Hugging a teddy bear can help kids feel braver when it comes to getting a shot. And while they may have to endure a brief moment of pain in the name of good health, at least they don’t have to deal with the hassle of keeping track of immunization records and paperwork. Truth be told, neither should you.
As a child care professional, chances are you’re familiar with the recommended immunizations for young children and you’re careful to make sure every family brings in the child care immunization records for their children before they can attend. Next on your list is the question of how to efficiently keep track of all the immunization requirements, due dates and child history.
How to Track Child Care Immunizations
To help you simplify the paperwork, here are some essential features to look for in immunization tracking software to keep your immunization records up-to-date.
Flexible Immunization Schedule
In order to track when the next immunization is due, you’ll need a way to define the schedule of required vaccinations. Since each shot requires a different schedule, you’ll want the child care database you choose to be flexible. For example, one immunization may have multiple doses due at specific ages, another may be due every 12 months, and a third may be due so many months after the last one, rather than at a specific age—such as when children are on a make-up schedule.
Allow for Exemptions
Children may be exempt from certain vaccinations for a variety of reasons.
- If they’ve already had an illness, like chickenpox, the immunization (such as varicella) may no longer be necessary.
- A child might have an exemption due to family philosophical or religious reasons.
- Combo-vaccinations are another reason for exemptions. Families might choose (or their pediatrician might recommend) individual shots or a vaccine that combines multiple immunizations into one. Therefore, you’d need a way to exempt children from the “individual” shots or vice-versa.
- An age exemption is another possibility. For school-age children you may not be required to track immunizations that apply to younger children.
One final thought on exemptions: you’ll also want a way to indicate the reason why a child is exempt.
Alerts When Immunizations are Due
It’s good to know when an immunization or other requirement (physical, etc.) is due, but it’s even better to get advanced notice of when it’s coming due. In other words, you’d like the parents to know ahead of time, so they’re able to make sure they have the necessary doctor’s appointments arranged.
You may also want a way to:
- Easily see on your director’s screen when immunizations are due or coming due.
- Let parents see immunizations that will be needed soon, at the time they check their children in.
- Generate reports and lists showing immunization information.
Beyond knowing what’s coming due, you’ll also want an efficient way to track the history for each child. In other words, what dates did a child receive each vaccination in the sequence? Typically, this information should be available on an immunization history report.
Making sure the kids attending your child care center are up to date with their immunizations is necessary to ensure the health of every child in your care. However, when the year gets underway and your schedule fills up, it can be easy to lose track of the multitudes of paperwork that go along with immunizations records. To mitigate these challenges and manage health records, child care centers should employ immunization tracking software with a degree of flexibility and customization that allows them to account for each child’s needs.
Learn how Procare can help you better keep track of family health information at your child care center.
Interested in learning more about managing health information at your child care center? Check out these related articles.
- Immunization Tracking – Looking Forward
- Tracking Child Allergies – Part One
- Move Daycare Records to Your Smartphone, iPad, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Want to learn more about incorporating a preschool check-in system? Check out these related articles:
- Time and Attendance: Batch Check-In
- Plan “B” for Your Child Care Check-In Station
- Mythbusters: Fingerprint Check-In for Child Care
Are you still keeping track of children on the waiting list at your child care, daycare, or preschool with paper and pencil, or perhaps a computer spreadsheet? Child care management software —specifically designed to help your center run more efficiently— makes it easier to manage your daycare waiting list and make informed decisions about how to market your business.
Manage Your Daycare Waiting List and Marketing
In this article we’ll show you how Procare Software® can help you both manage your waiting list and keep track of how people found out about your center.
Child Care Waiting List Categories
It’s easy to set up a waiting list by creating enrollment categories in Procare. You could use just a single status like “Waiting List” or create multiple items like “Wait List – Student”, “Wait List – Faculty / Staff”, “Wait List – Public” to categorize each person on the list. This may be useful if you have different levels of priority for each group.
- From the Procare Home screen go to Configuration > System > Data Management > Status & Relationships > Child’s Enrollment Status.
- Enter a new status on the top blank line, then click Save > Exit.
- Then look up a family and assign a waiting list status on the Child’s Enrollment screen.
Creating a Waiting List Report
In Procare’s Family Data module, you can use an enrollment report to find out how many (and which) children are on the waiting list, with these three steps.
- In Family Data & Accounting choose Reports > Family Data > Child Enrollment. To see a list of children whose status has changed (everyone new to the waiting list) choose Change of Enrollment Status. To include everyone at their current status (everyone on the waiting list) choose Enrollment Status Summary.
- Choose a Date Range then click Run Report.
- With the report on screen double-click a status (like Waiting List) to get a detailed list of all children assigned that status.
As an alternative, try the following report that lets you sort by name, age, or classroom. Choose Reports > Family Data > Filtered Reports > Child: Birthday – Age Summary. Use the Filter to select the Enrollment Status of “Waiting List” as of a date you specify.
Tracking Your Marketing Sources
Be sure to ask new enrollees and those on the waiting list how they heard about you. That way you can track each source and get a picture of what marketing sources are working best for your center. For example, you may wish to track how many people saw your add in the yellow pages, found you online, heard from a friend, saw your flyer, or found a coupon, etc. With Procare, this requires just a few simple steps:
- Create a tracking group called something like “Marketing” and items within the group like “Yellow Pages”, “Online”, etc. See the knowledge base article on how to Manage Tracking Items.
- Assign your marketing items to the Account Tracking screen for each family.
- Use the Account Filter to get a quick count of the number of families with each referral source.
- Print a report to get a list of families assigned to each category, like Reports > Family Data > Tracking Account: Contact Information. Then choose your “Marketing” category and Run Report.
Having a well managed child care waiting list is the best way to ensure consistent enrollment at your center throughout the year. Using child care management software allows your center to keep track of the families on your waiting list, get accurate and up-to-date reporting, and track marketing efforts to optimize your spend, while increasing efficiency at your center.
Learn more about how Procare can help manage enrollment and wait lists.
Interested in learning more about simplifying administrative tasks at your child care center? Check out these related articles.
Each month Procare Software selects a child care center, early education program, preschool or similar place of early learning as our Center of the Month. Centers are selected for this honor based on information provided for their Free “MyStory” Web Page.
For the month of August, Procare is pleased to announce Wildwood Baptist Preschool of Acworth, Georgia as our award winner! Continue reading
Each month ProCare Software® selects an early education program, preschool, child care center, or similar place of early learning as our Center of the Month. Centers are selected for this honor based on information provided for their Free “MyStory” Web Page.
For the month of July, ProCare is pleased to announce Lake Shore Schools of Chicago, Illinois as our award winner! Continue reading