EZ Care Online

EZ Care Online

Hi. I’m Carla Snuggs, Daycare feature writer for Suite101.com and a reviewer for Child Care Software Store dot com.

In this video I am going to take you on a quick tour of EZ Care Online, a web-based child care center management and accounts receivables software developed by Softerware, Inc. This software is a great tool for child care businesses, daycare centers, and preschools as it helps them save time and money and become more efficient. [Read more →]

EZ-Care 2

ez-care2

Hi I'm Carla Snuggs, Daycare Feature Writer for Suite101.com and a reviewer for Child Care Software Store dot com. Today I'm going to take you on a tour of EZ-Care 2, developed by SofterWare, Inc. This outstanding, comprehensive childcare management software is perfect for recordkeeping, billing, accounting, and a host of other functions related to the business of childcare. [Read more →]

Daycare Manager Pro

Daycare Manager Pro

This daycare software manages most of your basic daycare business stuff like billing and attendance. And at 50 bucks it’s probably about the most inexpensive daycare software on the market.

Try Daycare Manager Pro Risk Free. [Read more →]

5 Childcare Authorization Forms Your Daycare Absolutely Must Implement

Each daycare business has its own individual policies and procedures. However all daycare businesses must employ standard childcare authorization forms in order to protect the children in their care as well as their daycare employees. There are 5 simple authorization forms that all daycares must implement:

  1. Childcare Pick-up Authorization: Each parent or guardian must complete and sign a childcare authorization form for each child in your care. This form lists the names of all persons authorized to pick up the child. It details the name of the adult(s), their date of birth, their relationship to the child, and their contact information (address and home, work, and cell phone number). The form should also include a statement that says “Under no circumstances will my child be released to anyone other than the individuals named above, without prior written authorization”.
  2. Field Trip or Activity Permission Slips: The field trip or activity authorization form, gives the children in your care permission to leave the facility or participate in a special activity that is outside of the normal daily routine. The field trip consent form should contain the location of the activity, the date and time of the activity, the mode of transportation involved (walking, car, bus etc.).  The field trip consent form should be signed by the daycare provider and the parent or guardian. It should also include a statement similar to: “I understand that the center will take every precaution and care to insure my child’s safety. Adults who will provide proper supervision and will exercise every precaution to avoid accidents, in accordance with the state licensing regulations will accompany visiting groups”.
  3. Emergency Medical Authorization: The emergency medical authorization form gives you permission for a child to be treated by a licensed physician in the event of a medical emergency. Along with specifics of the care the parent’s will authorize,  the form should include the child's physician, the physician's contact information, the preferred hospital, the hospital address and phone number, the medical insurance information, the date of the child’s last tetanus (or DPT), and any allergies.
  4. Permission to Administer Medication: Before administering prescription medication to the children in your care, you must have parents complete and sign a permission to administer medication form. This form  should detail the name of the caregiver authorized to give medication, the prescribing physician,  the name of the medication, the dosage, the dosage times, the date to discontinue administration of the medication, the route (oral, through the nose, etc.), storage conditions, and any special instructions. It should also include a space to note the disposition of the leftover medication (returned to parent or discarded), and the date discarded or returned.
  5. Permission to Photo: Photography of the children in your care requires parental permission. The permission to photo authorization form should include the different types of use and the option for the parent to approve or deny each type. The types of photography use include still photography to be given to current clients, photographs in bulletin boards or scrapbooks to be shown to prospective clients, photographs to be used on your daycare business’ website, or still photos in promotional materials. The permission to photo authorization should also include the statement: “I understand that it is my responsibility to update this form in the event that I no longer wish to authorize one or more of the above uses. I agree that this form will remain in effect during the term of my child’s enrollment”.

Daycare authorization forms keep the children in your care safe and limit your liability as a daycare provider. Who needs or wants an ugly lawsuit on their hands? You don’t need to create these forms by hand. The use of daycare information management software allows easy access to customizable and printable authorization forms, saving daycare administrators time and effort.

