Kinderlime Takes the Pain Out of Daycare Billing

taking the pain out of daycare billing

Daycare billing can be a painful and time consuming task. In an ideal world, daycare programs would spend less time tracking invoices and chasing down parents, and more time creating a quality daycare.

Thankfully, Kinderlime, the leading child care management software, is here to make the daycare billing process a little more manageable.

When it comes to daycare parents, there are two kinds –

1. The Angels: These are the parents that pay tuition on time and almost never pick up their child late. These parents also attend school events, and are truly involved in your daycare.

2. The Runners:  These are the parents you constantly chase to collect tuition or after school payments. These  are also the the parents who never read notices.

The runners are what makes daycare billing a challenge. Runner seek more time to pay tuition, and don’t want to pay late fees. As a business owner, you want to keep these conversations short and pleasant, but as you may know, this is often much easier said than done.

But,  At some point you need to ask yourself…

Why did I start working in child care?

 Was it to run after parents to collect tuition?

Or, was it to provide a safe and nurturing environment for your parents kids?


How to Take the Pain out of Daycare Billing

You want to spend less time creating and collecting invoices, but how? Kinderlime’s child care management and daycare billing software will help take the load off of you.

The sign in out system keeps parent disputes to a minimum. Instead of trying to decipher scribbles on a paper sign in sheet, your reports are replaced with an electronic sign in out app that records and tracks your attendance records.

The electronic billing allows you to go paperless and start electronic payments. Parents can enter their bank account or credit card details, helping you stay in control of their payments. Alternatively parents can pay online themselves after they receive an invoice from you. With Kinderlime, the electronic payments are automatically transferred to the daycare’s bank account.

Kinderlime gives you flexibility – you are free to do contract billing or time clock based billing. In contract billing, you can choose if you want weekly or monthly invoices sent out to parents. In time clock based billing – you can charge the parents by the hour or the number of days their children spend in your child care program.

Electronic payments for after school / child care  billing gives you the following advantages –

1. No paperwork – Less time. Big savings. You don’t have to do any paperwork and tracking . Kinderlime typically saves half an accountant and half an office manager. Savings are from creating invoices, maintaining excel, chasing parents and doing the trip to the bank

2. You are in control. Always have payments on time

3. Accurate. Let Kinderlime do the work for you in calculating the charges for contract or time clock based billing

If you do want to see how you can free yourself from paper chores and arguments with parents, request a demo to go paperless.


YMCA finds Safety with Child Care Management Software

child care management software

Justin is no stranger to the world of summer camps. He first started working at the Pav YMCA as a camp counselor his sophomore year of high school, and has been hooked ever since.

It’s hard for Justin to imagine a life without the Pav YMCA. His years working with kids at the YMCA’s summer camps have shaped who he is today. He fell in love with the rewarding environment that working with children created, and pursued his teaching credentials.

He is now working as an elementary school teacher, but still finds himself returning to the Pav YMCA every summer.

When you walk into the Pav YMCA’s summer camps, you immediately see why Justin has returned year after year. As parents and children walk in they are greeted by friendly camp counselors. Parents quickly sign in their children in seconds using the Kinderlime attendance app set up on tablets and iPhones.

After the quick sign in-out process, children are off to have a fun filled day. Campers have the opportunity to participate in many YMCA themed camps including healthy cooking, a drama camp where campers can write, act and direct their own movie, and even a camp where children can learn to scuba dive.

When it comes to summer camps, the Pav YMCA seems ahead of the game. The sign in-out process is anything but hectic, and the activities offered are incredibly unique and interesting. However, according to Justin, the Pav YMCA was not always this organized and innovative.

child care management softwareWhen Justin first started working as a camp counselor, he dreaded the parent sign in rush. Like many other summer camps, the Pav YMCA used paper sign in-out sheets. They tried to maintain some level of organization by giving each child their own paper daily attendance sheet, and using binders to separate campers by groups. However, with 200 campers coming through the Pav YMCA daily, the sign in-out process was simply chaotic.

The paper sign in-out process created long lines of parents waiting to sign in their child. Parents would become frustrated with camp counselors, and some would simply drop off their child without even signing in.

