While finishing up the school year, it’s easy to slip into the state of summer dreaming. That summer trip to the beach, the camping trip, and all those wine spritzers. But don’t forget about all the work next year will bring. Your job will still be there next year and that includes ALL the fun paperwork ready to bombard you from day 1.
How do you prevent yourself from falling into the same pattern? How do you break the cycle and give future you a break from anarchy?
While finishing up the year, make sure you reserve some time to think about the start of the next year – these 4 tips come from afterschool directors, program coordinators, and Kinderlime:
New Students. You probably have a process in place for the new wave of students who will join your afterschool program either this summer or next year. Comb it over. Make sure the onboarding process is as simple and as intuitive as possible. You were inevitably asked a few specific questions at the start of this past school year. Add those answers to your welcome newsletter, email, or packet.
Speak with colleagues. Speak with the head of your afterschool program, or the rest of your team, around what they expect for the upcoming year. Make sure you are all on the same page. Expectations and procedure should all be smoothed out on both ends. You want to ensure a smooth transition into the following year
Additionally, speak with colleagues at other afterschool programs. Find out how they approach the new school year and some of the tips, trick, tools they use to ensure everything runs smoothly. They may have some ideas or tools which could benefit future you.
Technology is constantly being created and enhanced for a reason. To HELP you. Your phone is now your all-in-one tool. You use a computer, because typewriters are exhausting and paper is impractical. So why not try to enhance aspects of your job and your afterschool program to make your life (and the lives of your staff and parents) easier.
Afterschool management software companies, like Kinderlime, were designed with you in mind. We provide program management to help minimize paperwork and streamline the nuances of your program allowing you to focus on the things you love about your job. We want to help future you just a little bit happier and more satisfied in your work.
The most important thing to do before the school ends is to treat yourself. You work tirelessly to ensure they have this program aimed at building their character, connecting with their peers over a shared passion, and providing a place for them to learn and have fun. You are doing a great thing for the families in your community. Keep that in mind as you look towards that summer vacation. You are making a difference and you deserve to treat yourself.
Go into the new program year prepared, confident and reinvigorated. Prepare for the things you CAN handle. There will always be little fires sprouting up, but nothing you can’t handle in the moment.
“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” – Richard Kline
Gone are the days of passing out registration forms, arduously collecting them back from parents in a timely manner, then collecting checks or cash which you then need to sort out and type up later. You don’t have time for that, you’re trying to run your afterschool program and spend time with students!
Our new Online Registration system does away with this entire manual paper process. We aim to free you up to focus on other, more important aspects of your program.
Simply edit the form with any additional fields to fit the information you need. Send it out along with the fees associated, and any other notification or acknowledgement forms. Parents can pay online or via their phone and once the form is filled out, all the registration information that you need is transfer to their profile within Kinderlime.
In the event you already have a billing or student information system, no need to worry! We are have direct integration available for those systems.
If you have any questions regarding our Registration System, our Sign in-Sign out, Billing & Reporting, or Parent Communication features, please feel free to visit our website and schedule a demo with one of our customer success team members.
Holidays are a busy, but fun time of the year. With so much going on, it can be stressful. Here are some tips that’ll get you thinking about things you can do in your childcare and afterschool programs.
1. Plan Holiday Gifts for your Childcare Staff. No better way to appreciate your staff than to give them a gift to let them know that you care. You can even engage your families in this gifting. Here are some suggestions – (a) A $10 giftcard to Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts or a Target Gift Card (b) Giving them a surprise paid time off. As your attendance starts to reduce because of the holidays, there are opportunities for you to give your staff surprise time off during the afternoons.
2. Encourage parents to give, it’s a time to Thank the care providers. Parents sometimes are very innovative in thanking the teachers. So, give them that freedom to thank your staff in their special way ((Don’t forget to remind them that there are office staff that need their love as well).
4. Have a Holiday Party. Have your staff and their significant others join you for an evening dinner. To make it inexpensive you could do it in the childcare center by having the food catered.
5. Holiday Activities for Kids. Parents love to see what their kids have done during the holidays. Here are some craft activities for children.
6. Staff planning around Christmas. This is a time when you have to plan your staff because attendance will be significantly lower. You can have your parents signup for the holidays specifically so that you can plan better. Have them tell you which days they plan to have their kids in your care.
7. Thank your parents. Give your parents a gift of time by giving them an opportunity to have a parent night.Throw a pajama party for the older kids party in their pajamas . Also, there is crafting, face painting, pizza and games.
8. Winter programs. Parents look forward to these. It’s a reflection of how your students grew during the last few months. These are great memories for you and your parents. Encourage your teachers and reward the classrooms who work hard towards these winter programs
9. Start your next year planning. Time goes by quickly. So, (a) start planning for next year staffing, (b) growth of your program, (c) marketing plan and the next school year enrollment.
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.
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 preschool software 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.
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 preschool software, specifically 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’s preschool software, the preschool has become an incredibly successful program that continues to serve more and more families each year.
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 via an electronic staff timeclock. Here are few things that will help you spend less time on payroll.
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.