Posts

So, Who's Your Backup?By Jim Shields, Enterprise Architect @enrollsmartRecently, we've tested a new bit of our technology with some of our clients.  Well, it's a mixture of technology and philosophy.  The teachers at one of the schools we support have begun bringing on their own backups when they are hired.  As a result, the school now asks applicants "Do you have a person that can back you when you're absent?" Now, in traditional thinking, this may seem odd or even weird, but is it really?  In response to this school's need to enroll backup teachers along with their direct hires, we've developed a technology tool that supports this; giving the school a larger pool to draw from and, giving each teacher a way to connect their hand-picked backup person to the school.Of course, the people backing up the teachers have to meet the same requirements and undergo the same screenings as the primary teacher. However, because this is the understanding that the p…
Why Cash Should Not Be"King" in Childcare Centers in 2019 Safety and Customer Expectations Top The List of Reasons for Preschools and Childcare Centers To Go Cashless in 2019 By Jim Shields, Enterprise Architect @enrollsmartIn the United States, more than 90% of childcare centers are owned and operated by women. This is a proud fact because quality preschool/childcare has become increasingly important to the development of young children as well as the stability of the US economy.Now, given the fact that preschools and childcare centers do not have the budgets that school districts do and, their workforce is more than 90% female, it makes safety sense that preschools and childcare centers begin converting their payment options to "cashless" for safety reasons. I go to childcare centers all the time and I see receipt books lying around indicating when and how much parents have paid the center in cash.But wait, aren't checks, money orders or ACH withdrawals safe…
Sticky Notes and Old Dusty Totes: The Task Management Crisis in Childcare Centers
By Jim Shields, Enterprise Architect @enrollsmartIt's been quite a while since we've updated our blog. The fall was very busy with implementations, consultations, beta tests and more.  In the time since we last posted in this blog, here are some things we've learned about the inner workings of hundreds of childcare centers across America:

1. Task management methods in nearly all of the childcare centers we spoke with are still heavily dependent on paper and face-to-face communication.

2. For nearly all of the projects and tasked we were involved in at childcare centers, there was a significant lack of follow through in a timely manner simply because communication relied so heavily on paper and meetings. For example, we attended weekly staff meetings at a number of centers for which we are engaged in technology projects and, we tracked the progress of projects and duties assigned to various cent…
Childcare Center Star Ratings Why Having No Website Or A Basic Website Can Take Away From The Credibility A Center's Star Rating 
By Kimberly Newman, Customer Success Leader @enrollsmartAs we have been helping customers in states that have star ratings and star-rated licenses for their childcare centers, we've noticed that many of these centers do not have a website at all or have an outdated site.
However, in an informal survey of parents seeking childcare arrangements, one of the first things that a parent looks at from a center's Google Listing or Facebook page is whether or not the center not only has a website but, a professional website.
It seems that design equals credibility is the feedback that we have received so often when speaking with parents. One parent commented: 
"If a business a cheap looking website or doesn't have one at all, it really makes me wonder about them because I want to know more about their services before I call them, and I want to do a…
Owner Talk:  Why a Professional Website Was Important For My Centerby Jim Shields @enrollsmartThis blog post covers the end of a brief phone conversation with Jen Kelly, Owner of First Step Academy in Independence, MO as to why a getting a professional website was important for her childcare center. Jen is an Enrollsmart client.
Jim Shields:  So Jen, tell me why you decided to get a professional website for your center?

Jen: Well, the truth is that it makes my business more credible.  When people search for childcare in my area using Google or Facebook, it looks much more professional if they are able to visit my website rather than just call me. Plus, with the online services such as payments and paperless enrollment my website lets me offer, I make things easier for myself. Not to mention all the money I'm saving.

Jim Shields: Was your website expensive? 

Jen:  Yes, the original site was expensive but, truthfully, you guys are offering so much more for just $39 a month.  Let's …
Our Paper Records Were Potentially Toxic and Weighed Nearly 2,500 Poundsby Jim Shields @enrollsmart
In many states, childcare providers are required to maintain child admission records and other child enrollment documents for 3-7 years after a child has left the provider's facility.  I'm not sure about other centers, but 5 years worth of records for the centers we operated took up a lot of space and they were very heavy.   I'm sure that most center owners/directors can attest to how challenging it can be to maintain child files in file cabinets and to keep active files separated from the files of children who have left the center.  However, what many centers do not realize is the health and financial effects extent of maintaining paper enrollment records at their facility.Before we decided to make our enrollment process paperless, we had a significant number of paper child enrollment files maintained on site.  I noticed that when we created our paperless enrollment process,…
Your Parent-Provider Contract: How an Interactive Website from Enrollsmart Can Help You Enforce It  By Kimberly Newman, Customer Success Leader @enrollsmartRecently, one of our customers had us add his center's Parent-Provider contract to the electronic state forms that we built into his website and, he told us the story why.First, let me explain how our websites are different: We have a library of State-by-State e-Forms that we build into each of our customers' websites and, our e-Forms capture actual signatures and create data files that replace paper files. An electronic version of our e-Forms is delivered to the center Owner/Director each time one is completed. Each form is and its data is saved to the cloud.What this means is that each of the child admission, infant/toddler feeding/care plan, CACFP IEF and, other forms that we include on our customers' websites have every field required for their specific state AND the form requires parents/guardians to actually sign w…