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Student Registration Made Easy: 3 Steps Before & After Care Program


Unlock The Secrets to Parent-Led Registration and Simplify the Way You Run Your Before & Afterschool Program.

Currently, there are about 8 million children enrolled in after school programs across the country. And nearly another 25 million that are not enrolled in these programs.

Massive unmet demand for before and after care is causing major issues for families. “Our choices are either after-care or my husband forfeits his job, which really isn’t tenable for us,” said Liz Baltaro, a family medicine doctor and mother of twin boys

If you’re an after school care provider, we don’t have to tell you demand is booming.

Every winter and spring, new students come rushing in. Amid a flurry of emails and enrollment paperwork, your team has to service them all, providing fast answers to capacity questions and a detailed registration process that captures the right information quickly.

In this guide, we’ll reveal three key steps towards a parent-led registration process that frees up more time for your site staff. 

Why automate your after school program registration process?

Parents like Liz see after care as central to their family’s wellbeing. And for good reason.

Out-of-School Time (OST) programs give working parents peace of mind and are linked to a host of positive outcomes for children, including higher grades and attendance rates. That’s without even mentioning the extra time for learning, homework help, and social and emotional development.

But in many districts, deliverability remains a challenge. 💪

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Here's what we know about the after school care market:

After school care delivers value to families and communities:

A majority of parents surveyed say after care helps their child

Untitled (50 x 50 px)   build social skills
 
Untitled (50 x 50 px) (1)   provides time for physical activity
 
Untitled (50 x 50 px) (2)   connects their child with caring         adults

Demand for programs outpaces supply:

 
Untitled (50 x 50 px) (4)   program providers
 
 
Are concerned about their ability to meet demand for programs.

Hiring remains a challenge:

Around half of providers surveyed are extremely concerned about staffing shortages.

 

In the world of childhood education, it doesn’t get much better than a strong after school program.

But in order to deliver the experience families are looking for, you can’t afford for your program managers to be running around chasing parents for forms.

Despite the hiring challenges, nearly 40% of childcare businesses surveyed by LineLeader say they are planning to add multiple new locations this year. To meet the demand for quality care, providers must deliver a fast and seamless registration process—one they can scale.

1. Streamline Your Capacity Planning

If you’re like most providers, you may have a small two- or three-person team managing the entire registration process, with little visibility into program capacity.

And sure, Google docs may be user-friendly enough for parents, but your team is still going to need to put in quite a bit of manual work in order to get everything logged.

During busy seasons, the compound effect on your staff’s workload can be damaging. And things can get messy quickly if you’re not all on the same page about how full your programs actually are.

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For better capacity planning, set up your registration process to answer the following questions: 

How close to full are we?

Parents and families expect a quick response about whether there’s an open spot, or if they’ll need to make other arrangements. Directors should be able to view program ratios in real-time to see how close to full you are at each site and whether you’ll need more staff.

Do I have all the right enrollment information?

To get forms back as fast as possible, make sure your system doesn’t require parents to go back in and change their information multiple times. Update your enrollment forms with required fields for emergency contacts, signed consent, agreements, medical info, and more, so you can collect all details at one time and place.

How will we keep waitlisted families updated?

By automating the enrollment process in the same place where you keep your waitlists, you can automatically send out emails and updates to let parents know when slots are available.

How does capacity shift and change over time?

With a scalable and consistent registration process, you’ll be able to pinpoint patterns and optimize enrollment across multiple sites and programs. Use your data to forecast enrollment ratios, trends, and annual profit.

Pillar Page - Square Images (1)

Pillar Page Icons (4) For every child enrolled in after school, three are waiting for an available program. But no matter how high demand gets, parents shouldn’t have to scramble to get the after care they need.

Pillar Page Icons (5)Today 50% of childcare professionals say only half or fewer of their families re-enroll after the first year.

Pillar Page Icons (6)With a streamlined digital system, you can enroll families faster, making sure their information is up-to-date and accurate in a matter of minutes instead of days.

Pillar Page Icons (7)With a streamlined digital system, you can enroll families faster, making sure their information is up-to-date and accurate in a matter of minutes instead of days.

2. Simplify Add-On Registration and Billing

Additional auxiliary programs like spring break camps, soccer, and piano are great for diversifying your revenue. But can be terrible in terms of all the manual admin tasks that come along with them.

You may have hundreds or even thousands of kids enrolled in your routine programs, each with their own set of add-on programs and payments.

To make life easier for both your staff and families, use a centralized registration process that allows parents to sign up, add programs, and pay fees all at the same time and place.

