It’s obvious why so many schools and centers are choosing to go electronic. It saves time, money and paper. However, one of the largest concerns of going electronic is having the confidence that the software is compliant for child care licensing.
Thankfully, child care licensing is embracing electronic child care management systems. Regardless, when choosing a child care software system, there are a few features you will want to keep in mind that will ensure you are licensing approved.
Child Care Licensing Required Features
- Records Authorized Signatures
Child care management apps will help with recording parent and student sign in-out times. This helps make attendance and time tracking much easier, but child care licensing typically requires more than just the time the child was signed in and out.
To remain licensing compliant you will most likely need an authorized signature. Be sure to inquire if your child care management software provides some form of licensing compliant signatures.
Another concern of child care licensing is the security of the child care software. Most child care software companies provide an increased level of security. However, you will still want to inquire as to what security measures in particular they take to keep all confidential information secure. Licensing compliant or not, you do not want to mess around with a child care software that lacks security.
- Access to all previous attendance records
One of the exciting features of going electronic is no more printing and storing paper sign in-out sheets. However, before fully saying goodbye to paper, investigate how long your attendance records will be stored. Do not assume your attendance records will be stored electronically forever.
- Printable Attendance Records
Does your sign in-out software allow you to print out previous attendance sheets? Licensing may ask for a printed copy of an attendance sheet from a previous day. Be sure to check attendance sheets can be easily printed before licensing pays you a visit.
Child Care Licensing Bonus Features
These bonus features are not necessary for child care licensing, but they are valuable features that are beneficial to have when inspection time comes around.
- Child to Staff Ratio Tracking
Licensing requires staff and teachers to know their child to staff/teacher ratio at all times. It may be easy for a teacher to keep track of their 12 children, but when you have multiple teachers in different classrooms, keeping track of ratios can become a heftier task.
Some child care software apps give you the capability of easily tracking the total number of children signed in, teacher to child ratios, and some software will allow you to transfer students to different rooms right from the app. This tool will help your center constantly know which child is where and with whom at all times.
- Emergency Messaging System
While we hope an emergency situation never arises, it is important to always be prepared. During an emergency situation your first job is to ensure the children’s safety, but the second is to keep parents updated and informed. Thankfully, some child care software apps provide easy mass texting and emailing to parents right from the app, giving you the comfort knowing that you are prepared for any situation that may arise.
Tips to ensure you are Child Care Licensing Compliant
- Ask Questions
When it comes to choosing a child care software, do not assume they are licensing compliant. While most child care management software options cater to licensing, the regulations do vary from state and type of center. If you are at all unsure, ask questions. It is better to ask now, then find out later your software is not compliant.
- Do not wait till your licensing visit
The time of your licensing visit is not when you should find out if your child care software is up to licensing standards. Be sure to communicate and get approval from licensing before your visit. Not doing so will simply result in more work on your part.
Please contact Kinderlime for additional help on ensuring your child care software is licensing compliant.