Dec 12, 2022 8 min read

The Year in Review: Procare Solutions Helps Your Child Care Business Thrive! 

Leah Woodbury By: Leah Woodbury

As we look back at 2022, we at Procare Solutions remember how we got our start.  

Our roots come from a computer-savvy dad who saw that the daycare his son attended needed help creating an accounting program to meet the needs of a child care business. 

He listened and helped. And that led to the official beginning of Procare Solutions in 1992 in Ashland, Oregon. 

Since then, we’ve grown side-by-side with early childhood education providers, from single-site owners to franchises.   

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we remember that we started by listening to the needs of a child care provider, a philosophy that remains at the heart of our mission. 

You told us you wanted a simple curriculum designed for early learners that teachers of all experience levels could understand.  

You told us you wanted to simplify managing programs in your center, and a way to schedule staff. 

In 2022, Procare Solutions was proud to deliver all these enhancements, and others, to help you meet your goals and ease some of the burden of running your business.  

Let’s take a look back at the last year!    

Procare Early Learning Digital Curriculum Saves Time, Money 

For too long, paper-based curriculum programs failed to meet the specific needs of child care centers and the age groups they serve. 

Some of these curriculum programs can cost up to $5,000 per classroom. Others charge $3,000 for paper-based kits that must be renewed every three years and do not include onboarding or training. 

That’s why in early 2022, Procare Solutions teamed up with Learning Beyond Paper, Inc, the leader in digital curriculum, to offer early educators a tool they’d been waiting for: an embedded, fully online curriculum program tailored to child care centers with a year-round program.   

The curriculum program is Procare Early Learning, and it’s a 100% digital offering that is embedded into the Procare online application. 

This curriculum can be used in ALL child care center classrooms, with 52 weeks of lesson plans and more than 4,000 daily activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and pre-kindergarteners.  Learning areas include STEAM, language and literacy, physical development, cognitive, music and movement as well as interactive reading. Plus, teachers get tips and tools they can use in real time.   

It saves tremendous amounts of money and time – one center in West Virginia is saving up to $1,600 a month! – and there’s no need to buy expensive books and binders that quickly become outdated and need to be replaced.   

Check out this free eBook to learn more about how a digital curriculum can help you improve staff retention as well as the education you give the children in your care. 

Procare Simplifies Staff Scheduling   

Staffing shortages are commonly cited as one of the biggest challenges facing child care businesses today. It’s difficult to find the right people to hire and retention can be a challenge, too.  

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated staff shortages in the child care industry, which had long struggled with high turnover long before the COVID-19 wave. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates roughly 150,000 openings for child care workers are projected each year, on average, through 2030! 

Many daycares struggle to attract and retain qualified staff and teachers.  This shortage means it’s more critical than ever to effectively manage the staff you do have. 

The new Procare staff scheduling feature allows administrators to name and edit a staff schedule that shows which shifts that staff members are scheduled for with how many hours they are scheduled for in the week:

You can name and edit a staff schedule that shows which shifts your staff members are scheduled for, along with how many hours they are scheduled for in the week. 

This allows you to plan so you stay in compliance with child-to-staff ratios, and so you’re not paying for staff that you don’t need. 

And don’t forget that staff can sign in using their phones as well (and their timecards are updated automatically!). 

Procare Child Care Mobile App Gets Enhancements  

Procare’s child care mobile app topped more than 2.5 million downloads in Apple’s and Google Play’s app stores, a milestone we hit in 2022! 

New app functionality this year included a parent relation field that allows administrators to create and use unique labels for family members and guardians who aren’t parents so a center can know how the person is related to the student in their care.  

In addition, new message search and filter options make it easier to find messages by student name or filter them to only see unread messages.

And more and more families in 2022 managed their billing transactions, payments, refunds and credits from the app and got real-time updates such as videos and pictures. 

The mobile child care app became even more vital during the coronavirus pandemic, which lingered into 2022.  Procare aided the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its study that showed child care attendance plummeted before state-ordered shutdowns. The analysis, which was published Sept. 28, 2022, used daily attendance data provided by Procare Solutions to compare the precise timing of the various factors in play. 

Programs Feature Gives Your Center More Options to Grow Revenue 

The Programs feature added in 2022 allows your early childhood education center or school to create custom programs and events, as well as expand offerings for enrollment that aren’t tied to a specific room.  

It streamlines how parents register their children for a special program that comes with a cost beyond tuition. That means you can go beyond Procare’s Rooms feature to take advantage of more possibilities to bring in more revenue from the program … that’s because parents can sign their kids up for multiple time slots, multiple rooms and in multiple programs!  

Programs can be assigned to one or more rooms and rooms can host one or more programs.  

So let’s say you decide to offer a dance class as a program on different days and in different rooms. Designate dance as the program using the Programs feature and assign the program to multiple rooms. This simplifies the process for a family who wants to enroll a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, who are in different rooms, into the same dance program. As you enroll students, you will be able to track openings and schedule parts of the day. 

Insights Feature Gives You Enrollment Information  

Attracting new families is a key part of operating a successful child care business. To do that well, you need to know how effective you are at enrolling families who show an interest in your center.   

Procare’s new Insights feature allows your center to see what the enrollment is in a room and/or program, as well as identify areas that have open capacity. It also highlights which offerings need additional staff to remain compliant with ratio requirements.  

You will know which programs are in highest demand and what openings are available for interested families.  

Being able to view enrollment statuses and create your own customer pipeline allows you to anticipate staffing needs and forecast revenue to help plan for your business’s needs and development!   

Insights will allow your daycare to recognize what to expect for registration, income and staff so you have a better sense of how your business is performing and make informed decisions to meet your goals. 

Log Activities with the Infant Activity Dashboard 

The infant activity dashboard makes it easier and faster to log and keep track of activities for the infants in your care.  

With the ability to set reminders, teachers can log recent activities with a tap and see any overdue or upcoming activity times at a glance. 

Always Listening, Always Innovating  

To everyone who already relies on Procare to meet their needs, thank you for trusting us in 2022! We’re always learning from you and studying your needs, whether it’s by center or for the child care industry as a whole. And we’ll keep listening and innovating! 

If you’re still relying on pen and paper to run your early childhood education program or daycare and are looking for a child care management solution to get 2023 off to a great start, and request a demo to see how Procare can help! 

With Procare, you can get: 

  • An easy-to-use dashboard for streamlined administration 
  • Automated billing, payments, and payment processing 
  • A simple and easy way to track student and family data, ratios, meals, activities and curricula 
  • Comprehensive financial management for the business side of your center to pay bills, track expenses, budget, and report 
  • A 100% digital curriculum that embeds seamlessly for high-quality instruction for infants to pre-K 
  • Child care mobile app for staff and parents to stay connected at all times on activities, milestones, curricula, and more 
  • 5 star live customer onboarding and support 
  • And more! 
Understanding 2024 Trends in the Child Care Industry

Understanding 2024 Trends in the Child Care Industry

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Leah Woodbury

Leah Woodbury is the head of content at Procare Solutions. Her job includes writing about topics that matter to child care professionals and finding ways to help them do their important work. She’s a mom of two who loves getting updates about what her preschooler is doing during the day via the Procare child care mobile app!

Leah Woodbury