Benefits of Software for Daycare Center Scheduling

By: Kelly Hunter

If you run a busy day care center, you will need some simple but powerful software to keep you on track. Not so many years ago, to gain an edge over the competition, a center had to stand out for the quality of its individualised childcare programmes. The most viable center was typically run by one brilliant administrator with an exceptional memory, who was an invaluable and rare commodity.

This is no longer the case, since anyone can very effectively keep track of every single child and his or her individualised programming and scheduling, thanks to easy-to-use software packages. These take out all the donkey work and possible sources for error, avoid possible conflicts of scheduling and allow you to plan well ahead and keep parents and carers notified of all matters arising.

Reports are no longer the time-consuming task they used to be and are compiled efficiently, in pleasantly-packaged, easy to read format, with or without graphics. Typical reports can track attendance, the sign-in and sign-out times of each child and parent-to-teacher ratios. Individualised messages for parents and caregivers can be automatically generated contingent on attendance statistics. Meals can also be managed and birthdays are never forgotten – and a little note effortlessly generated.

Health and hygiene are, of course, top priorities for any center. It is possible with day-care software to monitor allergies and their treatments, or any other kind of medical instructions. For the security conscious, another option is the door release mechanism. More sophisticated programs even provide photographic representation of authorised children and adults. Keeping tabs of finances is something every successful center has to do and a reliable software package can make this task easy as child’s play.

Billing is taken care of and individualised invoices can be sent, deposit slips generated and discounts taken into account. Payment can be received electronically, which could have untold benefits for the streamlining of the administrative day. Some packages even manage the payroll for you, or integrate into your existing payroll systems.Parents will appreciate this kind of system, because they can log in remotely and track what is going on, make additional bookings, etc. The level of access you designate for each type of user is up to you – limited access for parents, for example, who can consult in general and administer the days, hours and services required.Whether they can modify their scheduling directly or only make a request to do so through the system is up to the administrator of the system to decide.

For day-care centers with several different locations, the advantages of such software become all the more apparent. Efficiency is of the essence and if necessary teaching or ancillary staff can easily be distributed across the different locations, without scheduling or payroll headaches.There are several different companies providing excellent software packages of this type currently on the market, among which are ProCare and Softerware.com, while Appointment-plus is the software of choice for prestigious, efficiency-aware companies such as Nissan and Pepsi.

Whatever your choice of day-care scheduling software, you will soon be reaping the benefits of forgetting about administrative headaches and concentrating on what you are really in the business for. In other words, providing the best possible set of services for the children in your care.

Parenting
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