Childcare management software and its benefits

Not having enough time in their hands to look after all the day-to-day operations is one of the major complaints of the pre-school owners. Keeping abreast with the administrative, scheduling, and financial processes while monitoring the children enlisted in the school is no easy task.

Technology is truly a blessing when it comes to streamlining operations. It has enabled people around the world to take control of their institutions from their own screens, bringing everything down to their fingertips.

 

This is exactly where child care management systems come into play. With applications such as these, manual work is reduced to almost minimal levels, and recordkeeping of various tasks and processes becomes highly efficient. To add to that, it also allows one to ensure seamless parent-teacher communication, track all financial invoices with no hassle, and register round-the-clock activities of the students digitally.

Here are some of the best childcare manager software around the world you need to know about if you’re considering taking your pre-school digital:

  1. Brightwheel

Brightwheel is a child care management software solution platform that facilitates operations for childcare, daycares, and preschools. It specializes in streamlining the processes for the school administrators and staff in centers with mid to low capacity.

Pricing Overview

Brightwheel’s pricing beings at $15.00 per month. They offer a free trial and also have a free version. They have two pricing structures – standard and premium. While the standard version offers basic features, the premium version supports many enhanced features and functionalities.

Pros

“This a great tool for communicating with parents. They love all the photos and I love how easily I can send things to the whole class or individually.”

“So many benefits, parents know their child is safe. Parents see their children doing fun activities and it makes them happy.”

“What I liked most was the free options that Brightwheel had – it had the most features for free use compared to competitors. A good option for a small scale daycare or preschool.”

Cons

“Frustrating, time-wasting and gave me a ton of headaches.”

“The sign-in process was a bit of a struggle and linking multiple devices to one account was difficult.”

“One day (when I did not have auto payments set up) I stopped receiving notifications from Brightwheel about new invoices. As result, I was late to pay and our daycare charged me a late payment fee.”

Source: Capterra.com

2, Illumine

A child care management software designed to streamline all processes, allow seamless parent communication, and enable digital management from attendance to payments. Illumine lets you consolidate your key administrative functions while enhancing experiences for parents, teachers, and directors. It facilitates transparency between parents and teachers by efficiently bridging the communication gap and keeping the parents par with their kid’s day-to-day progress. Illumine has features that allow the teachers to share every other update of the kids through messages, photos, videos, newsletters.

Illumine lets you bridge the communication gap between teachers and parents. Practice transparency with our daycare management software efficiently. Send messages, photos, videos, notices, or even PTA reports through our daycare software with just a tap. Its highly developed assessment tracker also records the growth of the children at each milestone, giving a good insight into the kid’s development to the parents.

What makes Illumine unique?

  1. Multicenter Management

For schools with multiple centers at different locations, Illumine provides an administration dashboard that gives an overview of all their centers from a single web interface. They can check the collection status, live classroom ratios, check center activities, leads for the centers, and track parent concerns.

Features that make Illumine reliable and effective

Parent Communication

Illumine brings the joy of childhood to life in the digital age. Its unique digital platform bridges the gap between parents and early education, providing real-time data into your child’s learning experience. The parent can app is beautifully designed. Schools can quickly onboard parents with minimal or no training.

Illumine Parent app is available on both IOS and Android platform

Invoicing & Payments

Illumine brings to you an advanced and best billing software for childcare that will enable childcare providers to easily create parent billing profiles and streamline billing processes by automatically keeping track of payments, getting subsidies, recurring payments, sending payment reminders, and creating reports. Illumine is the only platform that lets you receive online payments on all currencies. It is integrated with Stripe which supports recurring payments and payments in all modes.

Illumine childcare billing software makes you switch to paperless billing mode

Learning & Assessment

Illumine’s development tool for early learners is as easy to use for teachers as it is for parents. Illumine’s assessment tool helps preschool child care providers, teachers, and parents assess a child’s development, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to support a child’s overall growth. The pre-assessment software is compatibile with standard assessment frameworks like Montessori, Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS), and can be easily modified to any other country-specific frameworks.

