Posts

The Car Seat Problem at Medium-Sized and Small Childcare Centers by Jim Shields @enrollsmart
In medium-sized and small childcare centers, parents are transporting their children back and forth from home in a variety of ways.  We witnessed it over the years.  For example, a parent and his children may ride the bus to the childcare center to drop off in the morning but, an aunt may be picking the children up from the center by car that evening.  In my experience, even when parents ride the bus or get a ride to pick up or drop off their children, they often leave a car seat so that another person can transport their children (relative, spouse, friend).Car seats are always a good thing for safe transportation. Storing them at your center may be necessary to support your families, however, it's not always such an easy thing and, here's why:Pests - We (literally) had to halt service to a customer once because everything they brought from home was infested with insects; even the box …
2 Reasons Waiting Lists Are A Myth For Medium-Sized and Small Childcare Centersby Kimberly Newman @enrollsmartIn the childcare business, we often hear talk about "waiting lists" and centers being "full." Though I understand the concept of a center being "full," I never really understood the reasoning behind a medium-sized or small childcare center saying it has a "waiting list."   First, let me clarify one thing, yes, a center can have a "waiting list" for infant care.  Infant care is always in high demand.  In fact, we viewed our infant space as our "anchor" space because available infant space was often the key to attracting multi-child families.Fast forward to today and, with the current cost of childcare, it's pretty safe to say that many families will try to avoid having more than one child in childcare at a time; at least that's the trend we've seen.Now, as far as a waiting list goes, even if you collect de…
3 Reasons Your Childcare Center Needs Social Media Policies for Parents and Staff By Kimberly Newman @enrollsmartWhen we operated our childcare centers, social media was on the rise.  We became well-versed in the use of social media and online reviews because we could see the coming impact that these two phenomena would have on our business.  Today, there is no escaping social media and online reviews; they are everywhere.We knew that we could not fully control how social media impacted our business but we learned from experience why it was important for us to have clear policies and practices around social media for both our staff and our clients.One unfortunate experience comes to mind when I think of why we developed our social media policy:  We had a staff person who took photos of a couple of children and posted them on Facebook.  Now, apparently, this staff person had gone to school with the father of the children and, he would pick them up from one of the centers on a regular ba…
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How Morning Health Checks Including Temperature Readings Reduced Our Illness Rates By As Much As 75%  By Kimberly Newman @enrollsmartDuring one particular year, we had a significant amount of child and staff illness. This was despite following the 3-Step Method (Wash, Rinse, Sanitize) for all of our dishes, sanitizing toys and cots and, washing sheets and blankets, regularly.This was a very frustrating time and, we decided to do something different to combat our illness rates.  We were already conducting morning health checks when children arrived each day but, we were not taking the children's temperature upon arrival.  In looking at and tracking the trend of illness that was occurring at our center, we noted that spikes in body temperature usually preceded a child going home sick and then other children and, staff calling out sick.We decided to add two things to our morning health process that proved highly effective in reducing the illness rates among children and staff at the c…
3 Reasons Small/Medium-Sized Childcare Centers Need a Website and Online Enrollment By Jim Shields @enrollsmart
During the 15 years that I was involved in the ownership and management of childcare centers, we processed thousands of applications for childcare and, hundreds of applications for employment.  The phone was constantly ringing because we used radio to promote our childcare centers and, people were always calling to inquire about childcare availability and jobs; that was a good thing.We ended up with call logs and mountains of notes on our desks with call-back numbers and, names, ages of children, hours of care needed, potential staff, etc.  We even had a website with a downloadable enrollment form and, people could apply for jobs at our website.   The bad thing was that, for all of the phone calls and "walk-in" notes we had accumulated, we didn't have enough usable electronic data to make it easier for us to make decisions or demonstrate to potential center buyer…
2 Things To Consider Before Letting Your Teachers Use Their Mobile Devices In Small/Medium-Sized Centers 😐👀 By Kimberly Newman, Customer Success Leader @enrollsmart
Technology is everywhere today.  In my opinion, it has its place in the classroom; on a "measured" basis. We used a fantastic service called Letsgolearn.com (No, this is not a commercial for LGL) that worked out well for our Pre-K program.  We used LGL  on desktop computers and, the children, staff, and parents really valued it. That was around the time the smartphone revolution was beginning to take off (circa 2007). Fast forward to today and, nearly everyone has a smartphone. We got quite a bit of experience dealing with smartphones in our childcare centers and with our van drivers.  We had to develop policies around smartphone use and, our policy was this:   Smartphones were NOT to be used on the premises. PERIOD (with the exception of drivers and management).  Today, we see all these various preschool/childcar…
3 Steps I Took to Manage Staff Absences In My Small and Medium-Sized Childcare Centers  By Kimberly Newman, Customer Success Leader @enrollsmart
When we closed our childcare centers after 15 years in business, we had a lot of stories to share; both good and bad.  Each day in the childcare business takes on a different shape but, one of the things that shape a day most is whether you will be fully staffed. After all, your customers are counting on you to be adequately staffed. In fact, many parents are not only entrusting you with their children, they are entrusting with their livelihood.  Like any other business, childcare centers have workers that will "call-out" or request time off in advance.  When a staff person "calls-out" in childcare, it is not only annoying, but it can put the center out of compliance.  Additionally, uncertainty about staff reliability can be a significant barrier to a childcare center meeting its enrollment goals and, as a result, the abilit…