Technology in the classroom is something parents have come to expect from childcare, preschool, and school-age programs. When parents tour your facility for the first time, it’s probably something you highlight: tablets for learning games, desktop computer stations, smartboards, and more.
And if you can wow them with your state-of-the-art classroom tools, you just might win their business.
But there’s more technology available outside the classroom that makes a statement about your program and whether it’s keeping up with the demands of today’s parents. That starts with the software and tools you use to manage the business end of your business.
EZCare Introduces integrated Contactless Check-In with EZSmiles
Now, more than ever, it’s safety first, and we’ve figured out a way to handle one of the biggest logistical challenges for childcare centers and preschools operating in the new normal. EZCare’s companion mobile app, EZSmiles, now has Contactless Check-In included for every parent.
The new normal is bringing changes to the way program directors look at many things, from staffing to seating to cleaning to knowing the right length of time for children to wash their hands. It’s also changing the way childcare and preschool professionals handle administrative tasks, like billing, payments, and of course, the sometimes complex logistics of drop off and pick up.
That’s where EZSmiles Contactless Check-In comes into play. Your EZSmiles app already is fully integrated with your EZCare system for things like mobile messaging and payments. Now, we’ve added a way for parents to use the app to check children in and out of your center without stepping foot inside your facility.
Before you implement Contactless Check-In
Before you start promoting your new Contactless Check-In capabilities, make sure you have a solid process in place for an organized, seamless drop-off and pick-up experience. Make sure you can answer these questions:
- Is your contactless check-in going to be curbside or outside?
- Does your facility have the capacity to have parents pull in, check-in, then drive off when children exit the car (once a staff member has greeted them, of course)? Or are you going to have parents check-in just outside your doors, then wait for a staff member to meet them?
- Which staff members will be responsible for greeting children when parents check them in?
- How will you communicate to parents that all drop-off and pick-up activity will take place outside, with no exceptions?
- What is the expected time between check-out and the time the child is delivered to parents outside?
- How will you evaluate your new process, and what areas might you be able to change to make sure it is as safe and efficient as possible?
What’s so great about Contactless Check-In?
Offering Contactless Check-In is a big deal, and you should highlight the convenience and added safety it provides. After all, limiting foot traffic in your facility to staff and students is a huge step forward in your program’s security plans as well.
- Convenient, contactless check-in means parents don’t even have to leave their cars
- Limited access to your facility means less exposure to others
- Helps the organization maintain a sanitary environment
- Keeps children safer by ensuring doors are locked to anyone but staff
Spreading the word about Contactless Check-In
How do you normally market your program? Do you rely on word-of-mouth? Drive-by traffic? Social media platforms like Facebook? Online or print advertising?
Leverage all of your traditional marketing methods and try out some new ones to spread the word about your new Contactless Check-In procedures.
Word-of-mouth – the quickest, easiest way to share big news is to get parents on board, using the feature, and telling their friends how convenient and easy you’ve made drop-off and pick-up. Once parents are actively using the Check-In feature, encourage them to tell friends and neighbors looking for the best childcare and preschool options in your area.
- Drive-by traffic – this is a solid way to draw in parents who are new to the area, or just new to being parents. As they explore your community, increase your program’s visibility by placing a banner or sign on your fence or across the front entrance of your building. Make sure you mention you now offer contactless, curbside check-in!
- Social media – make it easy for parents to post by sending an organization-wide message for them to use, then encouraging them to share it. In EZSmiles, you can do this with a picture message and a caption like, “YOUR ORGANIZATION NAME has made check-in and check-out contactless and convenient!” Then, create a follow-up message asking parents to share the news on their own accounts by clicking the share icon on the picture message. It really is that easy.
- Online/ print ads – whether you are advertising online, through your website, or just posting in your local library or church bulletin, offering contactless check-in is worth updating your current ads to make it known that your program is offering safe, 21st-century tools for both staff and parents.
Today’s parents demand technology from schools, both inside and outside of the classroom. It’s time to implement tools and best practices help you achieve the contactless administrative routines you need to stay safe and in business. Start leveraging the power of that technology to streamline your communications, payments, and check-in procedures now.