The childcare assessment platform helps early childhood development and provides valuable insights. Preschool assessment tools assess children’s progress

  1. Remote learning & online class booking system

Remote learning is highly simplified with Illumine. From planning lessons and sharing them with parents, to conducting virtual class. Illumine offers an integrated and user-friendly virtual classroom platform for teachers and students to collaborate, engage, learn and share lessons, assignments and assessments.

Notably it was the only platform which supports online class booking system. Some of the schools have used this system to extend their reach and get enrolments from all over their country

Teachers get a comprehensive solutions platform to design, implement and share assessments of their students. The Illumine preschool app helps present a child’s learning progress and educational growth curve understandably.

  1. Lead management

Schools/ Preschools have admission inquiries all year long, to manage them in an excel sheet becomes difficult, and updating them, and sharing with Management becomes difficult. Many schools have now started getting CRM Tools (Customer Relationship Management) and end up paying a bomb.

Illumine brings the feature of Lead CRM in the application itself to not have to leave the application and go feed in the information or manage admissions separately. The feature is supported in the web portal and it’s easy to use.

  1. Assessments and curriculum planning

A development tool for early learners that’s as easy to use for teachers as it is for parents.

Illumine assessment tools help preschool child care providers, teachers, and parents assess a child’s development, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to support a child’s overall growth.

Plan lessons

Manage Curriculum

Access pre-configured assessment or configure your own

Track child’s growth, development, and progress

  1. Capacity planning

Schools with multiple centers and programs have limited seats. This is because they need to maintain a student-teacher ratio. Illumine shows real-time availability of capacities across centers.

  1. Multicurrency and multi-language support

Illumine supports multiple currencies that allow you to transact business in the currency of your choice and its multi-lingual support provides a language-pack framework that allows you to interact in any language you want to.

Pricing Overview

Illumine offers three pricing structures- standard, business, and enterprise. Their standard plan starts at $00.75 per student month, the business plan starts at $1.50 per student month, and the enterprise plan starts at $2.00 per student month.

Pros

“Illumine during covid is a great help to stay connected with teachers, schedules, and assignments.”

“Like how easy it is to log on and to switch seamlessly to Zoom for meetings.”

“Showing the parents what are their children doing at school every day and what time they took a nap or ate was lovely the parents loved it so much.”

Cons

“The cons that have come up are very few and mostly relate to the internet services which automatically get sorted.”

“As of now, the experience is pretty pleasant, and if there are any problems, the team will be quick to resolve them for us.”

“I really do not have any cons for Illumine. My experience has been very positive and I like the product and its user interface. I am being 100% honest when I say that I have never had to contact customer support so I can not speak to that, but I do know that the implementation of the solution was pretty simple.’’

Source: softwaresuggest.com, getapp.com, and Capterra.com

3. EZCare

Enrollment, billing, and scheduling – EZCare simplifies everything. EZCare functions the way you do – thanks to extensive customization of fields, menus, and user permissions, and multi-site support that lets you work through all of your sites at once. Online registration, a parent portal with contactless payments and Check-In, and the EZSmiles family interaction app, all of it is part of the EZCare package.

Pricing Overview

EZCare offers a free trial but has no free version. They have 3 different pricing models – The premier package that begins at $149 / month, the essentials package that begins at $99 / month, and the express package that begins at $59 / month.

Pros

“I loved how much information can be added onto each page as needed.”

“The online version is great I can access the program from anywhere. The tech support is very helpful and will help you step by step when you want to make reports or have a problem.”

“I love the Insta-Charge feature that enables our clerks to take payments on the spot. The information on each tab is easy to read and assess the information needed.”

Cons

“My customers could sign up online. Other than that the software isn’t worth the monthly fees charged. There are other software out there that are much easier for you and your parents to use.”

“We often run into issues with the program crashing.”

“We are still waiting for some features to be developed. Error messages when posting paper payments and when trying to run reports if using Chrome.”

Source: Capterra.com & softwareadvice.com/

4. HiMama

HiMama is a simple, easy-to-use childcare management software that facilitates paperless processes in childcare centers. HiMama offers a simple way to capture and share your child’s experiences, from all the adventurous moments to the key milestones. This way the parents stay involved and the outcomes for the children are enhanced. For directors, the software also has strong monitoring and staff management functions.

