With over 836,139 child care operators in the US, it is crucial for every daycare provider to keep up with the competition. As such, child care operators are always on the lookout for innovative ways to increase operational efficiency and ensure quality service.
Computers and IT solutions are among the most significant technologies that have greatly improved productivity in the childcare industry. However, IT solutions remain a luxury, particularly to small businesses.
In order to use childcare management software, you need to invest in building a decent IT infrastructure, such as computers, servers, database, and internet connections. Once your IT network is established, you need to purchase applicable childcare software, either off-the-shelf or custom software. This will then be installed into your computer, either by yourself or by the developers. Of course, you need to devote time to learn how to use the system.
Every now and then, computers and software will have to be upgraded and/or updated. Unless you have reliable computer troubleshooting skills, you will again need to hire an IT specialist to maintain and upgrade your IT infrastructure. But here’s the catch: at each of these steps, you will have to shell out added expenses. For small-time daycare operators, these expenditures can severely hurt their bottom line.
Fortunately, cloud-based daycare software is making IT solutions cheaper and readily available to smaller enterprises.
Reasons to choose cloud-based childcare software
Also known as web-based software or SaaS (Software as a Service), this model allows users to access software applications hosted remotely from the cloud computing provider’s servers via the Internet.
There’s a myriad of reasons why many daycare providers choose cloud-based childcare management software. Here are some of its key benefits.
1. Instant setup
Cloud-based software applications are not installed onto every computer in the workplace. On-premise installation is not necessary. You also don’t need to download the software or its future updates.
To start using web-based software, you only need to subscribe to the service, follow the registration procedures, select and customize applicable features, and start using the application. Typically, the software will have tools and support to assist you as you start.
The application can be accessed through the Internet with the user’s secure log-in account. Even if the software is not installed onto the hard drive, it works just as if the program is loaded in the computer. Of course, this is dependent on your internet connectivity. But recently, most internet connections provide decent upload and download speeds to ensure uninterrupted operation of cloud-based programs.
2. Access anywhere and anytime
This is the best benefit that cloud-based childcare software offers. Since the software is not tied onto the computer, you can access it wherever and whenever you are. And even when you’re on mobile gadget, you can still use the application as long as you have internet connection.
Anyone with valid log-in details can access the software simultaneously. Cloud-based software can handle multiple users at the same time.
You can continue sending invoices, check daily reports, or update enrollment forms while out of the office. You can track your employees as well as the kids under your care. Continuous monitoring ensures quality service.
3. Always up-to-date
In case data is encoded or a file is updated, these changes are processed in real-time and made available to every team member. If a childcare worker inputs data, this information is communicated immediately to others. Hence, everyone can easily track changes in the care and management of a child. It is also beneficial for parents because they can automatically see updates as they are encoded.
If there are multiple users, all updates are communicated to everyone. This makes collaboration easier and more effective.
4. Cut costs
Web-based childcare software relies on shared computing resources. This means, you don’t need to shell out huge amount on the purchase, installation, upgrade, and maintenance of data servers, hardware, software, and other peripherals. You also save on the cost of hiring an IT professional. Expenses spent on these aspects could mean thousands in revenue.
With cloud-based software, the provider automatically updates the software to ensure its efficiency, ease-of-use, and security. It also comes with IT support to assist you in case of queries or to troubleshoot any problems. All of these are part of the subscription fees.
5. Optimal efficiency
SaaS childcare management software is regularly updated and new features added to ensure optimal efficiency. Usually, vendors will notify users about an upcoming update. Although during this period the application may not be accessible, providers schedule it on off-peak hours. This ensures that updates are hassle-free and won’t affect your operations.
Compared to on-premise applications, deployment of new features is much faster with cloud-based software. You can also find compatible APIs that can be integrated to further boost the functionality of the application.
Running a childcare business entails confidential records of kids and their families. As such, it is just natural to look for a software program that offers optimum security.
Generally, cloud-based software applications have better security architecture, data encryption technology, and risk mitigation and disaster recovery plan. Considering the stringent rules and regulations required on SaaS vendors, you are assured that confidential data are protected. Moreover, the onus of providing top-level security is on the cloud vendors; in case of a major data breach, their business is doomed.
On the other hand, on-premise software is more prone to data breach. This is possible if the hardware (computer or laptop) is hacked or stolen. Usually, these software applications are not updated regularly hence more prone to hacking. And since their code is readily available, they are easier to decode. Hence, on-premise applications are the top targets of cybercriminals.
These are just six of the many reasons why SaaS or cloud-based childcare management software is a leading choice among daycare operators. If you are in search for IT solutions that can automate and streamline your childcare business, you should consider cloud-based software.