Staff struggled to manage the check in process, and wasted hours upon hours manually going through daily attendance sheets. There was no easy way to keep track of how many kids were signed into the program. Staff had to count the attendance totals, and find missed parent signatures manually.

Justin and his super team at the Pav YMCA managed, but knew there must be a better way. The Pav YMCA provided amazing camp programs; however, they felt their camps and counselors were overshadowed by the unorganized sign in-out process.

The Pav YMCA decided to try out Kinderlime’s Child Care Management Software, and to their surprise, it changed everything! Immediately the long lines for parent sign in disappeared. The sign in out process went from looking unorganized and hectic, to easy and enjoyable.

The camp counselors now had more time to connect with parents during the sign in-out process, and could focus more on camp planning, and less on attendance counting.

child care management software

Kinderlime’s child care management software helped the Pav YMCA take their summer camps to the next level! Staff and parents immediately noticed how Kinderlime improved the sign in-out process, but as time went on, they experienced the true value of having a child care management software like Kinderlime.


Kinderlime not only helped with attendance tracking, and the sign in and out process, but became a useful tool to ensure the safety of campers.

While Justin never expects to have any accidents or problems on a camp field trip, he is comforted knowing that if an emergency ever occurs, he is prepared with Kinderlime. With his unique staff login, he is able to access campers’ allergy information, a picture if a child is lost, and parent contact information right from the Kinderlime app on his iPhone.

Justin’s director, Stephanie Robinson, is comforted by the fact that she has the ability to check up on her campers and counselors from practically anywhere. She can quickly access staff to child ratio, and see how many kids are still signed in to camp during closing time from anywhere at any time.

Kinderlime’s attendance tracking, sign in-out, and safety features have proven to be an irreplaceable tool for the Pav YMCA. Ever since Justin started as a camp counselor 8 years ago, he knew that the Pav YMCA provided a place where kids could learn, grow, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The themed camps and passionate counselors created an amazing summer for the campers, but Kinderlime’s Child Care Management Software filled in the missing piece.



How to Choose a Child Care Management Software

Child care management software guide


With so many child care management software options available, the process of choosing a software that best fits your programs needs can be daunting. We have put together a few questions to guide you through the decision making process.


1. What are my goals?

When choosing a child care management software, the first thing you will want to ask yourself is “what am I looking to get out of this software?Child care software’s vary in features. What is right for one program, may not be for another. This list below displays some of the key features offered by child care management services. Evaluate and choose the features that will help you achieve your goals.

Key Child Care Management Software Features:

  • Sign In and Out
  • Parent Signatures
  • Attendance Tracking and Reports
  • Staff Clock In-Out
  • Security Notifications
  • Online Billing and Invoicing
  • Daily Sheets and Reports
  • Photo Sharing
  • Newsletters
  • Calendar Management
  • Emergency Text Blasts
  • Ouch Reports
  • Marketing Features
  • Integration Services
  • Tech Support
  • Employee Management
  • Food Program Records
  • Child health records
  • Online Registration
  • Parent Portal
  • Wait List Management
  • Menu Planning


2. What is my budget?

During the decision making process evaluate the importance of price. If cost is important, then decide which features you would be willing to give up for a lower price. Here are a few tips on coming up with a budget that works for you:

  • How much time and money will the software save you? Depending on the type of program you are running, various features will not only make your job easier, but actually save you time. Evaluate the amount of time you spend on certain tasks (attendance tracking, auditing sign in and out sheets, filling out daily sheets, ect.) Doing this will allow you to see the value of certain software features.
  • How much can you realistically spend? Regardless of the value of certain features, some software programs may simply be too pricey for your particular program. Decide on a maximum price you can afford.
  • Are there ways to save? Many child care software programs offer special discounts and deals. Be sure to ask your child care software of interest about any discounts available.


3. How easy is it to use?

.While every new program may have a small learning curve, you should not find the system extremely confusing to use. Using a child care management software is supposed to make things easier, not harder. To evaluate how easy the program is to use, try signing up for a free trial or request a demo.

Many companies provide the option of testing out their services to help in the decision making process. Be wary of companies that do not allow you to first test out your service. You want to make sure the software you chose will work for your program’s needs, and this is one of the best ways to evaluate this.


