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Attendance Tracking

Track Unpaid Leave at Your Daycare

According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligible employees at your child care, daycare or preschool may be entitled to job security and continuation of benefits during a qualified leave. Some common examples include the arrival of a new baby or caring for an immediate relative with a serious illness. You might also allow employees to take other kinds of unpaid leave as well. As an employer, you’d probably like to track the time off without including those hours as paid compensation. With Procare Software® and the Employee Data module you can do just that. Continue reading

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Plan “B” for Your Child Care Check In Station

Mom Checking InMaybe the Check In station at your daycare center or preschool has temporarily failed, or you don’t even have a Check In station at all. What is your “plan B” strategy for an alternate way to record attendance times for children if a Check In computer is not available? Computers can be down for a variety of reasons and it’s a good idea to have a strategy in place at those times, to reduce stress and keep your workflow going smoothly. With Procare Software® and the Attendance Tracker program you have a nifty alternate way to get kids checked in or out using the Receptionist feature. All you need is a working Procare computer available and a staff person to operate it. The Receptionist will let you quickly record times with the authorized person’s initials and the current date and time. Continue reading

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Tuition Payment Reminders for Your Daycare Center

The ideal child care billing situation would be one where every parent is aware of a looming tuition payment deadline, and is prepared when that day arrives with a check that covers each day of child care provided, as well as factoring fees for late pickup and similar infractions.  

As nice as this sounds, it is rarely the case. The parents your child care center serves are busy. It is unlikely that they will remember every payment, let alone track hours and accrued fees on their own spreadsheet.

It can be difficult to remind parents of their overdue child care bills. Drop-off and pickup times are always hectic as care providers monitor kids, gather their belongings, and prepare them for the beginning / end of the day, while parents hurry off to work or to get their kids home for the night.

Because this is often the only face-to-face time care providers get with parents, incorporating  daycare attendance software that can also display tuition payment reminders is valuable.

Child Care Payments

Use Check-In Messages as Tuition Payment Reminders

If left unchecked, a family’s balance due can build up over time, making collection of larger balances difficult and time consuming. Using the Attendance Tracker messaging feature of Procare Software®, you can remind parents they need to make a payment if their balance exceeds a certain amount. Because the Attendance Tracker also knows exactly when students were checked in and out, the center can easily charge fees for extra hours and late pickups.

Of course another option, to make sure you are paid on time – every time, is to use Tuition Express™ to collect payments electronically, but we’ll save that for another article.

How Does it Work?

Video: Check-In Message for Balance Due

You’ll simply create a recurring message to appear at the Computer Check-In Station for any parents whose balance is greater than a certain dollar amount, say $50.  This message will only be displayed when their balance exceeds that amount.

To create the message begin at the main screen Procare Family Data:

  1. Go to Functions –> Attendance Tracker –> Messages.  Click New at the bottom.
  2. On the Message screen under Type of Message select the option Current Balance and set the ‘greater than or equal to’ amount to whatever you’d like, say $50.
  3. Choose an End Date far into the future, and mark Show Always – that way the message will appear any time the balance amount is exceeded, until the future date is reached.
  4. In the box below, type the message that you’d like your payers to read, for example:

“Attention! Your payment is past due. Please speak with the office manager to make payment arrangements as soon as possible.”

Final Thoughts

It can be easy for parents to forget about an upcoming payment. While this is understandable, child care providers can’t let it slide. In order to run a successful child care program, there has to be a consistent cash flow on a monthly basis.

An easy way to send child care billing reminders to parents is through your check-in interface. This is beneficial to your center as it ensures consistent cash flow, and to parents as it keeps past due balances from becoming unmanageably high.

Related Articles

Want to learn more about managing child care billing? Check out these related articles:

 

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The Best Preschool Check-In Systems for Security

Thinking of fingerprints at your daycare or preschool may bring to mind those wonderful, colorful creations that are always popular with the five-and-under set. Wide smiles and giggles are sure to follow when the finger paints and easels appear.

But there are other areas where fingerprints could benefit your child care business. Namely, preschool check-in and security.

Fingerprint Check-in

Parents and child care providers  have to know where their kids are and who they are with at all times. Incorporating a fingerprint-based daycare security system enables child care providers to know each child is being dropped off and picked up by an authorized guardian. This added layer of security gives parents and caregivers peace of mind, knowing each child is safe.

In addition to security, preschool check-in systems enable expedited and automated check-in on busy mornings when parents have to get out the door, and caregivers have multiple young children to watch and engage. Moreover, they can link with attendance tracking solutions to automatically create updated and accurate reports.

It’s easy to let parents check their children in using a small fingerprint device (also known as a biometric ID) connected to a computer with child care attendance tracking software.

Preschool Check-In

The Best Preschool Check-In Systems for Security

If you’re currently using Procare Software® for child or staff check-in, you’ll especially appreciate the option to use a fingerprint only with no additional password required.

Built-in Fingerprint Reader 

It’s easy to set up fingerprint recognition. One option is to choose an all-in-one computer with integrated touch screen and a fingerprint reader built right into the unit. 

Video: Procare Check In

Separate Fingerprint Reader  Fingerprint Check-In Pad

Another method is to connect a separate USB fingerprint reader directly to your check-in computer. All of the software needed for the reader to communicate with your computer is automatically installed along with Procare. 

Optional Password Setting 

You may choose to allow check-in using just the fingerprint of the parent, or other authorized pickup person. As an alternative, you may require a password to go with the fingerprint so a person would touch their finger, enter their password and choose the children to check in. Just check the Require Password box on the Check-In Options screen.

Fingerprint Security

People often want to know if their actual fingerprint is stored or if it could somehow be used for any purpose besides checking their children in. The answer is a resounding “no.” The finger reader does not produce a picture of individual fingerprints. Instead, the system electronically scans hundreds of data points on the finger that are processed through two proprietary systems. Because this scan is simply a series of random numbers, there is no harmful (or useful) information that can be obtained from the data produced by the fingerprint reader.

Final Thoughts

Security and safety are some of the most important features of a successful preschool program. Just as parents need to trust that caregivers can pay proper individualized attention to their child and help to develop core cognitive and physical skills, they also need to trust that caregivers are paying close attention to their child’s location at all times. Preschool check-in systems offer this sense of security to parents and teachers, with additional administrative benefits.

Learn more about fingerprint readers and other preschool check-in systems for your child-centered business.

Related Articles

Want to learn more about incorporating a preschool check-in system? Check out these related articles:

 

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Daycare Payroll: Holiday Hours

Although you probably won’t be taking a paid holiday to a tropical beach in Brazil (as pictured here), you may offer paid time off for holidays at your child care, daycare or preschool. If so, you’ll need a way to keep track of holiday hours for qualified employees and include that information on time sheets at the end of your pay period.

At the time of this writing we’re about half way between the 4th of July and Labor Day, two common holidays for those daycare centers operating in the good old U.S. of A. So, what better time to learn how to use Child Care Management Software to record holiday hours?

In this article we’ll talk about how to use Procare Software® to process paid holiday hours for all (or many) staff members at once.    Continue reading

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