The right child care software will help you manage your daycare or out-of-school-time program more efficiently.
How do you choose the best tool for your business? You schedule demos to test different features and ask questions to make sure the software is tailored to your needs.
We have seven questions to ask during every child care software demo you attend. If you don’t ask these questions, you won’t get a full picture of each tool and could end up investing your hard-earned money in a solution that isn’t suited to you.
Let’s take a look!
1. How Many Daycares Currently Use Your Child Care Software?
Ask the company representative doing the demo how many customers use the software he or she is touting.
Ask for specific examples of programs or child care centers that use the software you are interested in.
Daycare owners and school leaders put a lot of thought into which child care software they use for their businesses. Knowing that the software you’re interested in is used by many other child care professionals says a lot and will help give you confidence that the tool you’re viewing is worth your time.
And don’t forget to ask how long the software company has been in business and make sure it’s a company that focuses on the unique needs of child care providers.
2. What Makes Your Child Care Software Different?
Like we mentioned above, there are a lot of different child care software solutions on the market. You need to find out what makes them different from each other. That way you can properly assess them all and choose the one that fits your unique needs best.
Ask the company representative demoing the software why their solution is better than others. Do they offer specific features that others do not? Is their solution easier to use? Maybe their app is significantly cheaper than competing tools. You won’t know until you ask!
Remember to compare the benefits of each solution to your personal needs. If connecting with parents is a high priority, as it likely is, then make sure the software you’re using will allow you to keep parents informed throughout the day via app.
3. What Does the Software Implementation Process Look Like?
Every piece of child care software takes time to implement and master. The question is, how much time?
Here are a few questions about the implementation process that you should ask:
- What’s the average implementation time? Everyone is different. But knowing how long it takes the average daycare center to get up and running with a piece of software should give you a good idea about how intuitive the tool is.
- Is training included in the cost of this software? Will the child care software provider train you to use their tool? If so, is this benefit included in the price of the software? You’ll want to know these details before you sign a contract.
- Can I import data from my current solution? What are you currently using to manage your child care business? Another piece of software? A smattering of spreadsheets and Google Docs? Ask about the importation methods available.
4. Can I Use Your Software to Manage Multiple Daycares and/or Programs?
This question is critical, especially if you manage more than one daycare location and/or plan to run extracurricular programs such as after school services and summer camps.
Consider your plans for the future as well. If you hope to open additional locations within the next few years, invest in software now that can accommodate these plans. That way you don’t have to learn how to use a new tool down the road.
Every child care app is different. You need to make sure that the one you choose for your business fits your needs, both now and in the future. So think carefully about your current needs, as well as your business goals, and use this information to choose the right tool.
5. Can I Customize Your Software to My Specifications?
No two child care businesses are the same.
Some specialize in young children. Others focus on after school programs for elementary school kids. Some are equipped to handle children with special needs, while others offer accelerated educational opportunities to intellectually gifted kids. Some have multiple locations, others are small home-based operations.
You get the picture.
These differences make customizability an important trait in child care software. Will the software you’re demoing fit your specific needs?
The software you choose should be tailored to the needs of your program, whether it’s a child care center or an out-of-school-time program.
Describe your specific needs to the software consultant presenting the child care software.
Make sure you’ll be able to do what you need — such as collecting and processing payments — on one, integrated platform.
6. Do You Offer Customer Support? If So, How Do I Get in Touch?
Quality customer support is really important. Unfortunately, not every child care software provider offers it to customers. For example, some providers only have email support. It can be difficult to remedy issues in a timely manner if you can’t call a customer service rep.
So make sure to ask about:
- The kind of support offered (is phone support available, or can you only correspond through email?)
- When the support team is available
- Whether support is included in the purchase price or is an additional cost
7. What Does Your Child Care Software Cost?
Finally, ask about pricing during your child care software demo. Make sure there are no hidden startup costs.
You should know exactly what you’ll be asked to pay, and when, before you purchase any piece of child care software. That way you can make sure it doesn’t exceed your budget.
Do not agree to buy any piece of child care software without understanding its cost.
Get the Child Care Software You Need
Contactless check-in is one way software from Procare can help your child care business.
A child care software demo will help you determine which app to invest in for your daycare business. To make the most of these demos, ask the questions listed above. They’ll help you pinpoint the perfect solution for your needs, saving you time and money.
Procare Solutions is used by two out of three child care businesses that use software. We’ve been providing software in the education space for more than 30 years, and are an industry-leading child care management platform trusted by thousands of schools and child care centers around the country.
Procare provides trustworthy, modern and easy-to-use child care software with the ability to help you manage every part of your center. Our years of experience and large expert community give us the wisdom to know what your center might need.
Our software helps you nurture classroom and parent interactions, automate payment processes and make your center secure and compliant with state standards.
And with live support, we’re with you every step of the way.
Request a free demo today and ask about our special end-of-the-year pricing that will help you get 2022 started on the right foot!