Being a childcare centre owner means juggling a million different things at once. From dealing with suppliers and budgets to recruiting staff and keeping parents happy, there often just doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to get to the end of that gargantuan to-do list.
However, there are a number of ways you can claw back time, without cutting corners when it comes to your service. In fact, boosting your own efficiency and productivity — as well as that of your centre — often comes hand in hand with improving the service for parents, their little ones, and your team.
With this in mind, here are our top ways to save time as a childcare centre owner.
1. Electronically Track Attendance
These days, there are so many easy-to-use tools that can streamline the essential day-to-day tasks of childcare centre staff. Using an electronic system to keep accurate records of attendance is one of the easiest ways you can save yourself time.
A great example is iCheck-In, which allows both childcare centre staff and parents to electronically check their children in and out of the centre via a handy platform which is accessible via tablet, mobile, and other touchscreen devices. It also gives you a handy overview of attendance at a glance, with real time classroom ratios that deliver peace of mind.
2. Streamline Communication
When you’re running a childcare centre that caters to a large number of children and parents, the level of communication that needs to happen can feel astronomical. There’s the urgent communication about sickness, injury, or bad behaviour, and the general reports of what the little ones have been up.
Then there’s the logistical communication — pick up and drop off notes and booking amendments — as well as communication around events or wider centre news. Whatever method of communication you prefer, the most important thing is to decide on a system and stick to it. This way, you won’t miss important messages from parents, and you’ll save precious time.
3. Manage Bookings and Payments Online
Perhaps the most admin-intensive task for any childcare centre owner is managing bookings and payments. With so many children to take care of — all with differing schedules — using a digital booking platform that incorporates payments too is a huge time saver.
If this sounds useful, take a look at iParentPortal. Parents can use this platform to manage their child’s booking, payments, and documentation from their phone. As well as making bookings, they’re able to amend them and notify staff of absences, while you can send invoice reminders through the tool too. As well as massively slashing your administrative burden, the platform makes it super easy to manage bookings and services based on ratios.
4. Use a CRM
There’s a reason that pretty much every big business in the world relies on a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. While childcare centres may feel a lot more personal than corporate giants, CRMs can work wonders when it comes to bringing new families to your website and registering.
iEnrol is a powerful pre-registration CRM specifically designed for childcare centres. It works to drive parents to your business, and then allows them to complete registration and view waitlist information online.
This gives childcare centre owners a deep understanding of the level of demand for their service, allowing them to forecast and make big business decisions — such as recruiting more staff or moving to a bigger premises — with confidence. On a more day-to-day level, this tool is designed to save you time, while also helping you to accurately resource your centre.
5. Delegate Effectively
Sometimes you just can’t do everything that needs to be done by yourself. Give yourself a break, and delegate some of your tasks to your team. Look at each staff member’s skills and personality and work out which tasks they’d be most suited to.
A friendly, bubbly member of staff should be great at taking over communication duties, for example, while a logical, methodical person could help you with bookings. Remember, they’re there to help you out!
Running a childcare centre demands a large time commitment, but with these tips, you’ll be able to streamline your process and get back some precious time. For more information on how a tool like Kidsoft can help you achieve this goal, contact us to schedule a demo.