How do I find the best child care and daycare software program for my needs?
Choosing child care management software is an important investment of your time and financial resources. It requires research and careful consideration of the following items:
- Define your Goals: Which administrative tasks do you want to tackle? What parts of your center need improvement and streamlining? How can software simplify the management of your business?
- Features: Based on your goals, ensure the software includes the most essential modules and can grow with your business… Family Data, Family Accounting, Attendance Tracking and Employee Data are basic essentials which should be included in any package.
- Pricing: Make an educated choice based on value not just price. The smart decision will be the one that meets your goals and yields a return on your investment. Does the software include functionality to save time, money and improve operational processes? Be sure to get a complete understanding of cost, fees and contract obligations.
- Consultation: Knowledgeable software consultants will help you determine how you’ll benefit from automation. Being experienced with daycare and child care management issues, including billing and accounting, your consultant should clearly understand your goals and needs.
What should I request when comparing daycare programs?
- A detailed outline of daycare software pricing and program features.
- Support costs, additional user fees or requirements for updates and enhancements.
- Company information including company history, locations, staff and number of current users.
- Availability of technical support and training.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make direct comparisons. Your research will ensure an investment in the right child care program for your business.
How can I tell if a daycare software program is flexible and easy to use?
Take advantage of software demonstrations on ease of use while making sure the software can support the growth of your center. Throughout each demo, make sure your consultant answers all of your questions and addresses any concerns completely.
Things to Consider:
- Ease of Use: The software should be easy to navigate with reports that are quick to retrieve.
- Flexibility: Does the program let you create your own fields and reports? You should be able to tailor the software to meet current and future needs.
- Additional Services: Are important services like automated tuition collection and card processing available? Check that these solutions are from a single source, as some companies require you to use multiple vendors for a complete solution.
Is the reputation of the company behind the software important?
Absolutely. Company experience, stability and commitment play an integral role in the ongoing success, development and support of the child care software solution you choose. Find out what services each company has to offer, the number of years in business, how many active users they have, and most importantly, read reviews from fellow child care professionals.
What should I expect to pay for daycare software?
Cost is a consideration for any child care business owner. The daycare software company you choose should be able to provide financing options that will fit comfortably in your budget
What if I need help with my daycare software?
Your provider should offer a variety of tools to help you learn. The software user guide should explain how to set up your program, enter data and provide answers to basic questions. Resources that address frequently asked questions should be easily accessible. Video tutorials and free support should also be available.
Being a child care director is both a challenging and exceptionally rewarding job. The nuances of combining physical care and education in a nurturing environment require a special person, because there is so much to do. We honor professionals, like you, who make a difference every day.
We’ve created a mini-checklist for many of the management tasks in your center. See which ones apply to you.
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