Road to the Future: Mobile Apps for Child Care Management
Roads are wonderful metaphors. They can represent links between time and place, ways to get from here to there and anticipation of what’s coming around the bend. So what might that road look like between technology and your child care business?
Well, there’s a good chance you have some kind of mobile device, perhaps more than one. You may own a smartphone, iPad, or similar tablet or Android device. If so, you’re familiar with the dazzling array of “apps” available to do anything from teaching kids the alphabet to checking your bank balance and everything in between. So, it’s probably no surprise we frequently hear the question: “Is Procare working on a mobile app for child care management?”
With that in mind, I recently had the opportunity to speak with our development team about the future of mobile apps and what that might look like when using Procare Software® together with Procare Data Hosting. So here’s a sneak peak, a road map, if you will, of what we’re working on. It’s all very preliminary right now and there is no fixed timeline, but it’s still exciting to think of the possibilities and perhaps feel rather like a Procare insider on this little day trip.
[Editor's note: Procare Web Apps were officially released in September 2012. See: Web Apps for Procare Data Hosting]
Should I pack my iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows Mobile device?
Sure, it’s good to plan ahead for your trip. There’s no reason to pack something you’ll never use. But the road ahead will be easy in this regard. Because Procare apps will be web based, you’ll use the browser built into your device to access them. That means the operating system of your device (iOs, Android, etc.) won’t matter.
The first leg
To begin our journey, let’s understand what is possible in the present. Did you know you can already access Procare from another device such as a tablet, iPad, or handheld computer? It’s true. All it takes is a remote connection to a Windows computer that runs Procare. See: Using Procare with a Tablet/Handheld
A few miles down the road
The first item on our mobile itinerary will be to bring information from Procare Data Hosting to your handheld device. This may include emergency contacts (complete with the ability to instantly dial or text) as well as on screen reports of things like which children (or employees) are checked in, recent revenue numbers, bank balance, etc. Below are a few examples.
Emergency contacts by classroom [Click images to enlarge]
Open a class to see individual contact people with instant call/text options
Children currently checked in
Family balance due
Recent charge, credit and payment totals
Bank account balance
A longer journey
Further along the horizon we can see the ability to enter new data (to Data Hosting), such as checking children in directly from a tablet device. This may work along the lines of the existing Receptionist Check In, where a staff person checks children in on behalf of the parent or pickup person.
What’s your destination?
Wherever your child care business is headed, Procare will keep working hard to deliver the best solutions in child care management. If you have ideas for mobile web-apps you’d like to see, please leave a comment below.
Until next time, cheers!
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