Cross of Christ Preschool: Childcare Software Grows Enrollments

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In 1992 Cross of Christ Lutheran Church opened a preschool that was dedicated to creating a nurturing space where children could grow physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. When the school first opened it was a tiny program of only 10 children. Throughout the years, the preschool’s popularity grew and their enrollments began to increase more and more rapidly.

Amy Lauria, the project and admin coordinator of Cross of Christ, saw that while the increased enrollments were exciting, they were also starting to take a toll on the amount of administration and paperwork needed. They had massive amounts of paper sign in-out sheets they needed to store, and reviewing those attendance sheets was a tedious process that required a large amount of manpower. However, the real challenge arose when it came to billing their families.  they spent hours upon hours creating, sending, and collecting family invoices.

The school was able to find a few volunteers to help with the increase of paperwork, but this solution only worked for a small amount of time. Once the school hit 60 children, they could not grow anymore. They either had to slow down enrollments or find a solution.

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Hiring a new staff member was too expensive, so they started looking into other methods of managing their preschool’s paperwork and family billing. The preschool team kept their eyes peeled for a solution to help them manage their growing enrollment. They tried various methods and software programs, but they all fell short. Nothing seemed to truly fit the needs of their preschool program.

After searching and searching, Cross of Christ finally came across Kinderlime. Finally, here was the solution they needed. They went from struggling with paperwork and limiting their total enrollment, to enrolling over 100 students and still having more time than they ever had before.

Kinderlime’s preschool sign in-out system was incredibly easy for staff and parents to learn and allowed them to say goodbye to their piles of paper sign in-out sheets. Parents and staff loved the accountability and safety Kinderlime provided with its ratio reports and sign in-out messages to families.

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However, where Kinderlime truly made a difference was in family billing. They went from manually billing their families one by one, to an electronic billing system that made creating, sending and collecting payments easier than ever. Parents loved how easy and convenient Kinderlime’s online billing made paying for tuition, and Cross of Christ no longer had to deal with collecting and recording large amounts of cash and check payments.

The days of spending hours going through attendance sheets were over. They were able to use Kinderlime’s time tracking system to easily calculate how many additional hours children stayed in their aftercare program, and send out all of their family invoices with the click of a button.

Today, Cross of Christ continues to provide quality care and education to preschoolers. They now have over 130 students, and their numbers keep growing. Thanks to the dedication and innovation of the Cross of Christ team, and a little help from Kinderlime, the preschool has become an incredibly successful program that continues to serve more and more families each year.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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