Most daycares, childcares, and afterschool programs still use paper and pencil to record the total hours worked by their employees. When I worked at a daycare, I recall having to fill out a paper timesheet every day for checking in, checking out and transitions. Often I, along with other staff members, would forget to check in on the timesheet. By Friday, I would be so dazed that I could barely remember what I had for breakfast, let alone the exact time I came in and left throughout the week. So I would fill in estimated times, rounding to the nearest quarter-hour. Now, that didn’t affect me much, but for an owner or director with multiple staff members, this could end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars a month!
If you’re in the same boat, it’s time to make your life easier by incorporating a little technology.
It’s important to know how long your staff works each day and each week. Not only so you can pay them appropriately, but so you can track expenses and accurately plan out your budget for the next year.
Our staff timeclock feature enables staff to punch a unique 4-digit code in order to track their time down to the second. This is done via the same pinpad that parents use to sign their children in and out. Each timestamp is tracked in real time on the administrator’s dashboard for added visibility. Here are a few timeclock and payroll tips for your program.
As an owner or director, you may constantly be looking for opportunities to save. With more insight into your classroom ratios, you can cut down on costs every week.
Depending on what type of program you run (daycare, preschool, or after school), the required ratio ranges from 1:5 to 1:20. Our system allows you to track the raw data, as long as the students and teachers/staff are properly signed in and out. You can then use this data to determine how many staff members you need at your childcare at any given time of day.
As children begin to funnel out of their rooms at the day’s end, you can check our Student-Teacher Ratio feature. You have the ability to calculate the ratios across all classrooms and determine which need to be adjusted. If you see a classroom that has dwindled down to four children, yet still has two teachers present, you can send one of the teachers home for the day. Over time, you may see a similar pattern occurring in specific classrooms and can schedule your teachers accordingly.
If you’re interested in tracking student-teacher ratios but don’t know where to start, request a demo with us. Learn how Kinderlime Childcare software can help save you time, cut operational costs, and make running your program much, much easier!
Arts and crafts activities are a great way to get your children into the Halloween spirit. Kids can flex their creativity while also learning about measuring, hand-eye coordination, colors, sensory experiences, and more. While most of these craft ideas are meant for children (and for those of us who are children at heart!), several of these crafts are suitable for toddlers.
I’ve compiled a list of 66 total activities from various craft- and child-oriented blogs. Be sure to click on the links and see what other projects these awesome bloggers have in store for you!
8) Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning describes an easy Leaf Sun Catcherproject for your toddlers and preschoolers.
Make sure you capture the fun using our Daily Sheets and Parent Communication app! Send parents messages and photos as the children bust open the glue and glitter. By the end of the day, parents will be super excited to see their children’s finished products. For a real showstopper, you could also keep the crafts for an extra day and decorate your childcare center for the children and parents to enjoy.
Who says kids get all the tricks and treats on Halloween? Try one of these costumes with some fellow teachers (or on your own) to give the kids a spine-tingling surprise!
1) Silent Movie Stars
2) Riley’s Emotions from Inside Out
3) A Windswept Pedestrian (no wind involved)
4) Your Favorite Disney Princess
5) Witches from Hocus Pocus
6) Your Favorite Candy
7) Classroom Supplies (if you couldn’t get enough of them!)
8) The Rainbow Fish
We hope these ideas get your cauldron bubbling! Allow parents to share in the fun by sending pictures and messages throughout the day using our parent communication app. All of the pictures can be saved in the photo gallery so you can preserve these memories or include the best moments in your seasonal newsletter.
Summer’s ending, the leaves are changing, and that crisp autumn air is filling our lungs. Winter is just around the… okay, let’s not think about that just yet. My favorite pumpkin-filled season is here and it’s time to take advantage!
Hands-on learning is one of the best ways for children to explore. Try adding these creative crafts to your repertoire:
Take a nature walk. There’s no better way to expose children to nature than by taking them to a nearby park or hiking trail. It will give the kids some exercise and you can turn this into a learning experience about why we have seasons.
Scavenger hunt. While you’re all out walking, take the opportunity to create a scavenger hunt — or plan one in your backyard! The kids will love looking for acorns, different kinds of leaves, pine cones, and more. This is a great paired or group activity. You could even have a little competition!
Leaf piles. I couldn’t leaf this one out. When spotting a big pile of leaves, I think back fondly to memories of jumping in with a big grin on my face. Of course, now I realize how dirty these piles can be… but that doesn’t mean the kids can’t enjoy them! If you run a home daycare and rake your leaves, leave them out for the children.
Apple Orchard. Especially in the Northeast, it’s common practice to take students to the nearby apple orchard and go apple picking. Usually that consists of hay rides, drinking apple cider, and an all-inclusive day with parents.
