The world of early childhood education is dynamic and ever-changing. The pandemic, new trends in education research, and tech innovations have all created a need for childcare centers to embrace technology in order to keep up in a digital world.
The need for an all-in-one daycare app has never been higher. So, we created this list of the 7 things every all-in-one childcare app should be able to do to help you choose the best option for you, your staff, parents, and of course, your little learners. After all, this is your business, your passion, and a place for kids to learn, grow, and become the best possible versions of themselves. Embracing technology can and will help you, your center, and your students thrive, but it’s up to you to choose the right option.
1. Great Customer Service
You care about your business and your little learners, and so should your support systems. Having an app with a customer support team that will not only walk you through how to use every single feature, but be there whenever you need to call on them, is crucial to sustaining your business. An app should care about you, and make sure that you know how to maximize your experience using their product.
A good daycare app will have a customer support system in place that you can reach out to. A great daycare app will have a customer support system that reaches out to you. Check reviews left by other users to see which childcare app will always be there for you.
Gone are the days of paper reports that accidentally get thrown out or lost between the couch cushions. You want to make sure that communication between parents and teachers is always at an all-time high. Daycare apps should help parents feel connected to their children even if they’re not physically in the classroom.
In a time when parents may not always be able to meet their child’s educator in-person, using an app with centralized and frequent communication is key. Parents should be able to know what their child is up to whenever they want, whether it’s drawing a family portrait worthy of the Louvre or making a macaroni necklace even Audrey Hepburn would be jealous of. Having an app that can send mass and personalized text, photo, and video updates saves time and means that parents can know what their kids are up to all the time and never miss another moment.
- Learn more about parent communication with HiMama.
Digital assessments make it easy to record a child’s activities in real-time and track their development in one place. Using an app means that teachers can fill in reports on the fly with a tap of their finger. While many childcare apps have an assessment feature, not all may use a recognized assessment program. Using a reputable program like Pearson’s Ounce Scale or Work Sampling System, for example, means that the app you’ve chosen is grounded in childhood development research. The whole point of having routine assessments is to see how the activities teachers plan increase students’ skillsets and monitor their development. Therefore, an app with an exceptional assessment tool genuinely cares about and is invested in your little learners and their progress in learning and life. It’s an added bonus that embracing such an app can improve your quality rating and help you ditch the paperwork at the same time!
- Learn more about doing assessments with HiMama.
4. Contactless Checkin & Safe Pickup
The pandemic changed the way the world works, and childcare is no exception. A contactless check-in option minimizes contact with others and keeps you, your staff, parents, and kids safe. A good daycare app thinks about more than just your business––it cares about the health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone in your community and has features to assist with both your business and needs.
With contactless check-in, parents can see exactly when their child enters the classroom and is ready to start their day. Parents can also mark their kids as absent from home so teachers don’t have to worry about calling when someone doesn’t show up. Teachers will also immediately know their classroom ratio before the day even begins. Contactless checkin and safe pickup are great indicators to know which daycare apps care about you and constantly keep up with the changing world and your changing needs.
- Learn more about safe pickup with HiMama.
5. Meal Tracking
Parents worry. It’s natural! With meal tracking, parents will be able to know exactly when their child eats and ensure that they are getting their 5 fruits and veggies a day! With meal tracking, parents will start to see trends in their child’s likes and behavior. Increase their confidence in knowing that their children are eating healthily and nutritiously and discovering new foods they may not be offered at home.
- Learn more about documentation with HiMama.
6. Lesson Planning + Resources
Using an app to plan lessons will maximize your teachers’ time and allow them to create personalized and goal-oriented plans. Teachers already work as if there are a hundred hours in a day, and an easy-to-use app can help them save time with one of the most time-consuming parts of their job. Keeping online records of lesson plans ensures that everything is centralized, parents can easily see what activities their kids have in store, and key development skills are constantly being hit.
A great daycare app also cares about your students and will help teachers with their planning by providing resources and activities that develop a wide range of new skills. It should care about your business’ and your students’ growth at the same time. The app you choose needs to be committed to investing in early childhood education and partner with thought leaders, researchers, and daycares to give you access to leading insights trends and ideas.
7. Ease of Use
New tech can be daunting. As someone who still takes notes with pen and paper, I fully know how difficult new learning curves can be. However, a great app should be easy to use, and a childcare app is no exception. A great daycare app combines the benefits of the digital world and your personal and business needs to create a personalized communication experience for everyone. Sometimes apps might forget to see how their product works from an outside perspective. Make sure that the app you choose has been tested by parents, teachers, and centre directors to create the best product possible.
The goal of the daycare app that you choose shouldn’t be just to meet your expectations… but to exceed them. Having an app that genuinely cares about you, your business’ success, and the growth of your students means that you’ve not only invested in a product, but that that product is invested in you too. Find an app whose wins are your wins, that wants to relieve the burden of having a massive never-ending pile of paperwork, and that wants you, your business, your employees, and your little learners to succeed and thrive.
So how can you tell which apps care about you? Well, they should have the 7 things on this list! They should always be there for you, provide you with resources to help your little learners grow, and adapt to your needs whatever they may be.
Whenever you’re ready to go digital at your center, we’re here to help! Book a free demo and join thousands of other childcare centres in transforming your business, create a stronger connection with your clients, and save a massive amount of time.