There are a lot of different facets of administration that go into running a child care center. There are those administrative tasks that make day-to-day operations easier, those that are necessary from a business perspective, and those that are required for government licensing. Simple, efficient, and accurate child care attendance tracking is a necessary part of every child care center because it checks each of those boxes.
Attendance tracking must be the first and last thing that child care providers do each day, to ensure the security of each child and the continued success of their business. As a result, caregivers should make the check-in process as simple as possible for parents as they try to get out the door.
Why Attendance Tracking Is Essential for Daycares
Here are the top reasons child care providers must keep accurate accounts of child attendance, and how to ensure this with streamlined attendance tracking processes.
While licensing and laws vary by state, attendance tracking requirements at child care centers are common.
- Licensing: Child care providers have to meet certain licensing requirements, one of which is to keep accurate attendance records. Licensing audits do occur, so it is important that providers have parents check their children in every day, and then review those sheets to confirm parents signed the right spot, wrote the right date, etc. Providers should then file these records to have in the event of a licensing audit.
- Transportation: Though regulations vary, it is common that if a child care center provides transportation, they are legally required to take attendance before and after each trip. For accuracy in this area, staff members will need to have an attendance sheet with them on the bus, or may want to use a tablet with an attendance tracking mobile application.
- Subsidized Care: For children whose care is subsidized by government programs, caregivers are mandated to keep a record of when those children attend their center. Accurate attendance records are necessary to confirm that parent claims of when a child was in your care, and your own, match up.
Day-to-Day & Business Planning
Keeping long-term records of how many children were in attendance at the center can also help providers plan enrollment numbers for coming years, and track the necessary student-to-teacher ratio to ensure compliance without overspending.
Having an accurate understanding of how many children are in your care on a season-to-season basis is essential for planning enrollment and marketing. Attendance reports give child care providers the ability to assess which times and sessions are most popular, and which might need to be cut back, or marketed better to increase enrollment.
Attendance reports can also help ensure that enough staff members are on the schedule to meet student-teacher ratio requirements, and calculate full-time equivalency.
Different age groups have different standards for how many caregivers must be present for each child. Tracking attendance gives care providers visibility into the average number of students present for each session, so they can plan staff hours accordingly. This confirms that centers are not overspending by having too many instructors scheduled for only a few children, and conversely that they do not schedule too few instructors to meet standards.
Accurate attendance records also help child care providers calculate full time equivalency (FTE). If a student does not attend on a regular schedule, rather only when a parent needs care, it can be difficult to determine if that student counts as a full-time student. Keeping a regular attendance record allows providers easy visibility into FTE status.
Parents trust child care providers to keep their children safe. Attendance tracking is completely necessary for security purposes. Caregivers need to make sure that only authorized pickup people check each child out at the end of the day, and that every child is accounted for when they go outside or change locations. Having an attendance tracking system that ensures no student is overlooked, and can be flexible enough to work on the go, is essential to maintain this peace of mind for parents and providers.
Improve Your Attendance Tracking
Attendance Tracking from Procare Software provides simplified visibility into each of these areas. Providers are able to monitor which children are being checked in as it happens, and who is checking them in, to ensure the person is an authorized guardian. Procare offers several options to increase attendance accuracy and security, including fingerprint check in, signature capture, and check-in receipts. Additionally, Attendance Tracker makes it easy for providers to audit their attendance records to align their logs with parents.
The attendance reports provided by this module make it easy to see who is currently checked in, get authorized signature reports and general school attendance summaries, and more.
Attendance tracking is a major part of providing child care for a multitude of reasons. To ensure licensing compliance, security, and optimal business operations, providers need to have an attendance tracking system that is accurate and that can be easily accessible for reference. Child care attendance tracking software provides this level of automation and organization.
Learn how Procare helps child care providers maintain accurate attendance records.