes it much easier for parents and teachers to stay in close communication.
Instant notifications to parents upon pickup about what the child did that day, their mood, and any important learning moments can be outstanding for improving communication and keeping it constant and open.
Additionally, you can deliver incident reports as they happen to ensure parents are aware of what’s happening at your center. Communication can also ease parents’ stress because it tells them throughout the day that their children are doing fine despite possibly going through sleep regression or separation anxiety.
- How Easy Is Your Payment Processing?
Technology can solve an enormous challenge that all childcare centers face: collecting tuition on time every time. Without digital tools, accounting is challenging, and tracking down late payments or missing payments can be both time-consuming and difficult.
As a childcare center grows, so does the burden of tracking tuition payments and accounting for those payments. Late fees or fees for parents who pick up children late can become harder to collect. But the right process can help make things fast and simple.
Your payment processing and accounting system should do the following:
- Connect attendance and enrollment data to billing and accounting software
- Provide fast access to financial data and receipts for bills, so parents don’t have to make requests for the information
- Childcare center fund tracking for both money coming in and going out
- Make tax season simpler by legitimizing bookkeeping practices
- Time and money savings for the year
- Ensure Your Childcare Center Management Software Meets Modern Standards
The best tools for childcare businesses are childcare software systems. These tools combine everything you need for attendance tracking, curriculum building, and more into one system where everything syncs to one another and connects for the best results.
That way, you can run your business easily while educating young children instead of focusing on all the office and backend work that can feel all-consuming.
As you evaluate whether you have the right childcare center management software, look for these important features.
- Mobile app for staff and parents
- Contactless check-in procedure with symptom monitoring for cold and flu season
- Photo sharing with parents
- Developmental milestone tracking
- Staff checklists
- Parent Portal to update important documents and information
- Automated tuition billing and payment processing
- Support for flexible billing to allow for more attendance options to attract more customers
If your current tools are missing any of these key functions, you should contact iCare Software to schedule a demo. This software offers the most modern features with regular updates to keep the software serving the evolving needs of childcare businesses.