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Managing Your Child Care Waiting List

Waiting in line can be a hard thing to do, especially if you’re waiting for something important to you. For children, that might be as simple as waiting for lunch on pizza day. For their parents, it might be waiting for an opening at your child care, daycare or preschool. For you, as their provider, it might be waiting for the official pre-registration payment to hold their slot.

To make sure that families on your child care center’s waiting list actually enroll, it’s important to keep in touch with them through the process. Luckily, for child care administrators, it’s easy to create a contact list of parent names, phone numbers, and email addresses for your wait list families. By using a child care management solution like Procare Software®, you can create a printed list or choose to email or send text messages to selected families all at once.

Child Care Management

Wait List Directory

It’s easy to get a list of everyone on the waiting list with parent contact information. Start with the standard “School Directory II” report (found under Reports > Standard Reports > Family Data > Filtered Reports) and use the Filter button to include only children whose enrollment status is set to “Waiting List”. See Sample: Wait List Directory 

Customized Wait List

With the Procare Data Viewer you have more control over how the information is laid out and can include other fields, such as the date they got on the waiting list (the Status Date). Start with the Child Relationships view and add the fields you want like Primary Classroom, Enrollment Status, etc. See Sample: Data Viewer Wait List  

Use the filter icon (funnel) on the Enrollment Status header to include only “Waiting List”.

To group the report by classroom, drag the Primary Classroom header into the gray area just above the other headers.

You may also want to remove the page break so you don’t get a separate page for each class. Right-click the gray area next to Primary Classroom and uncheck Insert Page Breaks.

Then you are ready to Print or Export to another format, like a spreadsheet, PDF, etc.

Email or Text People on Your Wait List

To begin, use the Select Filter to include only families with children whose enrollment status is “Waiting List”. Then you’re ready to Email the Families or Send Text Messages to the people of your choice. You can even use the built-in Letter Merge to automatically fill in certain fields, like the name and address of each person, etc., and email (or print) the letter.

Final Thoughts

As you get under way for the year at your child care center, it can be easy to lose track of the families on your waiting list. However, though your classrooms might be too full at the moment, at some point you will have space to accept new students.

It is important that you have family contact information for those on your wait list, and are keeping in touch with them regarding their status. Using child care management software, it’s easy to manage your child care waiting list to ensure a positive relationship with prospective parents and simplify their enrollment process.

Learn more about how Procare simplifies family data management at your child care center.

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Want to learn more about child care waiting list and enrollment management? 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

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Set Up Childcare Tuition Fees

How does your early childhood center charge tuition fees? Some childcare, daycare and preschool programs charge a fixed weekly or monthly rate. Others charge tuition based on the number of hours or days a child is scheduled. Your Daycare Software should be flexible enough to accommodate the unique billing needs of your child-centered business.

In this article we’ll explore how Procare Software® can handle childcare tuition as a fixed fee (like weekly or monthly) – which may be tied to a calendar schedule – and how more complex calculations like hourly, daily, or half/full day can be based on hours scheduled or a child’s actual attendance. We’ll outline the basic setup here, then see the article on how the Billing Process is Automated to do in minutes what would otherwise take hours. Continue reading

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Center of the Month – Step by Step

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 June, ProCare is pleased to announce Step by Step – Early Care & Education of Illinois as our award winner! Continue reading

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Center of the Month – First United Methodist Preschool

Each month ProCare Software selects a preschool, early education program, daycare center, or similar place of early childhood 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 May, ProCare is pleased to announce First United Methodist Preschool of Fort Lauderdale, FL as our award winner! Continue reading

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