Daycare Timesheet and Payroll tips

Recording Payroll hours has always been a challenge for daycare owners. The key to speeding up your payroll is to be organized and to track the clock-in and clock-out time of the staff . Here are few things that will help you spend less time on payroll.

Payroll reporting for Daycare

Payroll reporting for Daycare

1. Compliance from Staff: Enforce that the staff always clock in and out either on a timesheet or an electronic software. Oftentimes, staff does not see the value of being consistent with clocking in and out each day. With so many distractions during their busy day, they sometimes forget to punch in the clock. However it poses additional burden on the staff to prove that they were present and the bookkeeper to add those work hours later.

2. Set clear expectations about work hours: You need to set clear expectations for start and end times of the employee’s work day. The whole schedule (both for students and other staff) is dependent on everyone being in place at the right time. Needless to say your planning for the daycare classroom ratios is dependent on this. Impress on your employees to request vacations as soon as possible and call in immediately if there is a reason for an emergency absence. This advance planning allows your to bring in additional staffing during these difficult times.

3. Use a Timeclock: Technology has given us great flexibility and organization. Kinderlime and Timesheets are considered the top two timeclock software in use. Kinderlime allows your employees to clock in or out using a 4 digit pin code. A daycare timesheet report for payroll is available at the end of the pay period. Kinderlime has an advantage over Timesheets with respect to tracking ratios, as it is a complete Sign In-Out, and Daycare Management software. With Kinderlime, you’ll be able to track childcare ratios in real time. With the visibility of knowing 15 minute counts, you can plan your staff in advance.

4. Use a Payroll software: There is some very easy-to-use software from Gusto or Intuit which helps your bookkeeper spend less time on payroll. With these easy to use software, generating payroll is a breeze. You can even track employee vacation and sick hours in these payroll processing systems. A direct deposit facility is also available.

We have gone through some common tips to help you better manage your payroll and staffing better. Hopefully you already have implemented some or all of these tips. If not, adding them to your goals for this school year will help your school continue to grow and improve.

Daycare app for Childcare management

Childcare management software has traditionally been very difficult to set up and learn. It was installed using CDs or even floppy disks, with training material in fat user manuals. This is what most users experience when using a legacy childcare software like Procare and EZCare.

Procare and EZCare software

Director using Childcare software of the 1990’s

This has changed with daycare apps like Kinderlime for

(1) Sign In-Out and Staff Time Clock

(2) Parent communication, Photos and Daily sheets

(3) Billing and Reporting

Thousands of Family Daycares, Preschools and Childcare centers have been using Kinderlime to make their business more efficient and their parents happier. With the Kinderlime option, daycare businesses are moving to a simple and yet full featured childcare software . Within an hour of signing up for Kinderlime, former Procare users like Joy Learning center and Neighborhood Christian center were sending invoices to parents.

The Kinderlime Parent app has been transformative for daycares and it’s families. Parents pay their tuition through the app, view photo and daily sheet notifications, and send messages to the daycare staff. So, check out what Kinderlime offers.


The Berkeley School: Technology Transforms Extended Day Program

The Berkeley School logo

The Berkeley School’s extended programs have been an instrumental part of the school, giving children the opportunity to continue their growth and learning after school. The talented extended day staff have not only provided a safe oasis for children to play and learn, but have offered everything from woodworking to dance classes! In spite of the amazing programming, there was one very large problem.


Jose Arellano- IT Director

When Jose first started working as The Berkeley School’s Technology officer, he knew one of his first project’s would be finding a more efficient way to manage the school’s Extended Day programs. The extended care team was spending at least 2 hours a day on accounting! They wanted to be spending time with the children, not on tedious paperwork.

As Jose began to search for a solution, he quickly found that spending time on paperwork was only a part of the problem. Paper sign in-out sheets were inefficient and inaccuracies of time tracking were much more likely to happen. This made billing families for extended care an absolute nightmare. The school tried their best to bill parents precisely as possible, but using a pen and paper to record attendance made it a challenge.

Jose knew the problem, but now he needed a solution. He began to research and talk with numerous tech companies that promised they could solve his problem. As he continued his research it became clear he needed to work with a system that fit the following criteria:

  1. Easy to use– Jose did not want a system that would require extensive training. He needed something that could be used by anyone!
  2. Quick to setup– He had no time for an extensive set up process. It needed to be seamless, quick and easy.
  3. Low startup cost- He did not want to invest in costly hardware. He wanted something that had a minimal cost, and easy maintenance.

