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Attendance Tracking

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How to Optimize Your Daycare Schedule for Staff, Parents & Children

Daycare centers are nothing without the caring staff that run them. A committed staff of instructors ensures your child care business can thrive, as staffing is of critical importance to daycare owners, parents, and children.

As a business owner, you need these qualified professionals to provide high quality care to the students that attend your center every day, as well as to ensure your center is meeting state licensing requirements for student-teacher ratios.

Staffing is also critical to enrollment, as parents will be assessing the level of care their child can receive, ensuring that staff is qualified and available to provide their child individual attention. Also, children build a trust and relationship with the caregivers they interact with each day, meaning a level of consistency is important.

How to Optimize Your Daycare Schedule

There are a variety of reasons why keeping an organized, informed daycare schedule is integral to the long-term success of a childcare center. As daycare centers plan out staffing schedules to ensure consistent care and sustainable hours for staff, while maintaining a reasonable budget, here are essential tips to consider:

Track Daily Attendance

To ensure your daycare is not spending money unnecessarily, it is important that only the required number of staff is scheduled each day to meet student-teacher ratio requirements. This means that staff will need to have some flexibility, as there may not always be the same number of children in attendance each day.

For the most part, your center will be able to establish its peak hours and schedule staff accordingly. To do this, centers need to keep accurate attendance logs. Each day at check in and check out, have parents record the exact time their child arrived and left. From there, you will be able to determine when you will need to schedule more staff. Make sure to do this for each enrollment cycle, as peak and off hours may shift.

Once these hours are established, try maintain consistency with the day’s and hours you assign to each caregiver. This will help them plan their week, and will ensure they are available when needed. It is also a good idea to have a staff member on standby, in case there is unexpectedly and greater number of students.

Track Employee Hours & Off Time

Of course, there will be time when your staff needs to take time off or is sick. It is important to try to track planned vacations and other employee off time so that schedules can be altered in advance. This will save you from scrambling to find a substitute at the last minute.

Keeping employee records for hours and off time will also help you to accurately calculate payroll.

Centralize Communication

If hours change, someone calls in sick, or more children are dropped off than usual, your center should have a central hub for communication so that all staff remain updated and on the same page. When leaving coverage up to individual staff members, centers risk being understaffed or having too many employees arrive for the shift, which is inconvenient for them and you. Having a central email or central document can ensure this does not happen.

Be Consistent

In addition to providing a more manageable week for your staff, it is important that there is a level of consistency in your scheduling for the children at your center. It is important for children to develop a relationship and comfort with their caregiver. Therefore, centers should try to ensure that the same instructors are paired with the same children each day when able.

Final Thoughts

Having a consistent organized daycare staff schedule is integral to running your business as well as to the happiness of your staff, parents, and children. Following these tips will ensure your center is always properly staffed, meets ratio requirements, and remains within budget.

Learn how Procare can how you track staffing and daycare schedules.  

Related Articles

 Interested in learning more about managing daycare schedules? Check out these related articles.


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Why Is Child Care Attendance Tracking So Important?

There are a lot of different administrative facets that go into running a child care center. There are those administrative tasks that make day-to-day operations easier, those that are necessary from a business perspective, and those that are required by government licensing. Simple, efficient, and accurate child care attendance tracking is a necessary part of every child care center because it checks each one of those boxes.

Attendance Tracking

Attendance tracking must be the first and last thing that child care providers do each day, to ensure the security of each child and the continued success of their business. As a result, caregivers should make the check-in process as simple as possible for parents as they try to get out the door. 

Why Attendance Tracking Is Essential for Daycares

Here are the top reasons child care providers must keep accurate accounts of child attendance, and how to ensure this with streamlined attendance tracking processes.

Government Requirements

child care transportation

While licensing and laws vary by state, attendance tracking requirements at child care centers are common.

  • Licensing: Child care providers have to meet certain licensing requirements, one of which is to keep accurate attendance records. Licensing audits do occur, so it is important that providers have parents check their children in every day, and then review those sheets to confirm parents signed the right spot, wrote the right date, etc. Providers should then file these records to have in the event of a licensing audit.
  • Transportation: Though regulations vary, it is common that if a child care center provides transportation they are legally required to take attendance before and after each trip. For accuracy in this area, staff members will need to have an attendance sheet with them on the bus, or may want to use a tablet with an attendance tracking mobile application.
  • Subsidized Care: For children whose care is subsidized by government programs, caregivers are mandated to keep record of when those children attend their center. Accurate attendance records are necessary to confirm that parent claims of when a child was in your care, and your own, match up.