5 Simple Changes You Can Make Today That Could Cut 30 Hours a Month Off Your Administration Time

Administrative duties can be time consuming and monotonous.  Countless hours can be spent accessing, sorting, calculating, and reporting information, but it is easy to shave hours off of your administration time. Invest in childcare software to automate the following tasks:

  1. Management of client records and business information: Daycare software shaves hours off of your administration time. Once you have entered family and business information, the records remain highly organized allowing efficient retrieval for reports and billing functions. Within the family records you have quick access to enrollment and financial information and you can post fees and apply payments. You can also send emails directly from the family record. This saves both time and money.
  2. Billing and Payment functions: Using childcare software, you can automatically bill clients and process tuition payments online with credit cards or bank account information. The software creates and maintains an accurate ledger for accounts receivable and billing functions. This allows you to easily track all charges and payments for clients. Batch charges and batch postings of tuition payments save loads of time, since groups of clients are billed at once. Most daycare software systems automatically send out reminder notices. Within the reminder email, clients can pay with a few clicks of the mouse.  This not only helps increase your business’ efficiency but minimizes data entry for the client.
  3. Creating Reports:  All daycare businesses must generate critical reports for business purposes, for parents, and for lending institutions.  Childcare software organizes data, and then automatically computes and  creates  the reports you need most: Tuition reports, attendance reports, year-end tax information, teacher schedules, expense reports, attendance reports, roll call sheets, sign in and out reports, emergency activity reports, accident reports, immunization reports, and daily schedule reports. In addition, daycare businesses can easily create customizable reports for each customer which helps businesses run more effectively.
  4. Manage Supplies and Inventory: Waste no more time keeping track of supplies and inventory. Childcare software easily organizes and manages your daycare supplies, descriptions of products, manufacturer and warranty information. Inventory and supply lists help you manage the status of items like toys, office equipment, and subscriptions. This is a huge timesaver when you need to reorder items as well as record and replace damaged or stolen items.
  5. Employee Data Management: Daycare software reduces administrative work by maintaining precise employee records.  It manages employees’ hours worked, vacation time, time spent in training, and sick time. Childcare software also generates employee reports such as schedules, earnings, and withholdings summaries, along with weekly sign in and sign out forms. Employee immunization reports help manage immunization summaries and reminders. This keeps children safe and your business compliant with state laws. Daycare management software allows you to create batches of payroll checks, time cards, and receipts, which is yet another time saving feature.

Instead of investing countless hours doing boring paperwork, invest in daycare software and let it handle the busywork for you, saving you time and your business money.

7 Tedious Tasks Your Daycare Should Be Automating

Owning and managing a daycare business involves many monotonous administrative tasks. Instead of being stressed out over mountains of unfinished mind-numbing paperwork, invest in child care software. Software for daycare businesses can automate the following boring tasks, making daycare administration and management extremely efficient, and freeing you up so you have time to tend to other tasks:

  1. Billing and invoicing: Childcare software automatically generates invoices invoice amounts based on child attendance and the rates you have established. Daycare software records and bills for child care and day care tuition charges, as well as fees for supplies and activities, co-payments, and family discounts. These invoices can be sent to clients on weekly, bi-weekly and monthly basis.
  2. Payment Processing: With the client’s authorization, quality daycare software will automatically process childcare tuition payments using the client’s checking or savings account or credit card information. The software creates and transmits the transactions and then posts the tuition payment directly into your daycare business’ bank account. The software then automatic posts the payments to the client’s ledger. Electronic fee collection not only saves hours in paperwork, but also helps avoid bounced checks and late payments.
  3. Tracking attendance: Many daycare management software systems allow attendance tracking. With attendance tracking parents, employees and authorized pick up persons can sign in and out. This also ties into the billing function as it uses this information to calculate fees. Childcare software also performs attendance analysis, attendance summaries, and class summaries.
  4. Reminder notices: With daycare software there is no need to spend time sending out reminder notices. Reminder notices for birthdays, immunizations, upcoming activities, late payment notices, staff training, low supplies, and required information updates can be sent automatically to both administrators and clients as necessary.
  5. Employee information:  Staff management is time consuming and can be hard to keep up with manually. Childcare software allows daycare business owners and managers to automatically track staff schedules, hours worked, vacation and sick time, training hours, and immunization records. It can also automate daily or weekly reminders for staff as necessary.
  6. Reports: Why compile data and create reports by hand? Most daycare software allows you to create reports attendance reports, absence reports, schedules, enrollment history, statements and email lists, report of fees paid daily total, just to name a few. It is easy to generating reports automatically with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  7. Data Entry: Filling out forms can be repetitive and tedious. Once you have registered the client and entered client data, it saves that information allowing you to fill out forms with just a few clicks. Daycare software allows you select the form of your choice and then select from a list of clients. The software then auto -fills the information, saving you loads of time.