That’s when he stumbled upon Kinderlime. There were no startup fees, no hardware that needed to be installed, and the setup time was minimal. But, what truly sold Jose on Kinderlime was the customer support. From the first time he spoke with Kinderlime he was hooked. He felt less like a customer, and more like a collaborative partner. The Kinderlime team was always there to answer any of his questions, and more importantly, they listened to him. If he had a suggestion or wanted advice, Kinderlime was always there to listen and help.

The Berkeley School

The Berkeley School

It was a week before school, and Jose had officially made a decision, they would go with Kinderlime. Within a couple days his account was setup and student information was imported. Kinderlime’s simple interface made it a breeze to train and prepare staff. Now came the true test. How would the parents like Kinderlime?

Some staff worried that less tech-savvy parents might struggle with the new system, or forget their parent sign out pin codes. After only 2 days the parents not only had the process down, but loved it! Jose described how “everyone just got it.” The sign in-out messages that confirmed that their child had made it to extended care gave parents such an ease of mind, and made it easy for families to coordinate pickups.

Once Kinderlime was up and running it was hard for The Berkeley School to imagine how they ever lived without it. The extended day staff had more time to focus on activities with the children, there was never a debate over parent pick up times, and most importantly, the business office no longer spent hours upon hours calculating bills for families.

To the school’s amazement, billing and administrative work went from 2 hours a day, to an hour a month! Gone were the days of illegible parent sign out times, manual calculation of attended time in extended day, and file boxes full of paper attendance records. Jose described how simple and easy it was to start using Kinderlime, but the long lasting effect it had was vast.

It’s been a couple years now since The Berkeley School started using Kinderlime, and the experience only seems to improve. The school’s preschool now also successfully uses Kinderlime, and Jose feels proud knowing that the extended day program is in good hands!

Camp Software Revamps Adventures in Writing Camp

camp software transforms adventures in writing camp

In 2012, husband and wife team Jen and Hans Hartvickson set out to create Adventures in Writing Camp, a unique summer camp that is dedicated to teaching and building children’s confidence in writing.

As children’s book authors themselves, Jen and Hans brought a unique perspective to the camp. Jen, Hans and the AIW Camp team created a unique curriculum that helped campers entering grades 1 through 8, see how writing can be fun and expressive. Elementary campers learned through songs, games, and storytelling. The middle schoolers were exposed to technology and blog writing, and left AIWC with a blog they could share with the world.

camp software and ipads transform camp

Adventures in Writing Camp was constantly thinking outside of the box and looking for ways to get children excited about writing. They found that even the most hesitant writers gravitated towards technology and made that an integral part of their process. By the end of that first  camp, each camper grades 2-5 had created and published their very own e-book. Today they have over 3,000 e-books, and 100 blogs published. 

With a unique curriculum and fantastic staff, interest in Adventures in Writing Camp grew, and so too did Jen and Hans’ need for streamlining camp operations. One particular challenge faced was getting up-to-date camper information and rosters out to each of the site-directors and teams. The home office team spent hours formatting sign in-out reports, getting camper information out to teachers, and archiving the paper sign in sheets of previous campers.

camp software transforms summer camp

The team prided themselves on offering the highest quality experience, and they knew there must be a better way. They had seen previously how technology had a huge impact on their summer camp through the use of e-books and blogs. They wondered if there was a digital way to improve the sign in-out and administrative side of Adventures in Writing Camp. After extensive research Hans found Kinderlime.

Right away Kinderlime’s camp software began to transform the camp. The Adventures in Writing Camp Team no longer had to deal with paper sign in-out sheets and paper rosters of children. The camp leaders could easily access their camp roster, child’s emergency contact information, and allergies on one device.

camp software and ipads 2

Instead of encountering long lines and chaos during the first day of summer camp, parents encountered Kinderlime. The camp software made sign in-out quick, easy, and mistake free. Parents loved how fast the drop off process became and appreciated the automated sign in-out messages that confirmed when their child was signed in or out. The camp software did so much more than just make the sign in and out process easy; it increased the parent’s confidence in having chosen Adventures in Writing Camp for their children.  

