Implementing a Childcare Management System (CCMS) software can completely transform your childcare center and bring it to the next level. You can automate your billing cycle, manage your classroom ratios and digitize your daily notes. When selecting your CCMS software, it can be overwhelming because there are many options out there to choose from, all of which have different functionality and tools. It’s important to assess your options and choose the software that’s right for your center. In this post, we’ll outline the steps to take to choose the childcare management software that fits your center’s needs.
1. Understanding Childcare Management System (CCMS) Software
In case you don’t already know, a CCMS, or childcare management system, is software that helps childcare providers manage their day-to-day operations by automating processes. This software helps centers maintain staff and child records, access financial reporting, monitor attendance, supervision, and scheduling, communicate with families and staff, and audit the health of the center.
2. Assess Your Challenges
A crucial step to finding the CCMs right for you and your center is figuring out what your challenges and requirements are. The best way to do this is meet with your team and every stakeholder who might interact with or benefit from your software. Your team, along with parents and families, will be able to offer feedback on their current frustrations and what they would like to see made easier. For a more detailed look into how to assess your needs, check out Kangarootime’s guide to assessing your needs.
3. Financial Considerations
Once you’ve established what you need in a software, it’s time to take into account different considerations. Financially, software companies differ in their offerings. Some offer one-time fees while others have monthly payments. Some companies will even charge additional fees for support or the implementation process. A good way to compare different softwares is by scheduling software demos with different vendors.
4. Schedule a Demo
A demo will give you an overview of the interface and experience of the software you’re looking at. This will help you decide if you like the look and feel of it and if it could add value to your center. There’s certain questions you should be asking on demos to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. We outlined common questions to ask on a software demo here. Once you’ve completed your demos and compiled your information, you’re ready to make your decision.
5. Make Decisions
When making your decision, meet with your team and stakeholders to get their feedback while it’s fresh in your mind. You can also go a step further and connect with your network to ask for any software recommendations. Once you’ve had your discussions, you’ll be able to see which software provides your center with the most value by taking into account their features, customer service, cost, and implementation process. Congratulations on your new CCMS!