Local employers have a stake in the availability of quality child care in their communities. Early childhood programs providing high-quality education and care need a number of tools to build a sustainable business, and supporting providers through in-kind donations is one way local businesses can contribute, whether it’s professional services like marketing or accounting, resources and supplies or technology.
Applied Connective Technologies’ owner Ed Knott is partnering with Albion’s Boone Beginnings child care center where many his employees’ children attend. Like many early childhood programs across Nebraska, Boone Beginnings relies on technology to streamline their business practices, enhance the security and safety of their students and provide parent-child communication throughout the day.
How is technology transforming early childhood care and learning across the state and what are providers’ technology needs?
Child care management software programs help with the daily aspects of running a business, including child enrollment and attendance, student records, tuition billing, payroll, class schedules, calendar, appointments, parent communications and more. Going digital can make a center more efficient, reduce overall administrative costs and ensure child care data is secure and accessible.
Hardware tools used for child care administrative and business needs include:
- Computers or tablets
- Secured local-area network or wireless connection
- Walkie-talkies or cell phones
Enhanced safety and security
When parents are at work, they want to know their children are secure in a safe, nurturing environment. Child care businesses may use the following technology to increase safety:
- Keyless entry systems to monitor and record who enters and exits
- Contactless check-in/out to ensure children are securely in care and checked into the program, without the need for in-person contact
- Audio-video system for additional monitoring of children and staff
Engaging parent-child communications
Parent engagement and client retention go hand-in-hand, and child care centers can leverage interactive communication technologies to build trust and allow parents to stay informed and engaged while their children are in care. This could include sending text notifications and reminders, photos and video of milestones and interactive communications.
Donating equipment and professional expertise to address technology needs of child care programs is an important way local businesses can leverage in-kind resources—often at a lower cost than providers would need to pay directly. And when workers see their employers making meaningful contributions to the child care programs they depend upon, it builds loyalty and commitment. That’s more than just a kind gesture—it’s good business.