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An OWL for Your Preschool?

Baby OwlHere’s a fun question to ask the children at your daycare or preschool, “What has excellent hearing, but has no ears?” You may get a variety of creative responses, but the answer in this case, is an owl.

Owl Facts and Owl Crafts

Owls actually have ear holes, rather than typical ears like we do. Their feathers can be moved to focus sound toward their ear holes. And, when you’re an owl, the ability to hear well is especially important. That’s because most owls are awake at night, when it’s dark, and their strong sense of hearing helps them figure out exactly how far away a mouse or other prey may be.

Owls also have a certain appeal; the young ones are especially cute and tend to have wide faces, smallish beaks and big eyes. To help the children in your care enjoy learning about owls, you may like to try some Owl Crafts & Activities for Kids or perhaps just Learn More About Owls.

Another Type of O.W.L.

But, if I asked whether you need an owl for your child care center or preschool, I’m pretty sure your response would be somewhere between “Are you kidding?” and “What in the world are you talking about?” Continue reading

Your Tool Belt for Back to School

With school starting up again your child care business may be busier than ever with children enrolling for before and after school programs, not to mention preschool, pre-k and kindergarten. With that in mind Procare Software® has a number of Child Care Management Tools to make the transition as efficient as possible. You might think of it as your tool belt for the back-to-school season.

Change Classrooms

Video: Change Classrooms

Many children may be changing classrooms to start the school year. This could take a while if you had to go child by child to make the change, however, you can quickly adjust classrooms for everyone by moving an entire group of kids from one class to another or making individual changes as needed using the Classroom Graduation tool. 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.

Poof! A ProCare Wizard

New ProCare Wizards Save You Time!
We have new, time-saving, download-able programs we call ‘wizards’ that help you create or change settings more easily in ProCare. Today we’ll look at WZ01, the Family Data Wizard.

*All of these Wizards require an internet connection on the computer running ProCare.

Continue reading

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