Pumpkin Patch. You can find these just about anywhere during the month of October. You may even find a few pumpkins at the apple orchard. Whatever the case, have your students pick out a small pumpkin so you can set up a time for pumpkin carving later that week.
Corn Maze. In more suburban areas you can easily find a corn maze designed with kids in mind. It is a scavenger hunt as well as a game to get out of the maze. This may be a handful with many children, and is perhaps an activity geared towards children over 8, but it offers a challenge to students who love stretching their problem solving skills.
As a teacher or leader of a field trip, you most likely have that nagging worry forcing you to count every child every 30 minutes. Learn how this childcare app can help you manage student attendance on the go.
That pumpkin spice blend is here for the next 3 months. I know you secretly love it – so embrace it! Here are a few delicious recipes guaranteed to satiate any picky eater:
You could also create an a la carte style snack for students. Start with a few healthy fruit base options like apples, grapes, and pears. Then have bowls out with a variety of toppings, like cinnamon, honey, peanut butter, pumpkin spice flavoring, and more.
Photo Capture Childcare App
Don’t forget to capture all the fun moments with Kinderlime’s Childcare App! This app allows you to capture images or videos and securely send them to parents. Show parents how much fun their children are having this autumn.
Listen as Fraser Speirs and co-host Bradley Chambers review Kinderlime on the Out-of-School Podcast. You can check out the full podcast here.
The Kinderlime review begins at time 16:15.
Brainerd Baptist found Kinderlime at last year’s NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) conference. After some discussion, they implemented the Kinderlime apps within their program. Here is a small excerpt from the review by Bradley Chambers:
“What I wanted to talk about the day was a new solution we rolled out called Kinderlime and what Kinderlime is it’s really at its core is like daycare management software…. So we’re using it for our afterschool care which, different schools do it different ways, but for us it’s a prettydecent revenue generator….
“What problems does it solve for us?
“Number one, it solves a billing tracking problem. So what we did in years past is parents when they kids who come into aftercare is a paper notebook teachers would write their name their grade or what have they checked in and the parents would initial when they picked them up. So then you have to get that into something that can be billed to the parent and that was paper. And what we would do in years past is we had someone to manually calculate all that up and we would apply it to their FACTS account. They use FACTS billing management software so it would be applied as an incidental and that’s not perfect because it is time consuming and it’s manual so there can easily be errors and there can be discrepancies such as, “I was here an hour before that.” So now everything is tracked to the minute and there are no questions about that anymore. So there’s one problem it solves for us.
“Number two is it solves a security problem. It’s not that we had an issue with this before but we’re just trying to get out ahead of it. And so basically the way it works is each parent or caregiver as it’s own in the system is assigned a pin and it’s a four digit pin that is randomly generated and emailed to them and that’s the pin they use to pick up. So when they come in the home in the school there’s somebody sitting there with an iPad. And that happened there when they choose a child to pick up a child. That generates an e-mail to all caregivers on the account. They’ve been picked up and then that you know they’re able to proceed with getting their child. That’s huge. You can verify that this is someone who they say they are. Because we have sent “permission to pick up” forms, but things change with every parent and maybe that person can’t do it anymore. I love the e-mail notifications as well because my wife knows when I’m heading home because she sees that I picked up our kids. You can create additional pins like parents going there, additional parents, grandparents or friends. There’s even a carpool section. So let’s say I have a neighbor whose kids I pick up. Well in the system they can allow me to pick up their kids with my pin. They don’t have to give me their pin and I don’t need to remember two pins. Parents can all do that on their own.
“Also, from any iPad that has the Kinderlime app – and we have four iPads that we’re using for Kinderlime – we can see what kids are in what rooms at any given time.And so as kids move around the after care, for example if they’re in a playground for a little bit and they come and go to the gym they are moved around in the system. So what that solves let’s say there was like a fire drill or there was a fire that was an issue we have a digital copy of who’s supposed to be where and who is where.
“The last problem this solves for us is parents knowing where their child is when they get to campus and that seems trivial. But we have a building that’s quite large. I believe it’s 100,000 square feet – quite a large building and especially in the winter or if it’s raining they can be a multitude of places. Obviously, right now it’s pretty outside most of the kids are just on the playground. There’s basically two rooms they’re in. But when you start getting cold they may be in the gym, they may be in the cafeteria, they may be in this room. There could be maybe seven rooms they’re in. And what happens is if a grandparent was showing up they might come in the front school (main entrance). We would have no idea where their kid was at. We knew they were probably here. We just had no idea where.
“Now you just have to say, “OK. We have no idea where they’re at…let’s go find them,” and walking around school, are they at the playground? No. Me as a parent I’ve been in that situation I’m trying to find my kids. I don’t know what room they’re in. So the cool thing is now so along with the pin codes parents get an app registration code. And what this is they can download the Kinderlime Parent App and when they get to school they can pull up their app and see exactly what room their kid is in. ….”