Business development

Choosing the best childcare app in 5 minutes or less

Spending hours reading childcare app reviews and still not sure which to choose? This should help.
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February 26, 2024
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In a rush? Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • So you need help choosing the best childcare app and management software for your center. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
  • In about 5 minutes, you will feel more confident as you compare and review childcare apps.
  • Learn about all-in-one childcare apps, and why they are the best.
  • Learn some features to look out for and questions to ask in your first demo.

If you’re reading this, you’re either finally ready to make the leap from paper to digital, or you are considering changing to a new childcare management software. We want to make sure you find the best one for you and your center. 

So, where should you start?

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Childcare app reviews: where to start

1. ‍User-friendly technology and 1-to-1 support

Of course, you could start with the technical side of things — like whether the software’s reliable, easy to use, and efficient. After all, if you can’t figure out how all the tools and features within the software work, then it can end up being more trouble than it’s worth.

You should definitely look for a childcare app that feels somewhat intuitive and familiar. Like Famly’s direct messaging, or Newsfeed feature which are similar to popular social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. 

Or, for those who are not as active on social media, look for a childcare software that has a very hands-on support team that offers consistent one-on-one training, especially during onboarding - but not only during onboarding! 

2. Find a company that cares about early childhood education

In the case of child care management software, it’s worth thinking about whether the provider is only invested in the technical aspect of things, or if they truly seem committed to early childhood education, too. 

Take a look at their website, their social media presence, their blog, and user reviews. As you do that, keep an eye out for these key features:

  • Clear communication about future updates, and features in development 
  • Connects with a community of engaged educators who use the platform
  • Asks for user feedback on what to improve, and where to go next
  • Shows an investment in pedagogy, and sharing child development knowledge
  • Offers easily accessible, online resources with articles and advice for educators
  • Expresses clear values on the importance of early childhood education
  • Supports customers in the long term, not just when getting started

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3. Access to additional tools and pedagogical resources 

A childcare software is more than just a technology to help automate and streamline your tasks.  We’ve got to look at it from a pedagogical angle too. 

How do these digital management tools help you upkeep the values you hold as an early childhood educator? Will all the features in the platform make it easier for you to give children the experiences you value most, and that will result in successful skill development? What else do you get when you become a customer? Free articles and activity ideas? A bigger sense of community? That all in one solution is bigger than the software.

These sorts of resources can give you (and your team) new inspiration and ideas to use in your classroom, and to develop your own center. But beyond that, they also speak to the software provider’s investment in early education. Are they here just to provide the system, or are they really thinking more about how children learn, and how we can give children the best early years experience?

Some of these additional resources might be:

As you research your options, it’s worth visiting each provider’s website to explore what resources and information they have to offer, and how recent and relevant it is.

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4. The best childcare app is an all-in-one app

By this I mean, the best childcare app is one that lets you and your staff do all of your day-to-day tasks in one platform. Even more, it should be cloud-based, so that it is updated in real-time across all devices (desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile smartphones).

An all-in-one childcare app is definitely the best option out there. Let me explain what I mean…

An all-in-one childcare app to benefit everyone at your center

As an owner or administrator, you’ve got to remember that this childcare software isn’t just for you, but should boost efficiency in a variety of areas within your center with different needs, and therefore will gain different benefits. 

If the tools you’re using don’t consider everybody’s needs, that’s a sign you should keep looking for a better fit.

As you review different apps and try to find the best one for your childcare center, remember to think about the different people that will benefit from the childcare management software: the administrators, educators, parents and children.

  1. Administrators need to keep the ship on course.
    They’re looking for a software that gives them a better handle on all administrative tasks, including your financial processes so that you can boost your revenue, attendance tracking, and clear data and reports – all so they can continue to enhance the quality of care that you provide. You'll want completely automated billing processes, easy data management and a clean, simple user interface.
  2. Educators deserve digital tools that streamline the tedious, stressful parts of their day.
    Your pick of software should contribute to staff wellbeing and development, so your team can focus on the parts of the job that bring them joy, and what they are best at – supporting the little ones in successful development.
  3. Parents and carers want to feel included.
    Family members want to still feel a part of their children’s development, even when they are in your care. The best childcare app should make teacher-parent communication and family engagement easy, so they feel involved in their child’s learning. Further, by connecting parents via a childcare app, you will enhance families’ sense of community. Video sharing, online payments, and a good parent portal will be key features here.
  4. Children need a learning environment that treats their growth as a holistic process, not a series of boxes and milestones to tick off.
    At the end of the day, everyone wants the best for the children, and a childcare software should help improve the quality of care, and prioritize the children.

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The top 5 questions to ask during a childcare software demo

Once you’ve compared and reviewed enough softwares and have chosen which one you think is best for your center, the next step is to book a demo. 

You can consider this your personal introduction to the platform — you’ll be able to speak one-on-one with a representative, ask questions, and see how these tools help save you and your staff hours each day, and complete all of your tasks more efficiently.

Once you’ve got a demo or conversation scheduled, it’s important to come prepared. These are some of the key questions we would recommend, so you can get a better picture of what this provider’s about, and how they’ll help you in the short term as well as the long run.

  1. How long does it take to get fully onboarded?
  2. What kind of learning and development resources does this platform offer for my educators?
  3. What types of payments can I process through this software, and how easy is it to collect tuition?
  4. Can I configure the platform in a way that makes sense for my center, and the way I run my program?
  5. What is your customer support like? Who can I contact if the staff or the parents at my program have any issues with the platform?

These are just simple questions, but I think you’ll be thrilled and shocked (in a great way!) when you hear all the ways a childcare app can benefit your childcare business.

A more extensive list of features and questions to ask when reviewing childcare apps can be found here.

Hopefully you now have what you need to make a confident choice on the childcare software that’s best for you. And if you’re already looking around — why not start with Famly?

The big ideas

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Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

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UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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