Does keeping track of bus runs leave you feeling upside down? With the school year under way, you may find yourself needing a better way to record the time groups of children get on or off the bus. This is especially true if your child care or preschool offers before and after school programs for older children.
As a child care provider, your primary goals are to offer a quality learning experience and loving care to the children at your center. Too often, however, time-consuming administrative tasks can divert your attention from these goals.
By automating the record keeping at your early childhood program or preschool, you can regain time to focus on the children. There are many advantages to automation, including accuracy and efficiency, as well as saving time and money.
When thinking about how to best automate management tasks at your center, you’ll want to consider a number of factors…. Continue reading
Pretty soon the school buses will be rolling again. Perhaps they already are in your area. That likely means your childcare business will be busy with school-age children in a variety of before and after school programs.
The thing is, when a large group of children arrive or depart at once, how do you efficiently track their time and attendance? The bus arrives, the children hop off and you need to get the entire bus load checked in, pronto! This can be especially challenging as kids have varied schedules, some arriving earlier and leaving later. Have no fear, Procare is here with a number of easy-to-use child attendance tracking options.
Child Attendance Tracking Basics
The most basic way to record child arrival and departure times is with a simple bus run sheet. You can print them out and have the bus driver or other staff person mark who is being picked up or dropped off.
If you’re already using Procare Software, bus rosters are built right in. You’ll find them under the “Tracking” section in the Family Data module. This makes it easy to automatically print the names of the children assigned to each bus.
If you’re not yet using Procare, print some of our free bus run sheets that come blank, and you can fill in the names yourself.
Childcare Time Cards
Another option is to check children in so hours are automatically recorded on each child’s time card. With time and attendance tracking software there are several options.
- A staff person (teacher or bus driver, etc.) can quickly check all children in or out at once. This can be done at a regular computer or through a check-in screen. See: Let Teachers Check Children In
- If you schedule children in advance, you can use the batch post time card tool to check kids in and out based on their scheduled times for the day. You can even schedule them for both before and after- school time slots.
- You can assign the teacher or bus driver as a pickup person for each child and use the Receptionist Check-In feature to look up the pickup person and quickly check in the appropriate children. See: 3 Time & Attendance Methods for Your Daycare.
Mobile Child Check-In App
Childcare providers who subscribe to the Procare Cloud have access to a host of Procare mobile web applications, allowing them to access child attendance tracking features from any device and location with an internet connection. This simplifies attendance tracking, allowing staff to check students in as they get on or off their assigned bus using a tablet. See: Mobile Apps for Childcare Management
Attendance tracking is necessary at any childcare center. It ensures that every child gets to and from the center or after school program safely. It also helps childcare staff to calculate accurate hourly billing rates, based on when each child arrived and departed. With Procare, there are several simple options to track child attendance, allowing staff to choose the option that best fits in with established processes.
Learn how Procare can help streamline child attendance tracking and other childcare tasks.
Want to learn more about keeping track of child and family data at your center? Check out these related articles.
Ever wanted to have the teachers at your child care, daycare or preschool check in the children who attend their classroom? Using Procare Software it’s easy to do and there are a few different ways this can be handled.
Check in a Group of Children
Musical chairs, it’s a great game with oh-so-familiar rules. Once the music stops, it’s all about who can sit down most quickly; who can claim that last vacant seat. Predicting child care enrollment at your daycare, preschool, or after school program might feel a bit like that too. You’d like to be sure every seat is filled with happy, smiling faces. You don’t want to take away a chair if you’ve still got room.
Recently, a question came up asking about tracking the date a child is expected to move to the next classroom. But this isn’t just about recording a date; it’s also about forecasting enrollment and revenue. What you really want to know is, “How is my enrollment shaping up for next month, this summer or fall?” In fact, it would be even better if you could project your revenue over the coming months as well.
So without playing any more musical chairs, let’s take a look at how your child care management software can help.
7 Ways to Better Manage Child Care Enrollment
Typically there are two types of children to account for — those who are currently enrolled (and are expected to continue) and new children enrolling for the first time. With that in mind, here are seven ways to let Procare Software® help you know what to expect when the music stops.
#1 Schedule Ahead
A great way to plan for the coming months is to set up child care schedules for everyone who is likely to be in a particular class at that time. By doing so, you can print reports with names, counts, etc., for any point in the future.
- For currently enrolled children, just add an additional schedule beginning at the point they would likely change to a new classroom. The ending date might be the end of the school year, or the point when they would age out of that program.
- For new children, who are pre-registered or otherwise expected to enroll, set their enrollment status to “Enrolled” (as of their likely start date) and enter a typical schedule for them as well.
Hint: Use the online registration feature of MyProcare to gather data from parents through your website.
#2 Set Up Anticipated Fees
To get accurate revenue projections, place the typical weekly or monthly rates in each Child’s Billing Box and assign the rate to the appropriate schedule. Your Billing Box reports will include only fees that are effective as of the date you select.
#3 Child Tracking for the Future
As an alternative to schedules, you could set up a Child Tracking Group called “Future Enrollment” and create items within the group, like “Infants – May 2017”, “Toddlers – Sept 2017”, etc. You could even have a group for “Summer Camp” with items like “Week 1: June 4” and “Week 2: June 11”. This is helpful to create quick rosters, but does not tie in with revenue forecasts.
#4 Child Care Enrollment Reports
Even without entering schedules, billing information or tracking items, you can still use Child Enrollment reports based on a future date. The first page includes the number of kids that will be enrolled, then just double-click to see their names. This report shows the primary classroom they are currently assigned to (not the class they will be in), but you’ll get a snapshot to help predict class levels.
#5 Enrollment with Data Viewer
You can use the Data Viewer to create your own custom enrollment lists. For example, you could make a list of children sorted by the age they will be as of a future date. If you are also using Tracking for future programs (as mentioned above), you can include only children assigned to a certain item, like Week 1 of Summer Camp and so forth.
#6 Calendar Reminders
Make a Calendar Reminder for each child, using the date they will move to the new class. You might even set the reminder a few days ahead, so you’ll know it is coming up. Of course, this isn’t really necessary if you’ve already pre-scheduled them, but it could help you remember to change their default Primary Classroom. Hint: If many children are changing classrooms at the same time (such as at the start of the school year) use the Classroom Graduation feature.
#7 Make Your Own Date Field
If you want to record the exact date a child will change rooms, another option is to create your own field (or box) to enter the date. This is known as a User Defined Field. It doesn’t have the benefits of scheduling into the future, but would let you print a simple list of classroom transition dates.
Having consistent enrollment at your child care center is necessary to plan programs and ensure regular cash flow. However, planning child care enrollment is not always easy.
With so many moving parts, balancing waitlists, enrolled students, graduating students, and more, it can be easy to lose track of enrollment numbers and be left scrambling at the beginning of the year.
That is why we’ve created this list of tips to help child care centers more accurately measure enrollment, and therefore revenue, to plan for upcoming programs. Here’s hoping every chair is filled at your center!
Learn more about how Procare can help your center better manage child care enrollment.
Looking for more tips on child care enrollment and registration? Check out these related articles.