If you own a daycare, your to-do list never seems to get any shorter and it might feel like your business has started to take control of you.
Let’s look at five tips to make your child care center more efficient so you can get more done, stress less and enjoy the business you’ve built!
1. Invest in Child Care Software
Software has revolutionized every industry, making professionals of all stripes more efficient.
For example, accountants have Quickbooks, photographers have Adobe Photoshop and daycare owners have child care software apps like Procare Solutions.
Child care software helps you streamline many of your day-to-day processes, including:
- Business Accounting: It takes time to create and send invoices, track payments abd apply family discounts. Child care software will simplify business accounting tasks by allowing you to automate invoices, easily apply discounts, split fees between guardians, quickly view each of your family’s balances and more.
- Parent Engagement: If you want your daycare to be successful, you need to engage the parents you serve. Doing so will help you build trusting relationships with them and ensure they remain satisfied with the services you provide. Use child care software to easily communicate with parents and keep them updated on their child’s progress.
- Staff Management: Your staff is the heart of your daycare and it takes time and effort to manage employees. Procare makes staff management duties easier with digital clock in/out tools, simple payroll features and staff-related reports.
- Security Measures: Your number one job as a daycare owner is to keep the kids you watch safe. Child care software allows you to control security cameras, manage biometric fingerprint systems, access real-time drop-off / pick-up records for each child and more.
The best part about investing in child care software is it will help you implement the productivity-boosting tips below!
2. Streamline Tedious Manual Tasks
Think about your average day. Which manual tasks do you do over and over again? Your list likely includes tracking student attendance, calculating payroll and ordering new supplies.
Choose the right app, for example, and it will automatically log attendance for you. Software tools can also simplify payroll processes, freeing you up to accomplish additional tasks.
There are other ways to streamline manual tasks, too.
You could, for example, use email marketing software to contact all of your customers (AKA the parents of the children you care for) at once. Or create keyboard shortcuts to help you and your employees type up classroom notes in record time.
Think about the tasks you perform every single day. Then brainstorm ways to streamline them, either with a specific piece of software or a more efficient process.
3. Digitize Your Documents
To make your center more efficient, work to digitize as many documents as possible.
Procare offers eDocuments, which empowers you and your families to electronically sign documents from a computer or smartphone.
Using eDocuments,you can create an electronic signature, format documents and store signed documents in one central location.
And you can do it all within the Procare platform.Child care software allows you to do things such as track student attendance and log student records without physical paper files. You can email invoices to parents instead of mailing paper copies. And you can pay your employees via direct deposit, rather than a paper check.
Eliminating paper from your daycare processes has three benefits:
- Your customers and employees prefer it. It’s much easier to pay a digital invoice. In the same vein, your employees don’t want to go to the bank to deposit checks. Technology makes many aspects of life simpler and we’ve all gotten used to this convenience.
- You’ll save heaps of time every week. You can’t easily automate the sending of paper invoices and physical checks. You’ll reduce the amount of manual tasks you have to complete on a regular basis by first digitizing documents, then automating their use.
- Digital documents are much easier to relocate. To find physical copies of student attendance, for instance, you have to manually search through old files. To find digital documents, on the other hand, you type their names into your computer’s search bar.
You might not be able to digitize your entire daycare. But your center will become more efficient if you begin to eliminate a majority of your paper-based documents.
4. Hire and Retain the Best Employees
Your staff is the heart of your daycare and you’re no doubt working hard to hire and retain top-level employees.
The right employees will work harder and more efficiently for your business. This is because good employees have an internal drive that compels them to do good work.
Once you have talented employees, you need to do your best to retain them, Productivity wanes and expenses skyrocket when quality team members leave.
The question is, how do you retain your employees? Here are a few tips:
- Create an Enjoyable Work Environment: Do your employees like coming to work everyday? If the answer is “yes,” you have a much better chance of retaining them.
- Offer Career Advancement Opportunities: Most employees want to grow. Give your team the chance to further their careers by making time for ongoing training and delegating responsibilities.
- Make Sure You Pay a Competitive Wage: Money is always a factor, which means an enjoyable work environment and career advancement opportunities may not be enough. Pay your staff a competitive wage and they’ll stick around for longer.
5. Learn to Delegate Responsibilities
Have you hired the best employees? Then make your daycare more efficient by delegating responsibilities to them. That way you can focus on other, business-boosting tasks.
This tip has an additional benefit as well: it will help you build stronger relationships with your team. They’ll feel honored to have earned your trust in this way and appreciate the chance to take on more responsibility. After all, the extra duties will allow them to grow in their roles.
Delegating is hard for many business owners, especially those who don’t have a ton of experience. It’s natural to worry about the way tasks are completed if they aren’t completed by you. But your daycare will never reach peak efficiency if you don’t delegate.
Learn to trust your staff. Then delegate tasks to them and enjoy the boost in productivity.
Boost Child Care Center Productivity
If you’re short on time — and most daycare owners are — then it’s time to boost your efficiency. Fortunately, a few small tweaks, such as investing in child care software and hiring better employees, will help you get more done in less time and actually enjoy your business.
With record growth in 2021, Procare is used by two out of three child care businesses that use software and serves nearly 37,000 child care centers ranging from single-unit operations to multinational enterprises.
It’s both easy to use and powerful. Request a free demo today and see how Procare can help you better manage your business, engage parents, retain your staff and increase security!