The pandemic took a toll on many businesses, and family childcare programs were no exception. In California alone, 8,500 licensed childcare sites shut their doors across the state. With childcare, providers have to toe the difficult line of charging enough money to break even yet not so much that parents will be unable to afford services.
It can be even more difficult for childcare non-profits, which have compensation restrictions. Anyone who runs a non-profit family childcare program often secures money from grant funding, which must be meticulously tracked to ensure it’s spent correctly.
A great way for a non-profit childcare provider to better meet the needs of the parents, lower costs, and run an organized business is to implement family child care software.
While the bulk of the workday should be focused on caring for the children and their needs, that can be difficult to do if a center is understaffed. There is a minimum number of adults required for a certain number of children for each age group for example, in Kentucky, there must be one adult per five infants.
Non-profits must be forthright about wages and what workers can expect in advance so they can retain talent and ensure they can provide their services to the families that pay for them. Budgets must be flushed out in advance so the non-profit knows exactly how much they can afford to pay from the beginning.
Any non-profit child care provider must have an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations in their state. If not, they could have their license revoked and unable to offer their services.
A system must be in place at the non-profit to ensure that all licenses are up to date, the facility meets state standards, and that all documentation is easy to access if a community care licensing inspector shows up unannounced.
Every daycare facility must have methods of communication to address parental needs and concerns. But so many lack the systems to record incidents properly, inform parents of illnesses, or address concerns from parents. As these issues crop up, parents will likely look for a daycare center elsewhere or even file a complaint against a daycare center to a local licensing office.
Many people who run daycare centers may not have the experience to maintain a budget. If they choose to use paper rather than technical software, it can lead to disastrous budget deficits from calculation errors.
And if a non-profit accepts grant money, that must be tracked and allocated correctly, keeping the stakeholders in the loop about the status of the projects they’ve funded.
Family child care software offers features including in-depth reporting, budgets, case management, and more to streamline running family childcare programs. When all of the data needed to run the business is in one place, it makes it easy for workers to find the answers to problems they need quickly.
Childcare management software gives facilities the tools needed to tackle the issues above and streamline processes so that there’s enough time in the day to complete everything that needs to be done.
Parents need to know what’s going on with their children during the day at daycare. Instead of calling with questions, parents can simply check on their children through the client portal of the family childcare software.
Family child care centers can share status updates of their children, with boards showing what each child might be learning or needs that are being addressed. Parents can message or comment with questions, and providers can respond when they have time to address the issue.
Documents can be shared and updated in the portal, so a parent can be easily notified if they need to sign something or read an update from the staff. Parents and staff can also schedule meetings and parents can pay invoices to avoid delays from paper mail.
Of course, contact information can be included in the portal so that daycare centers know who to call immediately when there’s an emergency or pressing issue.
Before a child can be accepted into a child care facility, they must complete intake forms. Instead of going back and forth with the parent over the phone or via pen and paper, family childcare software offers streamlined client intake. This forms a complete picture of the child’s needs, personality, and any other pertinent information needed to care for them.
And if a child has something critical to know, like a food allergy, anyone who works at the daycare center can check their intake forms to ensure their safety before sharing snacks. This also gives the parents the chance to share any concerns they have regarding their child.
If applicable, software like PlanStreet also offers needs assessment, so that the child care understands potential challenges and how they can provide the best service to both the parent and child.
It’s critical for family childcare programs to meticulously track the attendance of their center. First, they must do it to ensure they have the proper ratio of adults to children required by the state for each age range. Second, the facility needs to track who can sign the child in and out, to make sure the child is under the care of the proper guardian.
Childcare management software allows a non-profit to track the attendance of each child to maintain proper budgeting and assist with them safely entering and exiting the facility each day.
A big way any business can save money on costs is to effectively communicate processes and workflows. With family child care case management software, the needs of each child can be found in one place. Each person can add status updates and recommendations for services so that no one does the same task twice.
Plus, any forms that need to be created for intake or ongoing management can be created or adjusted in the software. The staff can make changes based on each child’s needs or make improvements based on parent suggestions or concerns.
Childcare services run on tight budgets, so any place to save is a benefit. About 66% of small and medium-sized businesses spend at least $1,000 a month on printing.
When you use family child care software, overhead costs like paper, pens, printers, paper files, and other expensive tech is reduced. Everyone at the facility can use a phone or tablet instead to look at documents or ask for signatures, rather than printing everything out.
Every non-profit must keep accurate budget records for grant funding. Instead of spending hours by hand, childcare centers can streamline the process by implementing childcare management software with grant funding.
The software can keep track of each grant, including
For each portion of the money spent, the center can write the activity, notes for the donors, the cause of the grant, and more. While this is a time-consuming process, it makes it so much easier down the line when the childcare services must report how each dollar was used from the grant.
It also ensures that all the grant money will be used by the deadline in the proper way that most benefits the organization.
Many grant organizations expect a report at the end of the funding to see how the money was allocated. Child care software allows a center to take the data created while tracking grant funding and make detailed financial reports.
These reports can be customized to the needs of each grant. Data can be visualized through pie charts, graphs, and other customizations in one click to export into a data or Excel file. The reports show how each expense is tied to the funds, and are easy for anyone to read and understand.
Many businesses live under the false impression that paper files are safer than online ones. Anyone could accidentally leave out a paper file, slip something confidential into their bag by mistake, or forget to lock a filing cabinet. While the intention may not be malicious, a person could still be held responsible for a negligent action.
Instead, choose a secure child care software that’s HIPAA-compliant and backed by Microsoft Azure to ensure that all sensitive information remains protected. Azure follows strict security regulations and offers features including protection against DDoS attacks.
PlanStreet offers comprehensive family child care software for cases and program management designed with non-profits in mind. Our case management software offers an intuitive interface for simplified communication and centralized data.
With PlanStreet, you can
PlanStreet offers customizable user interfaces to exactly match the needs of your organization. If you’re ready to streamline processes to save time and money at your family childcare program, request a live demo with PlanStreet today.