4. What level of customer support is offered?

The child care software you choose should provide instructional resources , help guide you in the set up process, and answer all common questions. Aside from these basic customer support needs, there are many additional levels of customer support offered by child care software companies.

Depending on your programs needs and the size of your program, you may need the assurance that you will be provided top quality customer service. Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating the customer support options:

  • What time of day is support offered?
  • What is their average response time?
  • Do they provide video tutorials?
  • Do they offer training if needed?
  • What methods of contact are provided (e-mail, phone, text, instant messaging)?


5. Do they listen to their customer’s needs?

The tech world has exploded over the last two decades. 20 years ago you would practically never find child care programs using a child care management software, but today it is an incredibly valuable tool used by many. As technology continues to develop, as do the needs of programs.

When deciding to choose a software program, investigate the growth of the company. Are they continually adding new features, or have they stayed the same? It is valuable to work with a company that values innovation, and is constantly listening to their customer’s needs.

If you find that a child care software does not have a feature you desire, let them know. This is a great way to gauge how they handle customer requests, as well as letting them know what features you desire.


6. What is the deployment of the child care management software?

When it comes to child care software companies, there are typically two options available: Web based or Installed. 

Web-based Software

Web based software runs on a web browser. You need an internet connection to access the child care software. This secure method of deployment  allows for users to access their information from anywhere at anytime.

Installed Software

Installed software is installed on a particular computer or laptop. Some installed software may require you to purchase additional hardware or pay to add the software to multiple computers. If you are going with this method of deployment, be sure to check if any additional hardware or software will need to be purchased to avoid any surprise costs.


 For further guidance on choosing a child care management software, please contact us.


Going Green with Kinderlime’s Child Care Software

Going Green with Kinderlime's Child Care Software

Graciela Marques-Hahn and Amrit Bhuie accepting the Acterra Award for Sustainability at the 2014 Business Environmental Awards Reception

Image by NCC

Immediately upon entering the Neighborhood Christian Center, you know this is not your typical childcare program. In this beautiful outdoor campus you will find everything from a Chicken Coup to an Edible Garden to a Native American Center. For Graciela Marques, the executive director of NCC, sustainability and living green is a lifestyle. Each part of the Neighborhood Christian Center is built with nature in mind.

Graciela and her amazing team teach their children how to compost all kitchen scraps, grow their own fruits and vegetables year round, and make every effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. Today, NCC is an amazing representation of a green school, but things were not always this way.

Kinderlime's Child Care Software

Children walking to the Native American Village  and Edible Yard at NCC

Image by NCC

Before Kinderlime, NCC used paper sign in-out sheets. They would often find themselves printing over 250 sign in-out sheets daily. The immense amount of paper would take hours upon hours to go through. As the program grew, copying and paper cost came out to $1,000 a month! NCC was preaching sustainability, yet was wasting massive amounts of time, money, and trash on paper sign in-out sheets.

NCC finally decided enough was enough! They were teaching their children how to live a green lifestyle, yet were producing unnecessary garbage.

In the past, Graciela had tried other child care software options. They were costly, and made promises they simply could not keep. She was hesitant about trying out a new child care software, but she could tell immediately Kinderlime was different. “Kinderlime is a company I can work with” Graciela said, “someone that actually listens and understands. They truly understand NCC’s goals toward sustainability.”

As Graciela started with Kinderlime, she was able to immediately eliminate her costly and harmful paper use. She no longer needed paper for sign in-out sheets and billing invoices. NCC was finally being aligned with their green and sustainable values, but this was just a part of the many changes Kinderlime made.

Going Green with Kinderlime's Child Care Software

Children harvesting the snap peas they have grown to make a big pot of vegetable soup

 Image by NCC

When NCC used paper sign in-out sheets, they constantly faced the challenge of parents forgetting to sign their children out. Forgetting to sign in-out once or twice may not seem like a huge problem, but when it comes to child care licensing, a missed signature can be damaging.

In a large child care center like the Neighborhood Christian Center, it is difficult to keep track of the parents that are not signing their children out. Thankfully Kinderlime’s child care software makes this problem manageable.

Instead of having to spend hours and hours going through each attendance sheet, finding out which parent forgot to sign their student out, Kinderlime’s child care software keeps track of the missing sign-outs for them. While Kinderlime had not completely eliminated the problem, it helped NCC keep parents accountable and child care licensing happy.

