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5 Reasons Digitizing Your Childcare Business Is Easier Than You Think


Save Valuable Time by Digitizing Your Center Management and Enrollment Journey

Manage your childcare centers, hands-free.

Look around your workspace right now. Do you see stacks of papers? Sticky notes clinging for dear life to your computer monitor? File cabinets hiding disorganized documents from the year who-knows-when?

 

If any of this feels familiar, it could be time to digitize.

 

From video rentals to grocery shopping, every major industry has undergone its share of digital transformation — and childcare is no exception. 

 

Our research at LineLeader has found that top-performing childcare centers are already using automation to achieve an average enrollment conversion rate of 91%. And the benefits of digitization don’t stop there.

 

However, for every win with automation, our report also found an often large and untapped opportunity for greater growth by leveraging digital tools across the entire childcare journey — from enrollment to re-enrollment.

 

As with so many industries before, the childcare centers of the future will be those that take early action to embrace digital transformation for the benefit of their staff, families and the young children in their care.

 

The best part? Digitizing your childcare centers doesn’t have to be nearly as tough as you might think.

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What does it actually mean to digitize your childcare business?

When we say “digitize” we’re not just talking about using email or updating your website. 

Digitization can transform your childcare organization from A to Z, freeing up valuable time for your staff and putting families at the center of your work where they belong.

Here is just a snapshot of the many manual processes that could be better handled digitally:

  • Automated lead communications to reduce time spent following up with new leads
  • Digital tour calendar to stop the scheduling back-and-forth
  • Digital registration packets and automated reminders so you never have to chase down forms or payments again
  • Automated daily reports via app or email, no more manual paper sheets
  • Contactless check-in for a quicker, easier drop-off experience
  • Standardized curriculum and development milestones to reduce confusion among parents and guardians
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In an age when 30% of Gen Z has never even written a check, manual processes just can’t deliver the seamless experience families have come to expect. 

Paper-based enrollment, crinkled-up daily sheets, paper checks — all of this and more can be replaced with easy digital alternatives. With the right childcare experience platform, digitization can also give you everything you need to run your business all in one place.

5 reasons going digital is (much) easier than you think

1) It's what families want (what they really, really want)

In this day and age, parents and guardians do not want to fish through sticky backpacks for paper reports. Technology is already a central part of our everyday lives and with the rise in Millennial and Gen Z parents. So, using technology in your childcare business is no longer an option — it's a must. 

Despite many centers finding early success with automation, the entire enrollment to re-enrollment experience often leaves a lot to be desired:

  • Too much time is wasted on data entry and manual processes.
  • A lot of funds are spent on paper forms, printing, and postage.
  • Families receive irregular emails with general updates
  • Families get a crumpled-up paper report in their child’s bag each day that they may (but probably won't) see
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With this much room for improvement, many of today’s families (and staff) aren’t getting the experience they crave.

And unfortunately, that adds up to lower retention rates. In fact, our 2023 Benchmark Report found that less than 30% of families re-enroll for care. That means up to 70% of your revenue could be walking out the door at the end of each school year.

Today’s digitally native families want a simplified customer experience. They want everything related to their child in one place where they can instantly message your team, pay their bill, and check their child in and out of your center each day.

Fortunately, an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly childcare app can help you meet modern families where they are by giving them everything they need for their child’s care straight on their mobile device. 

By combining your childcare enrollment, management, and engagement systems into one streamlined digital center — you make it easy for parents and caregivers to get the information they need when they need it.

Download the guide to stay up to date on the latest industry news, trends and best practices for growing and managing your childcare business.

2) Because families are tired of being ignored...

Did you know response time is the single largest driver of lead conversion?

But despite that fact, lead follow-up often falls to the bottom of the to-do list for busy childcare teams.

That’s understandable considering that every day, staff members hop in and out of six or more systems playing phone tag with families, manually sending out text messages, and navigating incoming emails — and they have to do it all between snack time, storytime, and nap time.

With systems this time-consuming, it’s no wonder 90% of childcare centers don’t respond to leads right away

Don’t let families walk out the door before they’ve even set foot inside your center. Make your prospective families feel seen and heard.

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With the right childcare experience platform, converting leads is seamless: 

  • Self-serve features like tour scheduling allow families to choose the times that work for them straight from your website or social media pages.
  • Once an inquiry is sent or a tour is scheduled, you can instantly send an automated follow-up via email or text message to let them know they’re all set. 
  • After the tour, automatic personalized reminders help you keep in touch with families until they’re ready to enroll.
  • When that moment arrives, your platform will automatically send out your digital enrollment forms for families to complete and submit.

Digital tools help deliver a responsive experience no matter where your leads are coming from.

Nearly 30% of top-converting centers integrate their childcare CRM with Facebook to follow up with inquiries faster and another 68% have call recording enabled to capture phone leads. 

Whether a lead comes in via phone call, Facebook, online directories, or your website — you and your team will have one central place where all your communications are personalized and sent, without staff members having to lift a finger.

A fully-digitized enrollment system lets you centralize and automate your entire lead capture process so that you can count yourself among the small number of top-performing centers using digital tools to give childcare customers the attention they deserve and achieve a 91% conversion rate along the way.

