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Procare Solutions is the #1 child care management software – modern, best supported, feature-rich solution for child care centers. For over 30 years, Procare has been the most trusted name in child care business management softwar...Read more about Procare Solutions
Step into the future of ECE software with Famly. Our top-rated, US child care platform has collaboration at its heart, and is built to suit your unique needs. We’ve got all the features to help you manage your center, but we're s...Read more about Famly
Kangarootime is an automated child care management solution designed for directors, owners and parents. The solution is deployed in the cloud and offers features including recordkeeping, employee management, class management and a...Read more about Kangarootime
brightwheel is a software solution built to modernize all childcare, daycare, and preschool programs by helping operate more smoothly, manage with less manual work, and most importantly, give back time to those looking after the w...Read more about brightwheel
Kindertales is a cloud-based childcare management solution that helps childcare providers manage their operations electronically. The solution can be accessed remotely by parents, teachers and childcare providers using any device....Read more about Kindertales
Sawyer is a cloud-based camp and activity management solution that offers booking and scheduling services for children's after school class providers, camps and events. The solution also offers an online marketplace, where parents...Read more about Sawyer
EdOptim is a web-based student information management system designed to help businesses in the education industry streamline communication with students and parents. It lets teachers share various information with parents, includ...Read more about EdOptim
Kids Hub is a child care management solution that helps pre-schools, childcare and daycare facilities handle billing, attendance and parent engagement activities. It enables organizations to manage students, view rooms’ availabili...Read more about Kids Hub
Marketing 360 is a cloud-based marketing platform suited for entrepreneurs as well as small and midsize businesses. This solution allows organizations to run social media advertising campaigns, conduct search engine optimization (...Read more about Marketing 360
Tuition Express by Procare is a user-friendly and safe child care billing software, making tuition collection seamless for child care providers. Tuition Express, a PCI compliant direct processor, gives child care centers all of th...Read more about Tuition Express
Cheqdin is a cloud-based childcare solution that helps businesses manage billing and invoicing operations in nurseries, day care centers and afterschool programs. Key features include parent portal, photo gallery, immunization rec...Read more about Cheqdin
myKidzDay is a cloud-based daycare solution designed for teachers, parents and daycare owners. The solution provides communication between parents and child care providers. Key features include reporting, attendance management, d...Read more about myKidzDay
KidKare Food Program
KidKare Food Program
Kidkare is a cloud-based childcare management solution designed to help daycare centers and sponsors manage operations related to meal planning, admissions and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) claim processing. Features i...Read more about KidKare Food Program
MNprogram is designed to help businesses in medical, education, healthcare, legal and other industries streamline accounting, invoicing, sales and marketing operations. It enables managers to automate workflows, manage expenses, a...Read more about MNprogram
Educa is a cloud-based communications platform for child care centers, preschools and early learning programs. It enables teachers, parents and administrators to communicate and stay informed about student milestones, program goal...Read more about Educa
CommunityPass is a cloud-based recreation and school management solution. It is designed to cater to the needs of community schools, parent-teacher organizations, sports leagues, public, private and charter schools. The solution o...Read more about CommunityPass
Procare’s SchoolCare Works is the before and after school management software that enables you to keep track of activities, registrations, classes, billing and payment activity, third-party subsidy payments, student and staff sche...Read more about SchoolCare Works
Jovial is a cloud-based child care management solution designed specifically for parent-run, co-op preschools. Key features include enrollment management, recordkeeping, tuition accounting and requirements tracking. The solution t...Read more about Jovial
Kaymbu is a cloud-based family engagement and classroom documentation solution designed for parents, schools and teachers. Key features include documentation, assessment, messaging and photobooks. It connects parents with educator...Read more about Kaymbu
SmartCare is a cloud-based childcare solution that connects childcare center owners, teachers and parents in real time through a web interface. SmartCare is fit for childcare centers and K-12 schools in the US. It helps parents tr...Read more about Smartcare
Buyers GuideLast Updated: March 16, 2023
It’s not easy running a child care center. Even after administrators have met licensing requirements, determined a legal structure, found the perfect location and hired staff, they still have to handle a variety of daily tasks to keep kids (and their parents) happy.
