Technology in the classroom is something parents have come to expect from child care, preschool and school-age programs. When parents tour your facility for the first time, it’s probably something you highlight: tablets for learning games, desktop computer stations, smartboards and more.
And if you can wow them with your state-of-the-art classroom tools, you just might win their business.
But there’s more technology available outside the classroom that makes a statement about your program and whether it’s keeping up with the demands of today’s parents. That starts with the software and tools you use to manage the business end of your business.
Contactless check-in adds a valuable layer of safety
Now, more than ever, it’s safety first, and navigating the logistics of drop-off and pick-up while maintaining physical distancing is tricky. That’s why contactless check-in and out is such a game-changer. By leveraging software technology and a smartphone app, this contactless solution can use QR codes and/or GPS technology to create a completely touch-free check-in/out process. Here’s what that looks like:
- QR Codes – Child care centers can use QR codes to facilitate contactless check-in. The way it works is that the center initiates the check-in by displaying a QR code on a device at a check-in kiosk. They can also print out the QR code and post it in a designated location if their kiosk is located in a place where centers are limiting foot traffic. Parents can scan the QR code and complete the check-in process using their own mobile phone, so there’s no device-sharing or physical contact.
- Curbside Contactless GPS Sign In/Out – With this technology, GPS technology and geofencing are used to allow check-ins within a radius set by the center. Once the feature is enabled, parents receive automatic alerts when they’re close to the facility and can complete check-in without leaving their vehicle.
Before you implement contactless check-in
Before you start promoting your new contactless check-in capabilities, make sure you have a solid process in place for an organized, seamless drop-off and pick-up experience. Make sure you can answer these questions:
- Is your contactless check-in going to be curbside or outside?
- Does your facility have the capacity to have parents pull in, check-in, then drive off when children exit the car (once a staff member has greeted them, of course)? Or are you going to have parents check in just outside your doors, then wait for a staff member to meet them?
- Which staff members will be responsible for greeting children when parents check them in?
- How will you communicate to parents that all drop-off and pick-up activity will take place outside, with no exceptions?
- What is the expected time between check-out and the time the child is delivered to parents outside?
- How will you evaluate your new process, and what areas might you be able to change to make sure it is as safe and efficient as possible?
What’s so great about contactless check-in?
Offering contactless check-in is a big deal, and you should highlight the convenience and added safety it provides. After all, limiting foot traffic in your facility to staff and students is a huge step forward in your program’s security plans as well.
- Convenient, contactless check-in means parents don’t even have to leave their cars
- Limited access to your facility means less exposure to others
- Helps the organization maintain a sanitary environment
- Keeps children safer by ensuring doors are locked to anyone but staff
Spreading the word about contactless check-in
How do you normally market your program? Do you rely on word-of-mouth? Drive-by traffic? Social media platforms like Facebook? Online or print advertising?
Leverage all of your traditional marketing methods and try out some new ones to spread the word about your new contactless check-in procedures.
- Word-of-mouth – the quickest, easiest way to share big news is to get parents on board, using the feature, and telling their friends how convenient and easy you’ve made drop-off and pick-up. Once parents are actively using the check-in feature, encourage them to tell friends and neighbors looking for the best child care and preschool options in your area.
- Drive-by traffic – this is a solid way to draw in parents who are new to the area, or just new to being parents. As they explore your community, increase your program’s visibility by placing a banner or sign on your fence or across the front entrance of your building. Make sure you mention you now offer contactless, curbside check-in!
- Social media – you should post on all your center’s social media channels that you offer contactless check-in; however, you can take it a step further: try creating a page on your website that details all the benefits of your contactless check-in capabilities, then link to it from your social posts. This not only gets the word out about your offerings, but also, it drives traffic to your website.
- Online/ print ads – whether you are advertising online, through your website, or just posting in your local library or church bulletin, offering contactless check-in is worth updating your current ads to make it known that your program is offering safe, 21st-century tools for both staff and parents.
Today’s parents demand technology from schools, both inside and outside of the classroom. It’s time to implement tools and best practices help you achieve the contactless administrative routines you need to stay safe and in business. Start leveraging the power of that technology to streamline your communications, payments and check-in procedures now. Get a demo to learn more.