Run Your Daycare from Anywhere
Sending a message in a bottle could be the only means of communication when you’re stranded on a deserted island, but it may take a while to hear back from civilization. Depending on the circumstances, that may be just fine with you. Sometimes we need to unplug for a while.
There are several ways to remotely access your child care database. The best option, for your situation, depends on what you’ll want to do remotely and how many people need to be connected at the same time.
If you want real-time, 24/7 access with full capabilities (like the ability to add information, make changes and run reports) then a hosting service, such as Procare Data Hosting, is ideal. Since the data is stored on a secure server, your information is available from any Internet connected computer on which the Client Software is installed. It’s also possible that Child Care Management Apps could be used, keeping you connected to information through a tablet or smartphone.
A data hosting service typically allows access to data for one specific application, like Procare. This is a great solution when multiple people need to be connected at the same time. The number of connections allowed may depend on your software license and/or seats available.
Host Your Own Data
As an alternative to using a data hosting service, larger child care organizations may consider hosting their own Virtual Private Network (VPN). Keep in mind that this will require an extensive investment in hardware and technical expertise. You may wish to Compare Data Hosting & Self Hosting.
Remote Connection Software
For more general access, you might consider a third-party remote connection utility such as GoToMyPc.com or LogMeIn.com. These types of utilities “take over” the host computer (the one to which you are connecting) such that nobody else may be working on that computer (while you are connected) and only one person may be remotely connected at a time. You may use any programs installed on the host computer though, not just one particular application.
Windows Remote Desktop
Most Microsoft Windows computers (Windows 7, Vista and XP) include a free remote desktop utility. While the host computer (computer you connect to) is limited to certain editions of Windows (such as Windows 7 Pro), the client computers (computers you connect from) can be most any edition, including home editions. Although not difficult to set up, you’ll probably need a local computer technician to help you get your remote desktop connection working the first time. Using Windows Remote Desktop is similar to third-party utilities in that you “take over” the host computer and only one person may be connected at a time.
View Only Access from Home
If you only need to occasionally look things up, but not make changes nor have access to live information, you could consider using a Secondary Installation of Procare. This means you’d install a separate Procare database on your home computer and Restore a Backup from your center. You could run reports and look up information, but no new data or changes could be made. Periodically you would make a new backup at the center and restore it to the home computer, so you’d have access to more current information. This is a good option if one or both of the computers are not online or you have a slow internet connection, such that a remote connection is not really feasible.
Until next time, cheers!
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