Child care software helps users manage the day-to-day aspects of running a daycare center or preschool. Among other things, these systems can automate administrative tasks, keep attendance records, store parents’ contact information, track children’s health data and help users schedule classes and appointments.
This guide can help potential buyers find the best solution for their needs. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Common Functionality of Child Care Software
Benefits of Child Care Management Software
Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise
What Is Child Care Software?
Child care professionals are busy, and it can be difficult for them to not only keep up with their young charges, but stay on top of administrative, scheduling and financial duties, as well. That’s where child care management software comes in: It helps child care workers simplify and streamline the manual processes they do every day, including recordkeeping, billing, attendance and immunization tracking.
Child care management software is also known as “child care administrative software” or “daycare management software.” The technology is useful for all kinds of child care centers, including:
Licensed family child care homes
Early childhood education programs/preschools
Once an organization is ready to open its doors to potential clients, it’s never too early to invest in a software system. Doing so can ensure they’re organized from the start and set up for success.
For example, some center administrators think a single-application software, such as an accounting program from an industry-agnostic vendor, will be enough to fulfill their needs. However, that isn’t ideal for long-term growth. It’s usually better to get a dedicated child care management solution because it lets you streamline every aspect of the business, eliminating the need to buy different applications from multiple vendors that don’t interface with one another.
Common Functionality of Child Care Management Software
Most child care management systems will come with some or all of the following capabilities:
Admissions and scheduling
Provides widgets and calendars for scheduling classes as well as enrollment and registration.
Billing and payments
Allows users to perform billing and invoicing, track account balances and past-due payments, create and print payment reports and statements and post payment in batches. Offers support for multiple online and in-person payment methods, including cash, check, money order and credit cards.
Tracks and stores children’s immunization records, including past, current and completed vaccinations and immunization due dates.
Generates reports of and provides alerts for children’s birthdays. Also creates reports on revenue summaries, class statistics (e.g., class type and size), attendance and financial transactions.
Employee management/time and attendance
Facilitates staff check-in and check-out; manages employee hours; stores pay rates and other staffing information at organization-wide and location-specific levels.
Allows users to keep parents informed about their child’s activities via mobile application alerts, emails or text messages.
Some systems offer menu planning, meal tracking and nutrition analysis functionality.
Enables staff to create lesson plans or activity plans in advance.
Benefits of Child Care Management Software
Daycare and preschool facilities can realize many benefits as a result of adopting child care management software, including:
Less administrative work. Generally, staff in a daycare or preschool facility handles both administrative and physical child care duties. This software automates administrative tasks, such as online registration, so employees can focus their energy on the children themselves.
Improved communication with parents. Working parents don’t need to worry or inquire about their children. With child care management software, your facility can send parents notifications about their child throughout the day via native mobile apps or text messaging.
Advanced meal and nutrition planning. Some vendors offer tools for tracking the number of provided meals, as well as for planning breakfast, lunch and snacks based on the nutritional requirements of each child. With this functionality, child care centers can give growing kids the nourishment they need.
Greater staff coordination. As opposed to paper-based records, digital systems are accessible to multiple users in separate locations. This makes it easier for employees to update any necessary documentation and for the business to scale.
Pricing: Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise
There are two main pricing models prevalent in this market. Select the one that best fits your budget and business model:
Cloud-based software. These solutions are typically priced on a monthly or an annual subscription basis. They require low or no upfront investment, and vendors handle system maintenance and updates. This option is often best for small and midsize businesses that may not have the resources to invest in and manage an on-premise system.
On-premise software. These systems typically require purchasing a perpetual license for a substantial upfront fee. There are no recurring license fees, but extra fees may apply for implementation assistance, maintenance, support and updates.
No matter which system you choose, over a period of time, pricing for these two models tends to converge. You can check out our total cost of ownership calculator to learn more.
Mobile device integration. Systems are starting to introduce native apps for mobile devices that can be used for administrative purposes or to connect with parents. For example, some apps may allow you to track child arrivals and departures by asking parents to check in and out of your center with a tablet placed near the entrance. On the other hand, some apps are meant to be downloaded by parents and can be used as a platform to exchange pictures and messages about their children with your staff.
Staff training and development. If you want to attract and retain great employees, you may want to consider offering them professional development opportunities, such as enrolling them in online child care courses. Software can help you keep track of which staff members have completed training programs and received certifications.