Ever felt like your business was managing you and not the other way around? Child Care Seer helps busy daycare directors get out of the office and where they want to be: working with staff and parents.
It’s a complaint that’s heard frequently in many fields: managers rarely spend any time among employees; they just stay in their office all day. Most managers have the best of intentions, but the reality of the job gets in their way. In fact, research shows that managers spend only 17% of their day managing employees, with less than half of that in active rather than passive supervision. Daycare directors know full well how a plan to get into the classroom later that day can be thwarted by an unplanned event, such as an employee who needs to go home early. In the past, most just accepted that “it is what it is.” Now, Child Care Seer, a cutting-edge daycare management software program, has changed all that.
Karen Inman, director of Callahan Learning Center, says she used to spend hours each week figuring out paper-pencil schedules. Her staff never saw her without her notebook. Now, she simply inputs the information into Child Care Seer and the program does the work for her.
“Other daycare business software programs that are out there allow you put in the children’s information and staff information, but they don’t marry the two. It’s not very coordinated. Seer shows us on a dashboard what children are coming that day, how many staff you need to hold that room, and how to make it all work. It does all the figuring for you that we used to have to do with paper and pencil. Classrooms, lunch breaks, ”Oh darn, this person needs to leave early” - you don’t have to think about it. It’s the easiest software out there to use, ” says Inman.
Child Care Seer also sends an email to staff if there’s been a schedule change, such as the need to come in later or earlier. This frees directors from having to constantly walk around and tell staff about every change in lunch breaks, for example. Staff are instantly informed, and they can also log in to child Care Seer at any time to view classes and schedules. Directors are freed from the mental task of having to keep track of everything, making the job much less stressful and giving them the headspace to devote to other things.
As a result, Inman is free to take part in classroom activities. “Last week, a Pre-K student came up to me and said ‘Miss Karen, are you going to come see our habitats when we’re done making them?’ The class had been working on a creative project where they made animal habitats from paper plates and all sorts of materials. Before, I would never have had the time to share in that excitement.”
Daycare directors can use the dashboard to see the most pertinent information all at once. On one screen, they can see which teachers and students are there and the time they arrived. They can also see the time they were scheduled to arrive and when they are supposed to leave. The visual representation makes it a snap for directors to go back and view trends and to adjust teachers’ schedules as needed to match actual attendance.
“Schedule insights” is another innovative feature that notifies directors of issues that need to be addressed, such as not having a teacher scheduled for a certain classroom at the end of the day. The red dots call attention to a problem so that it can be resolved in advance, rather than causing an emergency later. Directors used to spend a great deal of time scrutinizing the schedule for potential problems-- which realistically, they could only do one day in advance. Now they don’t have to worry about missing something or scrambling to deal with issues at the last minute.
Inman doesn’t have enough fingers to list all the things she can now turn her attention toward since it’s not constantly being dragged away to deal with some aspect of scheduling. She’s training new staff members and mentoring others. She can drop into a classroom at any time to assist a teacher with an activity or to give them a break. Finding the time to complete teacher observations was always a big problem in the past; now it’s no longer an issue. She’s also looking forward to being able to schedule weekly touch-base meetings with individual staff members to find out how things are going.
Inman is also grateful to be able to spend more time with parents and caregivers. “We had a mom who just had a baby and had to drop off her two-year-old every day. I was really glad that I had the time to go out to the car every morning and help get her child inside, so that she didn’t have to come in, especially during these days of COVID-19. Before Child Care Seer, I would have been in my office working on some scheduling issue for the day.” She can also spend more time with parents that are new to the center, explaining programs and showing them around, or conferencing with a parent.
Possibly the most important benefit of the childcare management software is freedom. As Inman says, “It allows you to be the program manager instead of the program managing you.”
About Child Care Seer
Software that automates everything for your daycare, pre-school, early education learning center, or after-school learning program.