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Professional Development

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How Software Can Help Manage Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs provide essential services and enrichment through the 12th grade, in many school districts.

There are unique challenges in administering these programs. Many tasks are repetitive, time-intensive and prone to error.

Childcare management software automates many afterschool program processes, reducing the time spent on documentation and the cost of administering the program. Take the following steps to find the right solution for your program.

Don't Buy Features, Solve Business Problems

Identify the business problem you hope to solve before determining the desired features.

  • Is your check-in and check-out process inefficient?
  • Does billing and invoicing consume a high percentage of staff time?
  • Are parents asking for online services?
  • Do you want to offer flexible scheduling without adding administrative burden?

Identifying the specific business problems you need to solve enables you to narrow your search to software that answers those needs precisely.

Consider Support and Ease of Use

Once you identify potential solutions, your next step is to determine the ease of use and the type of support available.

Software that is simple to use encourages adoption and reduces errors. It also reduces the amount of training required for staff to become proficient.

Technical support options vary between vendors. Choices include phone support during traditional business hours, 24-hour phone support, online self-service and chat-based support. Select the service level you need.

The Benefits of Cloud Services

Cloud-based solutions, also known as web-based or SaaS solutions, are easy to implement and offer convenient access using any device with an internet browser. All software updates and maintenance are part of the subscription price. Access is not limited in geography or to specific times.

Important Features

Determine the features you need by considering the business problems you need to solve.

  • Online registration, enrollment, and bill payment eliminates paper-based documentation and data entry. Late payment fees are added automatically.
  • Automated payment processing places funds in your bank account at the time payment is made.
  • Automated check-in and check-out introduce efficiencies including faster turn-around and tracking late pickup fees.

Automated and online parent notifications keep parents informed while reducing paper use.

Childcare management software optimizes administrative tasks, reducing errors, data entry, and resource utilization. Determine your business needs before selecting software, and you will have a solution that returns your investment quickly as well as streamlining your business operations.

Courtesy of EZChildTrack.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Kelly.