The switch from paper sign in-out sheets to Kinderlime’s child care software allowed Graciela to easily manage her children’s attendance and stay licensing compliant without ever having to print out a single sheet of paper. Staff loved the ability to easily track their child to teacher ratio, and parents loved the quick and easy sign in-out process.

Kinderlime gave the Neighborhood Christian Center more time and money to focus on what matters most to them; teaching and implementing an incredible sustainable and green program.

After all their hard work, and a little help from Kinderlime, in 2012 NCC became a certified Bay Area Green Business, and in 2014 became the recipient of the Acterra Business Environmental Award!

Going Green with Kinderlime's Child Care Software

The exceptional staff at NCC celebrating their successful year

Image by NCC


6 Fun Ways to Use Photos in your After School Program

6 Fun Ways to use Photos in your After School Program


You do not need to be an expert or have an expensive camera to have fun with photography in your after school program. All you need is simply one digital camera, or even a smartphone, and you will be on your way to discovering the world of photography in the classroom. Fill your program with enriching and academic photography activities that your students, staff, and parents will love.


 1. Put Together A VIDEO YEARBOOK

Schools are not the only ones who can have yearbooks. After school programs spend tremendous amounts of time with their children. It’s always a little bittersweet when the school year comes to an end, and you must say goodbye to your graduating students. However, a video yearbook is a fun and affordable way to celebrate the end of the school year and commemorate your children that are moving on.

Create a video yearbook by using pictures taken through the year at holiday events and fun activities. Put the pictures together and create something that your children, parents and staff will love. Either show your children and parents the video at an end of the school year event, or burn DVDs of the video as a farewell gift.


2. Create a Photo booth

fun-649463_640Try creating your very own photo booth for your after school program. Throughout the month have your students work on planning, drawing, coloring, decorating and creating props for your photo booth.

Look up wacky weird holidays such as World Penguin Day or Watermelon Day for a photo booth theme, and get creative! If you are still not sure where to start, check out photo booth ideas for kids on Pinterest for a little inspiration. Your children will have a wonderful time creating and taking pictures in the photo booth, and parents will love to see the photo booth pics.



Creating a journalism club is not only a great way to use photos in your childcare program, but a great academic alternative that captures almost every student’s interest. Students can become writers, interviewers, photographers, comic strip creators, or even take on leadership roles. Help your students create a quarterly journal where they can discuss their interests, concerns, and what is going on in your after school program.

Be creative with your journal, and cater it to your children’s interest. After your journal is put together, you’re students will have something tangible they can be proud of and show off to their friends and parents. Check out these school newsletter ideas to help you get started.



samsung-691035_640Coming up with academic activities that students enjoy can sometimes seem impossible. Thankfully, photography does not simply have to be a fun hobby or after school club, but a way to fully engage students in academic alternatives.

Have your students take a few pictures. You can either give students the freedom to take pictures, or give them a guideline on types of pictures to take. Use these photos as a writing prompt. Have your students tell a short story, write a poem, or describe how the picture makes them feel. Students will be much more likely to engage in a writing prompt when they took the pictures themselves.


5. Take a Stand

Photography is an incredible tool for assisting social change movements and non-profit organizations. With the help from your students, come up with a way you can use photography to make a positive impact on the world. Which problems in the world do you feel most impact your students and your after school program?

Create a photo contest that asks students to take a photo that demonstrates “taking care of the planet,” “kindness,” or anything else you and your students want to take a stand on. Create a collage of your student’s photos to help spread awareness of how to be “green” or “kind.”

For older students, use this activity to teach your students the negative and positive uses of photography. Teach students not only how to stay safe when using photos on the web, but how to use photography as a tool to make the world a better place.


 6. Parent Communication

Photos are not just for kids. They can be a great tool to keep parents updated, and let potential parents learn more about your program. Use photos you or your students snap during program, and post them to your program blog or website.

Don’t have a website? Use these photos in your monthly newsletters. Parents will love seeing their child having fun and representing your after school program. Just be sure to have each parent sign a photo permission form before taking and posting pictures for the public to see.


Have you tried any of these fun photography activities? How do you use photos in your after school, child care, or daycare program?