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daycare wait list

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.

Related Articles

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New! Pre-Register Children Online

Finger painting is fun all right, but it can sure get messy! Perhaps the  pre-enrollment process at your child care business is like that too – a little bit messy? Although you want to follow up with families who express interest you don’t want to spin your wheels or spend excessive staff time on data entry or paperwork until they’re ready to put some money down and officially enroll.

Clean Up Your Wait List & Pre-Registration

How many times have you spoken with an enthusiastic parent – ready to get on your waiting list – only to discover a short time later they found other child care or are no longer interested? You might refer to this period before enrollment as the “research” or “waiting” stage when a family wants to be on your list, but isn’t yet ready to commit – or perhaps is waiting to see if a slot will open up for their child.

Of course you could spend time manually taking down information about their children, or ask them to fill out your full set of enrollment forms, but there is an easier way. Continue reading

Create and Manage Your Daycare Waiting List

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.

Daycare Business Planning

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.

  1. From the Procare Home screen go to Configuration > System > Data Management > Status & Relationships > Child’s Enrollment Status.
  2. Enter a new status on the top blank line, then click Save > Exit.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Choose a Date Range then click Run Report.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Assign your marketing items to the Account Tracking screen for each family.
  3. Use the Account Filter to get a quick count of the number of families with each referral source.
  4. 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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Related Articles:

Interested in learning more about simplifying administrative tasks at your child care center? Check out these related articles.

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