Adventures in Writing Camp has always been about going the extra step. They found that using technology for writing is an incredible tool to not only teach children, but engage them. As with Kinderlime they found that it was not only a tool to help with attendance tracking and long sign in-out lines, but a way to also engage with parents and stand out as a camp that is truly special.

writing camp reimagined with camp software


The Importance of Accurate Record-Keeping

importance of accurate record-keeping

Being a child care provider comes with a lot of responsibility. Ensuring that children are safe, healthy, getting an education, and learning social and motor skills is no easy task. Unfortunately, caring for other people’s children also comes with a lot of risk. No matter how well you run your child care business, lawsuits and licensing investigations can and do happen. It is also not uncommon for child care providers to get stuck in the middle of custody battles and child abuse cases. Learn how keeping accurate records and documenting everything can protect you if these unfortunate situations ever arise.

Signing Children In and Out

Having parents sign their children in and out is required by licensing, but you may not realize just how crucial this actually is. Making sure that parents accurately sign their children in and out can protect you in a number of situations.

  • Licensing Investigations – If licensing asks to look at your files, they will note whether you have been keeping track of attendance. If you have signed children in or out yourself, or if records are inaccurate, licensing may cite you.
  • Custody battles – Sadly, many providers get dragged into the middle of custody battles between parents. Often one parent will claim that they were denied their rightful time with their child, and you may be called upon to show when the child was in your care, who signed them in, who signed them out, etc. These records must be accurate in order to avoid any blame being placed on you.
  • Subsidized care – Many providers work with referral agencies that send them subsidized children. If a parent reports to the agency that their child was not in your care on the days that you claimed, you will be asked to provide proof that your information is correct. We have seen cases where parents did not sign their children in or out properly, and the providers adjusted the time sheets for them. When it came time to show those records to their agencies, they were accused of fraud and were not paid for the time that they provided care!

Daily Logs

Keeping a record of children’s behavior throughout each day, their activities while in your care, and parents’ feedback can be extremely useful to you in many ways. In addition, you should always note anything unusual when a child is picked up or dropped off.

  • Parent Satisfaction – You should always make note of conversations in which parents tell you they are happy with your care. If you ever have a legal dispute with that parent later, it will be harder for them to uphold their claim if you have proof that they have never complained in the past. You may consider having parents fill out monthly satisfaction reports that let you know how satisfied they are with your services.
  • Behavior – Keep notes about each child’s behavior every day. If you notice changes in a child’s behavior, notate it and discuss it with the parents. If a child has consistent behavior problems, be sure you are keeping track of it and recording the discussions you have with the parents. This can help you in a number of situations. If a parent accuses you of anything, if licensing comes to investigate, or if you get called to testify in an abuse case, it is vital that you have records of each child’s behavior for every day that they were in your care. Also, although we never want to see this happen, tracking behavior changes can help you in noticing signs of abuse at home. As a mandated reporter, these are signs that you need to be looking out for.

Incident Reports

When writing an incident report for an accident or an unusual incident, be sure you include very detailed information, such as dates, times, who witnessed the event, and exactly what happened. You need to write incident reports to give to the following people or agencies:

  • Parents – Whenever a child is injured in your care, even if you think the injury is minor, make sure you write an incident report and have the parents sign it. Keep one copy for yourself, and give one to the parents. Licensing can cite you for not reporting injuries to parents, so this is an important step.
  • Licensing – You are required to report unusual incidents to licensing. Unusual incidents are defined differently in different states, but usually it includes any injury which required a doctor’s visit or any incident which could threaten the physical or emotional health of a child. It is also a good idea to report any disputes you have with parents. This will help you if that parent makes a false allegation about you to licensing.
  • Insurance – Your insurance company should be notified if a child has an injury which requires a doctor’s visit or if anything out of the ordinary happens and you think it has the potential to lead to a claim. Remember that your insurance company is on your side and is there to help you. If you aren’t sure if you should report an incident, call your insurance agent and ask them. Many companies will not raise your rates when you have a claim, so you should always err on the side of safety and report everything.

These are just a few of the ways that accurate record-keeping can help you. Remember that in addition to running a business, you are also caring for a parent’s most precious asset. It is in your best interest to record everything that happens, no matter how small. Make sure all of your information is detailed and accurate. While we always hope for the best, you will thank yourself for your preparation if anything ever goes wrong. For more information on how to protect your business, visit