Day-to-Day & Business Planning

child care attendance

Keeping long-term records of how many children were in attendance at the center can also help providers plan enrollment numbers for coming years, and track the necessary student-to-teacher ratio to ensure compliance without overspending.

Having an accurate understanding of how many children are in your care on a season-to-season basis is essential for planning enrollment and marketing. Attendance reports give child care providers the ability to assess which times and sessions are most popular, and which might need to be cut back or marketed better to increase enrollment.

Attendance reports can also help ensure that enough staff members are on the schedule to meet student-teacher ratio requirements, and calculate full-time equivalency.

Different age groups have different standards for how many caregivers must be present for each child. Tracking attendance gives care providers visibility into the average number of students present for each session, so they can plan staff hours accordingly. This confirms that centers are not overspending by having too many instructors scheduled for only a few children, and conversely that they do not schedule too few instructors to meet standards.

Accurate attendance records also help child care providers calculate full time equivalency (FTE). If a student does not attend on a regular schedule, rather only when a parent needs care, it can be difficult to determine if that student counts as a fulltime student. Keeping a regular attendance record allows providers easy visibility into FTE status.


child care attendance

Parents trust child care providers to keep their children safe. Attendance tracking is completely necessary for security purposes. Caregivers need to make sure that only authorized pickup people check each child out at the end of the day, and that every child is accounted for when they go outside or change locations. Having an attendance tracking system that ensures no student is overlooked and can be flexible to work on the go is essential to maintain this peace of mind for parents and providers.

Improve Your Attendance Tracking

Attendance Tracking from Procare Software provides simplified visibility into each of these areas. Providers are able to monitor which children are being checked in as it happens, and who is checking them in to ensure the person is an authorized guardian. Procare offers several options to increase attendance accuracy and security, including fingerprint check in, signature capture, and check in receipts. Additionally, Attendance Tracker makes it easy for providers to audit their attendance records to align their logs with parents.

The attendance reports provided by this module make it easy to see who is currently checked in, get authorized signature reports, general school attendance summaries, and more.

Final Thoughts  

Attendance tracking is a major part of providing child care, for a multitude of reasons. To ensure licensing compliance, security, and optimal business operations, providers need to have an attendance tracking system that is accurate and that can be easily accessible for reference. Child care attendance tracking software provides this level of automation and organization.

Learn how Procare helps childcare providers maintain accurate attendance records. 

Related Articles:

Interested in more tips and best practices for improving record keeping at your childcare center? Check out these related articles:

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Who’s in control, you or the center?

With Procare, there's no need to struggle

Are you working hard to run your center or is your center working you hard?

What I mean is that many directors often tell us about the work they pour into their center every day. But, in the chaos of everything going on around you, ideas of growing your business take a back seat when it’s a struggle to just maintain. We all know that a well-run center requires a lot of time and energy to run smoothly and profitably. That’s where you come in…

Before you arrive in the morning, your day is already booked. Immediately you are busy greeting parents, posting checks, juggling staff, and managing accounting. Before you know it, you’ve skipped lunch or perhaps you’re picking up toys and wiping down counters so you can go home. With time so short, you may even find yourself working when you should be playing. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to look into automating your center with a software solution that as unique as you and your center.

The best child care management system provides an all-in-one solution. It allows you to do away with confusing spreadsheets, generic financial software, clipboards and bank deposits.It helps you easily manage child and family data, attendance tracking, parent communications, staff hours, child/teacher ratios and more. And, it’s all-inclusive with check-in solutions and door security. Once you start collecting tuition electronically, you’ll say goodbye to late payments forever—all with just a few clicks!
Andy Spliethof
VP Creative Services
Procare Software

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Summer is here—there’s no better time!

How much time will you save in your child care center?

lemonadeProcare Software® helps child care professionals across the country save 40+ hours per month of administrative duties they were doing manually. With quicker access to information, point-and-click reporting and built-in processing, Procare helps you easily manage your center and analyze important staff and child information in seconds—giving you the time to develop your business and focus on the children.  

Features include:

  • Succinct tracking of enrollment and schedules
  • Immunization updates
  • Quickly post child tuition fees
  • Automatically collect tuition payments
  • Print/email statements and balance notifications
  • Communicate with parents and employees via messages at check-in, email or text blasts
  • Maintain logs for incident reports and milestones
  • Deposit reports and end-of-year tax statements
  • Roll call and sign in/out sheets, birthday reports, waiting lists, classroom ratios
  • Automated check-in for parents and employees
  • Accurate time card records and calculations
  • Let parents pay at check-in or online
  • And so much more!

The new school year is coming!

With the new school year coming up soon, now is the best opportunity to get going with your new system.. Financing is available to work easily within your budget. Please contact Procare at 800-338-3884 or visit us online.

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