So, Who's Your Backup?

By Jim Shields, Enterprise Architect @enrollsmart

Recently, 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 primary teacher has with their hand-picked backup, it is working out very well.

For example, a teacher was hired for the infant room and designated her daughter as her backup person for scheduled absences and time off. the center's owner interviewed the daughter as well and approved her to serve as her mom's backup.  The daughter already had childcare experience and was in the background check system with fingerprints and everything else she needed because she worked in the Home Health industry.

We designed a technology interface that allows the school to track time off requests and assign substitutes for approved time off just as school districts do and, this is working very well for the center. By working just a little harder at building its staff while investing in technology, the school has made significant progress in reducing turnover and ratio compliance problems.

Jim Shields is Enterprise Architect at Enrollsmart.  Enrollsmart provides operational, financial and web technology to childcare centers. Enrollsmart was built based on more than 15 years of childcare center ownership.  

To learn more about Enrollsmart, visit our childcare center information page at


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