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Here are some of the key considerations for a registration process that works for both your regular and additional programs:

Is there an easy way to charge for additional programs?

Your registration and payment process should make it easy to charge monthly for your regular programs, and by session for camps and add-on activities.

Is it easy for guardians to make changes?

Parents shouldn’t have to email or call a staff member just to change their street address, update their billing, or modify their child’s schedule. Unlike a Google Doc or paper-based forms, an online registration portal should be parent-friendly and accessible at any time.

How long will it take to set up parent billing?

Your team should be able to add families as needed, with digital tools that make it easy for families to add and pay for programs and get all forms completed quickly.

How many people need to help manage this?

If you have multiple sites with multiple auxiliary programs, funneling everything through a central two-person team can get hectic. With advanced roles and permissions, you don’t need your site staff to manage everything themselves.

Pillar Page Icons (8)For nearly a third of childcare businesses, managing enrollment paperwork is one of the top three manual tasks eating up the majority of their time.

Pillar Page Icons (9)And while school information systems like PowerSchool and Aeries are great at what they do, they simply weren’t built to manage your after school programs the way you want to. Even if you manage to put a workable ad hoc process in place, it’s not likely to save your team time or provide parents with the best possible experience.
 
Pillar Page Icons (10)Whether a parent wants to add a nine-week session, or sign up just for weeks one, five, and six—the right system will make it easy for them to select and pay for the programs they need.
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3. Give the Right Staff the Right Access

Last but not least, your admins should have everything they need in one central place.

If your after care registration and enrollment process is a patchwork system that forces them in and out of docs, spreadsheets, and your SIS, it’s easy for opportunities to get missed.

Same goes for your site team. They’re there to manage operations and ensure a positive experience for children. Not juggle registration admin.

With the right access permissions in place, you can take the manual gruntwork off their plates and hand the job over to area managers or enrollment teams who have the authority to adjust billing plan enrollments, schedule changes, and issue refunds.

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Here are the main points to think about when determining who has access to what:

Can I hand over different parts of the registration process to different team members?

Everyone on your team has a job to do. Configure your system with customizable roles and permissions to make sure the right people are in charge of the right steps in your registration process.

Can I see how each site and program is performing?

For providers with dozens or hundreds of sites, there are massive opportunities lying largely untapped in your data. The right registration process will centralize all your enrollment data in one unified system, instead of having to log in and out of multiple platforms to gather data from multiple locations.

How hard is it for my team to learn?

Training an after care team across hundreds of locations is a daunting challenge for anyone. The right registration process will make it easy for the team to get trained quickly and effectively, no matter how many different personalities you're dealing with.

Our annual benchmark survey found that almost a third of teams spend one full day per week on paperwork, lesson plans, and reporting. Imagine what your admins and program managers could do with an additional 7-9 hours per week.

With the right team members in the right seats, you can make it easy for staff and parents to stick to the policies and guidelines that protect your business.

You can also make sure families get fast responses and immediate assistance, by automatically sending their inquiries straight to your enrollment specialists.

Finally, you can track the success of your revamped registration process by comparing enrollment and revenue data across multiple sites, without having to spend hours creating clunky Excel reports.

 

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Make Parent-Led Registration a Reality

Your site teams and program managers have other things to do besides guiding parents through the registration process—especially when there are digital tools that can make it easy for parents to do 90% of the registration work in a fraction of the time.

But many after care organizations are still finding their tipping point with technology.

To streamline operations and increase staff productivity, look for a registration system that can help you:

Pillar Page Icons (11)  Clarify your capacity

 

Pillar Page Icons (11)  Simplify add-on registration and billing

 

Pillar Page Icons (11)  Give you more control over your multisite enrollment strategy

When you’re ready to elevate your after school program registration process, LineLeader is here to help.

Through a combination of real-time capacity planning, automated enrollment processes, and advanced roles and permissions, you’ll have everything you need for a parent-led registration process that makes signup easy. 

Discover the power of technology in revolutionizing childcare management. With 69% of education professionals already benefiting from streamlined tasks and time savings, it's time to join the wave.

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Additional Resources

For more information on specific childcare resources regarding marketing tools, campaigns, tips, and best practices - see below.

1. Learn hidden secrets no one tells you about starting a childcare business.

 

2. See how to operate in childcare licensing excellence to boost enrollment.

 

3. Beth Fiori of Tiny Treasures provides expert tips. check out ways to improve your business plan for daycare with enhanced waitlist management.

4. Discover tips to maintain the best childcare center on the block.

 

5. Gain advice for strengthening your daycare staff culture. 

 

6. Learn the benefits of building a daycare business plan, at a glance. 

LineLeader Video Resources