Daycare Works

I’m Christophor Rick for ChildcareSoftwareStore.com and this review is for the Daycare Works Online application.

Daycare Works is an online software package from Cirrus Group, designed to help you manage your normal daycare operations.  Aside from caveats about connectivity and security in regards to this purely online application, the software itself is rather robust.

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After an initial setup you are presented with the main interface which is a clean, top menu to tabbed environment that gives you two-click access to most of the information you need on a daily basis. The entire interface fits into an 800x600 pixel window. This and the fact that it's web-based mean that you don't need a state-of-the-art computer to run everything quickly and effectively. And because the software is web-based, others in your daycare organization can access it simultaneously which means increased productivity.

Top Level

The home page gives you a nice place to begin, with a quick links section that allows for one-click access to common activities such as adding a child, submitting payments, taking attendance and viewing statements or current balances. Additionally, it supplies you with some center information, programs being run, birthdays and vacations.

The other top-level menu items give you a nice structured, non-linear way to get to all the data you could possibly need. The interface is very user-friendly and easy-to-use, something that is lacking in some other similar software on the market. There is also a floating Links box attached to the left side of the interface, the contents aren’t customizable but the existing links are quite useful.

Quick Tour

The Family area of the Daycare Works lets you add to as well as search the family database. Additionally you can track your waiting list and the tour list so you can always have a full schedule and center.

Payments are of course one of the main areas that need an excellent tracking solution. Daycare Works gives you a large area to track your payments by sponsor, date, and more. It also lets you individually track credit card payments and payments by family which includes its own reporting area.

The Attendance area lets you track students, meals, rooms and even lets you do quick reconciliations and see weekly attendance records.

The Portal is where you can keep the families and parents of your children informed about all of the things going on at the center. It includes announcements, emails calendars, discussion forums and more.

The Approvals section lets you manage everything from children, payments, vacations and even registrations.

The Reports area allows you to receive reports based on room, program, payment or child. There is no report building feature which would be a welcomed addition but there is a wide variety of available reports that should satisfy most users.

The Budget area lets you track you budgeted items and get a report on how you’re doing.

The Teachers area brings you all the information you’ve got on hand for your educational and care providers including contact info, notes and more.

Admittedly the interface looks better at times in Firefox and Google Chrome but functions slightly better in Internet Explorer which means if you are not an IE user you may need to use two browsers .

Overall, the software is a reliable program and will help you better manage your daycare, be it a home daycare or a multi-site center. The software lacks only the few minor details I mentioned that would have made it a completely comprehensive option. It could also use some updates in regards to configurability, help files and customized reporting. But it offers a fair amount of options and its easy to navigate interface makes it ideal for managing a daycare quickly and easily.

ChildcareSoftwareStore.com's Rating: ★★★★☆

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