Investing in daycare software is a clear-cut, wise choice for daycare businesses. With the many time and money-saving features of childcare software, business administrators can become more efficient and reduce unnecessary busy work.

10 Ways to Improve the Health and Hygiene of your Childcare Business

There is nothing more important than the health and safety of the children in your care. Help protect children and employees by taking precautions to improve the health and hygiene of your daycare business. There are 10 simple ways to do so:

  1. Frequent Hand washing: One of the best ways to improve the health and hygiene of your daycare business is through proper and frequent hand washing by both children and staff. Daycare providers must wash their hands after handling food, wiping the face of a child, after diapering, assisting children with the toilet, and before and after treating a wound. Hand sanitizers are safe and effective if they have at least 60-70% alcohol.
  2. Balanced meals and healthy snacks. It is recommended that children ages 3-5 maintain a total caloric intake of about 1,000-1,200 calories per day and snacks should provide an estimated 20 to 25 percent of those calories. It is also recommended that a 2-year old child who engages in 60 minutes of exercise daily consume 2 cups of milk, 3 ounces of grains, 1 cup of vegetables, and 1 cup of fruit each day. It is also equally important that you model healthy eating habits as well as offer children a wide range of nutritious choices.
  3. Go green: Creating an environmentally friendly environment will enhance the health and hygiene of your daycare business. Reduce the amount of pesticides, buy organic foods, use nontoxic and biodegradable products, reduce or eliminate the use of lead-based products, buy nontoxic art supplies, and begin a recycling program.
  4. Routine toy cleaning: Another key step in maintain good health and hygiene in your daycare business is by thoroughly clean the children’s toys. At the end of the day, all toys should be cleaned with hot water or disinfectant.  If a small child puts a toy in his or her mouth, it should be washed immediately afterward.
  5. Education: Your daycare program should provide fun and informative nutrition activities in order to help children adopt a long-term healthy lifestyle. Children at this age should learn how to wash their hands properly and frequently and learn to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Proper diapering procedures: If your daycare business cares for infants, it is imperative that soiled diapers are handled properly and that there is thorough cleansing of the diaper changing area. It is also important that child care providers use non-porous disposable gloves while diapering a child and in especially in any situation where there might be contact with blood, bodily fluids, or blood or fluid-contaminated bodies, item, or substances.
  7. Exclusion policies: It is a childcare provider’s responsibility to assess each child as they enter the daycare or preschool facility in order to determine whether they should be excluded due to illness. Exclude children from daycare who have a fever greater than or equal to 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, severe abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea, moderate draining from nose, eyes or ears, skin rashes, and red discoloration to the whites of the eyes. This will keep help contain the spread of infectious illnesses.
  8. Keep track of employee immunizations and staff training: Daycare businesses must keep track of staff immunization records and schedules. All staff members should be trained in CPR and First Aid and these certifications must be updated regularly. Staff members should also know how to prevent injury and illness and identify abuse. Childcare software helps keep track of employee training schedules and immunizations. This helps ensure that your daycare staff is abreast of child development issues as well as child health and safety.
  9. Keep track of immunizations and allergies in children: Did you know that 4 out of 100 children have a food allergy, according to recent studies by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)? Daycare software allows you to track allergies, food intake, and immunization schedules to ensure that the children in your care stay healthy and safe.
  10. Proper food handling in the kitchen: Food preparations areas should be clean and well maintained, tables should be sanitized before meals, staff should wash their hands before handling food, and old items should be kept cold while hot items should be kept hot.  Children should not share cups or utensils at mealtime and there should not be a community snack platter. Instead, each child should have his or her own bowl or plate. These will help prevent the spread of illness and reduce the threat of food borne illness.

Five Disasters Your Daycare Isn’t Prepared For

And How One Simple Tool Could Save You, Your Business and the Children in Your Care

Your daycare business should provide a safe, nurturing environment for young children. As a daycare business owner, even though you may take great pride in providing quality care, there are situations that are beyond your control.  Accidents and disasters that occur at daycare can be devastating to your daycare business.  Unexpected tragedies can lead to lawsuits as well as a bad reputation for daycare business. [Read more →]