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3) For Millennial and Gen Z families, personalization is the rule NOT the exception.

64% of Gen Z consumers believe brands should provide a personalized experience. And with Millennials, brand loyalty increases by 28% after receiving personalized experiences.

Centers that meet this demand will succeed in driving more enrollments in the future. But with the number of high-engagement centers still under 50%, there is plenty of room for you to stand out here too.

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According to our findings:

  • Only 42% of childcare professionals send updates about children's development 2-3 times per week.
  • Just 32% of childcare businesses consistently communicate with enrolled families at least once a day.

Without digital tools to personalize and automate family engagement for you, it’s easy for busy team members to make embarrassing mistakes, like accidentally calling parents or students the wrong name, mismatching children and their guardians, or worse — overlooking a child's allergies and medical concerns.

That’s the exact opposite experience that today’s families are expecting.

In fact, 76% of customers say they become frustrated when personalization is lacking. And frustrated families ≠  increased enrollment.

With the right childcare management system, you can transform mundane manual tasks into a personalized childcare experience that builds confidence, trust, and loyalty for your center. All of which can help drive down family attrition and keep re-enrollments strong.

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4) Your team members are tech natives too.

Like the families they serve, a growing number of childcare workers are also tech natives. Millennial and Gen Z team members aren’t afraid of software. They appreciate the time-saving benefits digital tools can provide.

So why are over 50% of childcare professionals spending 10+ hours every week on tasks that could be automated?

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Your teachers and team members already have a hard job. With dated, disjointed software, they have to juggle additional difficulties like:

  • Writing daily reports by hand
  • Manually replying to every new inquiry
  • Wasted time with back-and-forth emails and calls
  • Manual processes for paperwork and reporting
  • No easy way to communicate with families in real-time
  • Endless to-do lists without enough time to complete them

Digitization solves this problem by giving your team a seamless way to communicate with families and team members. Expertly improve your staff experience.

Instead of wondering if parents actually see and read their manually written daily reports, teachers can share real-time updates via a modern family engagement app that syncs directly with the same system they use for enrollment and curriculum management. 

Our research found that 65% of childcare professionals say hiring and retention are important for their business goals. If the recent staffing crisis has taught us anything, it’s that your team members want to feel supported.

Digitizing your businesses shows them you care about how they spend their time at your center every day. With easy two-way communication, staff members can save time and be confident knowing that their classroom activities are being seen, appreciated, and actively reinforced at home. 

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5) Leaders need to meet (and beat!) revenue goals.

35% of childcare businesses say it takes an average of three to six days for families to pay tuition fees. And this is likely due (in no small part) to the fact that 66% of centers still rely on collecting physical checks and cash onsite.

Automated billing is not only a game-changer for meeting revenue goals quickly — today’s families actually prefer it. Millennial parents use tools like Venmo, Zelle, and other cash apps on the daily — and 40% say they prefer self-service to human contact with businesses. 

By digitizing your billing and invoicing process and allowing parents to pay automatically with no re-authentication or re-login required, you make it easy for families to take care of outstanding payments themselves in a matter of minutes. Discover additional tips to meet revenue goals.

To really make the most of automated billing, use digital tools that help you increase flexibility in how you bill. For example, if there’s an upcoming field trip, you’ll want a solution that makes it easy to charge individual profiles or entire groups. In LineLeader Manage, families can even adjust their own autopay preferences.

Subsidies shouldn’t trip up your billing management solutions either. Use a digital platform that allows you to connect various types of subsidies to a child’s profile in minutes, not hours.

More time and more money? ​​The math is clear — digitizing your billing is good for business. 

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Make digitization a breeze with LineLeader.

It’s not only possible to take your entire childcare business digital, but it’s also necessary — and you don’t have to spend your life savings or dedicate months to training your team to make it happen.

With a childcare experience platform that streamlines the process from enrollment to re-enrollment, digitizing your organization can be simple for everyone involved. 

Because the future of childcare is about people, not technology. If we want to nurture a generation of curious adults bold enough to change the world, we need to free our educators and caregivers to be the best they can be. It's no wonder why your families and staff crave digital options.

A digital-first approach can help make that happen.

At LineLeader, we want to empower early learning leaders, teachers, and staff to provide an excellent experience to the families you serve and the young children in your care. With the first-ever end-to-end childcare experience platform, childcare businesses get one platform, with one login where users can easily find any information they need on the families in their community.

Get a personalized LineLeader demo to learn how one easy-to-use digital product can transform your childcare business.

LineLeader Laptop Mock Up

Download the guide to stay up to date on the latest industry news, trends and best practices for growing and managing your childcare business.

Resources to help you run your childcare business.

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1. Learn why today's families crave digital options.

 

2. Discover why prospective families are fed up with being ignored.

 

3. See how to meet & beat revenue goals

4. Uncover what to look for in your dream childcare management system.

 

5. Expertly improve your staff experience

LineLeader Video Resources

Introducing LineLeader, the only unified childcare platform that delivers full-featured customer relationship management (CRM) software, family engagement app, and childcare management software (CMS)—together in one solution.

 

Check out our helpful video resources below! 👇