Annual registration for new families enrolling their children into the Rochester School Age Child Care (SACC) program used to resemble teenagers in line for a rock concert. Families would show up eight to ten hours early with lines that would wrap around the building to make sure their children got a spot in the program. Busy parents found it exhausting and stressful, and handling such a large volume of applications all at once was no fun for the registration staff.
For Melissa Fredin, Program Manager for SACC, the solution became obvious – allow both new and existing families to register online. Melissa saw the enormous benefit of online registration. “Not having to enter family information by hand, plus offering the option of paying the registration fee online was also a big motivating factor. Also, busy parents wouldn’t have to take time off from work simply to come in and register.”
Melissa researched several online registration alternatives, but eventually decided on SofterWare’s online forms powered by Weblink for several reasons. “The most important was WebLink’s ability to interface effectively with EZ-CARE2, which Rochester has used successfully for many years to handle enrollment, billing and program management. When families enter their information through the WebLink forms on our web site, the data can download directly into EZ-CARE2 with any payments recorded on the associated ledger. We didn’t have to worry about it not working or matching correctly, as could have been the case with a non-integrated solution.”
Melissa and her assistant, Linda Koelsch were also concerned that the online process was simple enough for parents while flexible enough to adapt to their specific needs. Melissa notes, “Josh (a SofterWare support tea mmember) worked with Linda to replicate our paper forms and he walked us through the entire process. In fact, we were so confident, we decided to make online registration mandatory.”