Pricing Overview

HiMama offers a free trial version and comes in a subscription-based model. They have two pricing models – home daycare & enterprise. Their home daycare plan is priced at $25/Month, whereas, the pricing of their enterprise plan depends on the size of the pre-school.

Pros

“I love the ability the software has to communicate with the staff and the photos and information on this app which help me understand the value of the staff and the program itself.”

“I like the updates that I get from my son’s teachers daily without having to wait until the end of the day. The ability to communicate with the teachers and the director is a great function as well.”

“The best thing about the software is that it is very user-friendly, very easy for my clients to use it. Moreover, it has a lot of features which help our daycare.”

Cons

“Unfortunately when we had to leave the daycare (due to a move) I didn’t access the desktop version in time to save the videos, so we lost those – which I’m still a little sad about.”

“It doesn’t give you notifications when something is uploaded – which is upsetting because you forget to check it.”

“I dislike that I am unable to see what my child ate and how long she napped for until the end of the day once the report is completed.”

Source: Capterra.com & getapp.com

Website : https://www.himama.com/

5. Kangarootime

Kangarootime empowers directors to operate their businesses efficiently with automated payments and billing, a digital classroom, and a parent contact tool. With Kangarootime’s childcare management software, you can expand your company, manage your team, and establish relationships with the child’s parents.

Pricing Overview

Kangarootime offers a subscription-based plan as well and also has a free trial version available. Their pricing again also depends on the capacity of the particular institute they are providing services to.

Pros

“Software gives our Administrators constant visibility to room attendance and staffing. Parents love the smartphone app and the ability to communicate directly with Teachers and Administrators.”

“We love the fact that Kangarootime has automated so much of our business processes. It’s great to have one product that handles everything from accounting to employees to parents.”

“Kangarootime has been a great addition to our business. The ability to track all of the children and staff in the center in real-time and the communication features are great.”

Cons

“You have to click on every single icon to get to an account, change an account, it is not on the same screen and makes it difficult to input information. It is very tedious and time-consuming.”

“I think it’s silly to have to “credit” or add line instead of deleting a billing mistake. I don’t like how glitchy the app is.”

“Dislikes would be not being about to put all the children to sleep at once in the rooming module, which I have reported to the company and this is coming as a change in the future.”

Source: Capterra.com

website: https://www.kangarootime.com/

6. Sandbox Software

Sandbox is a user-friendly and convenient all-in-one child care management software. They provide comprehensive child care management, seamless parent engagement, and relevant business growth resources. Sandbox was designed keeping the needs of educators in mind, and it now has over 140,000 users in North America.

Pricing Overview

Their pricing model is a per feature one and it varies as given below-

Childcare centers with 0-24 children: $59 per month

Childcare centers with 24-49 children: $79 per month

Childcare centers with 49-99 children: $129 per month

Childcare centers with 100-199 children: $169 per month

Childcare centers with more than 200+ children: $199 per month

Pros

“The thing I like most about Sandbox is their customer support. I love that I’m able to start a conversation via messaging and work out any issue or question I may have.”

“It’s great to have a platform that handles all things related to child care.”

“We have been extremely happy with our purchase and implantation of the Sandbox software.”

Cons

“Add description to profile, height/ weight/ eyes/ hair required for licensing. Spot for staff PHN on their profile (emergency cards).”

“Posting pictures and getting my teachers used to using it. Some teachers say it is too hard to post pictures through Sandbox and have continued texting parents.”

“Financial records are confusing and I sometimes have a hard time getting the forms I want.”

Source: Capterra.com

7. Procare

Procare is an integrated childcare management system to mitigate day-to-day activities at one’s day, preschool, or after-school programs. Their solution is functional with any device through either web or mobile applications. Some of their features include contactless check-in/out, parent communication with photo/video/newsletter capabilities, online registration, attendance monitoring, automatic online billing, regular activity, and performance tracking, medical screening monitoring, and employee time clock.

Pricing Overview

Their pricing structure is also based on the size of the institutions they cater to.

Here’s what their costing looks like for various organizations with different capabilities –

Procare center solution

0-60 Kids – $49/ Month

61-90 Kids – $69/ Month

90+ Kids – $89/ Month

Pros

“Very good value for some startups like us. It would be great to have a better payment experience and cross-device feature and easy-to-share feature in the future.”

“I can’t say enough great things about it. After the parents start using it they tell the family and friends about it and how they can see what the kiddo is doing, eating, learning, they truly love it.”

“I love the easy sign-in/sign-out screens and the fact that parents can electronically sign out on an iPad. I love the Learning section which allows me to record lesson plans.”

Cons

“If there is a mistake you have to go in and fix each note under each child rather than a master fix.”

“When it is the wrong student that was checked in, there should be some kind of automatic email to “disregard the previous email.”

“I find the GIF in the Support Communication an unprofessional insert. I am not tech-savvy and accidentally sent an inappropriate GIF that does not represent our school standards.”

Source: Capterra.com

8. Tadpoles

Tadpoles is changing the childcare and preschool market by assisting with smoothing out activities and parent correspondence through innovation. They work with childcare centers based around the world to deliver management solutions planned explicitly to help understudy child’s accomplishments and parental inclusion. Tadpoles assist instructors with improving correspondences and draw in parents in the learning cycle by sharing photographs, recordings, progress reports, and other significant data.

Pricing Overview

Tadpoles pricing model is a pre-user one and they also offer a free trial. Their pricing begins at $25.00 per user, per month.

Pros

“I feel that because of this software and the efficiency boost it provides, not only is more time and energy focused on the students themselves but that they’re safer as a result.”

“Overall I love this software it’s been a huge help in my classroom and I would advise most childcare’s to look into it.”

“Staying connected with school and child care about your child’s progress.”

Cons

“Every once in a while the app won’t update for me right away when opening; occasionally getting stuck on a different day.”

“My biggest complaint is that occasionally the software freezes when you’re in the middle of updating a report or trying to perform some other (what should be a) relatively quick task.”

“When taking photos in the app, they typically come out blurry.”

9. Famly

Famly lets school owners control their finances, manage employees, document observations, and communicate with parents. Famly is advanced in establishing with a huge variety of childcare organizations to make certain that the platform works together along with your everyday’s workflow.

Pricing Overview

Famly offers both – a free trial and a free version. It has three pricing models – the starter package that begins at £69/ month, the essentials package that begins at £119/ month, and the premium package that begins at £169/ month.

Pros

“Great tool to encourage parent partnership and motivating staff too.”

“It caters for everything we need and the team is always open to suggestions on further improving what is already very useful.”

“Customers and staff love the app and it has improved communication in all aspects of the business’ day-to-day running.”

Cons

“Various options haven’t quite met our needs – accident reports, administration of suncream and medication, permissions for various users.”

“Logs you out too quickly, we know this is a safety feature but can this be changed to suit the setting, no devices out with building for confidential issues.”

“If a child hasn’t started but register and you make a mistake on the room moves this can be hard to amend without seeking help. Can this be made the same as children who are registered?”

10. Bloomz

Bloomz is a child care management software that has all the empowers teachers to communicate and collaborate with parents. It allows sharing of information through messaging, real-time updates with photo and video sharing, calendar coordination, volunteers and conferences signups, to behavior management and student portfolios.

Pros

“I also love being able to share pictures with parents of what’s going on in our classroom daily. It’s super safe because only parents of your students can see any pictures.”

“Great tool in the classroom and easy enough to figure out.”

“I wanted a platform to streamline getting information and NTI plans to families. I was also looking for a way to be able to message families and children one one one and Bloomz has been fantastic.”

Cons

“Students would forget homework or tell their parents they didn’t have any. I used to do a parent newsletter that took quite a bit of time each week and I don’t think anyone read.”

“While creating a post, if you leave that window (for example: to go to your photo gallery to check a photo) you lose anything you’ve typed. Bloomz sometimes lags during uploading.”

“Finding the “turn notifications on” spot on the app was difficult. Even though it allowed me to turn them on during set up, it only turned on some of the notifications and not all of them.

Running pre-schools and daycares digitally in today’s tech-savvy world that demands much more than good organization and imparting good education is a no-brainer! Therefore, if you haven’t already gone digital in the way you run your pre-school’s administration – it’s time to do it now!