Gone are the days of paperwork pile-ups, today digital is the new king.
From boosting enrollment to tracking back-end operations, the tools available today are designed to elevate your child care business and make it easier to focus on the important things, like the kids and families in your care.
And there’s never been a better time to go digital.
“If the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns have shown schools and early childhood education centers anything, it’s the need to quickly adapt their practices to digital platforms,” says Dr. Erica Vernold Miller, CEO at Professor Patty Cake Consulting.
But the one fault with all this new tech is there’s just so darn much of it—and finding the right tools that work for you takes time.
That’s why we’ve developed a list of the best tried-and-tested tools to bring your ECE business to the next level, and make life easier for the whole team.
Check it out!
Transparency is the name of the game with this tool. As “The Most Trusted Camera System in Child Care”, Watch Me Grow Anywhere is the go-to option for secure video streaming. Parents can log-in to see what their kids are up to, and know they’re being looked after throughout the day.
With Watch Me Grow Anywhere you can:
Here’s how the folks over at Watch Me Grow Anywhere describe themselves:
We’ve led the industry for 20 years and we know what works. Our suite of tools is designed to support the business needs of childcare centers. Delight your families, train your staff, secure your facility, and run your business better. The privacy of children and your data is critical to your business; thus, your data and video security are crucial. WatchMeGrow is the most secure streaming video option in child care.
Top feature: Watch Me Grow Anywhere’s mobile app allows administrators to log on and manage accounts from anywhere, any time.
Cost: Their monthly fee is based on the individual school’s requirements. You can ask for a quote via their website.
Mailchimp is the first-choice for an all-in-one marketing tool. They’ve been on the scene since 2001 and have millions of customers around the world. Designed as an alternative to expensive email software, Mailchimp now offers website hosting and social media support. It’s a scalable tool suitable for all companies large and small.
With Mailchimp ECE pros can:
Here’s what Mailchimp has to say:
We were a small business once too. And we've always done things a little differently. That's why we built Mailchimp to give you the tools you need to go from idea to success story, entirely your own way. It's everything we wish we had way back when, to help you do your thing today.
Top feature: Mailchimp’s new Creative Assistant uses powerful AI technology to get to know your brand and create custom designs just for you.
Cost: The basic plan is free and allows up to 2K contacts and one audience type.
If you’ve been in this business long, you know it’s all about customer experience and Child Care CRM is exactly what it sounds like: The industry’s go-to customer relationship management tool. It was designed specifically for child care centers to help you offer superior support to your families. With automated email campaigns, lead tracking, waitlist management and more, this tool has everything you need to keep enrollment on track.
With Child Care CRM, you can:
What Child Care CRM say about the tool:
Our CRM software empowers childcare centers to attract families, increase enrollment, and stand out from the pack. We automate the marketing and sales process so you can get back to what’s most important—caring for your enrolled families.
Top feature: For administrators responsible for multiple locations, Child Care CRMs reporting dashboards can offer you a simple bar graph for a quick overview of where each location stands with their leads.
Cost: Pricing varies based on the number of centers and students. You can schedule a demo via their website to learn more.
CTA: Ready to take your parent communication to the next level? Start your free MomentPath trial and try out our new Health Check Moment app today!
Asana is one of the most powerful project management tools around, offering a flexible dashboard where you can map out all your tasks in one place. Lightbridge Academy CIO Ben Blake gave us his review: “Asana is super easy to adapt to, and you can make it crystal clear what the steps are. It's such a great system that I took all of my IT projects for Lightbridge Academy and put them all into Asana. Now, that's how I manage every one of my days as well as the overall road map.”
According to Ben, it’s also great for keeping the entire team on the same page. “I also use Asana to create agendas for keeping each of my peers informed throughout projects related to them. I simply create a new project for each meeting series and associate the related tasks. Everyone is kept up to date.”
With Asana ECE pros can:
What Asana say:
Asana's mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly. We’re building a product that empowers teams to track their work—and produce great results. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved—Asana is already one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies ever. We’re even more proud of what our customers have accomplished with Asana, and we’re excited to empower new teams every day.
Top feature: See your projects in a way that suits you with either timeline, kanban or list view.
Cost: Asana’s basic package is free, while the premium package is just $10.99 per month.
Quickbooks is the automated accounting tool that makes every ECE leader’s life easier. With over 7M customers worldwide, it’s no surprise these guys are our first choice when it comes to tracking finances.
With Quickbooks ECE pros can:
What Quickbooks say:
No need to be an accounting expert. QuickBooks keeps everything organized in one place, so you’re tax ready all the time. Easy-to-read reports and dashboards help you make smarter business decisions.
Top feature: Auto Payroll gets rid of payday admin stress and automatically calculates, files and pays federal and state payroll taxes.
Cost: Quickbooks offer two packages: Essentials ($40 per month) and Plus ($70 per month).
With Gusto you can roll up all your payroll, onboarding and benefit tasks into one tool. With over 100K customers, Gusto is known for it’s easy-to-use features and visual dashboards. (We use it for our team at MomentPath and we absolutely love it!)
With Gusto ECE pros can:
What Gusto say:
Launched in 2012 as ZenPayroll, Gusto serves more than 100,000 businesses nationwide. Each year we process tens of billions of dollars of payroll and provide employee benefits—like health insurance and 401(k) accounts—while helping companies create incredible work places. Through one refreshingly easy, integrated platform, we automate and simplify your payroll, benefits, and HR, all while providing expert support. You and your employees will get the peace of mind you need to do your best work.
Top feature: Help employees make the most of their paychecks with Gusto’s financial planning features, like Gusto Wallet app, Gusto Cashout, and 401(k) retirement savings plans.
Cost: Gusto has several plans to cater to different sized companies. Their basic plan starts at $19 per month, while the Concierge plan is a more hefty $149 per month for access to the full services.
If you want to go deeper on the people front (and we highly recommend that you do) BreezyHR is the best all-in-one hiring tool for a smooth hiring process from sourcing to interviews. As one of the most popular applicant tracking systems around, Breezy knows their stuff when it comes to hiring—and the proof is in the process, which is as simple and stress-free as recruitment can get.
With Breezy ECE pros can:
What Breezy say:
Building a great team is hard. Using a hiring tool shouldn't be. Breezy gives you & your team the power to build & optimize your hiring process, whatever the size.
Top feature: Show candidates you care with Breezy’s self-scheduling tool, and allow them to choose an interview time that works best for them.
Cost: Breezy’s Bootstrap package is free for one active position and one candidate pool. The next step up is their Startup package ($143 per month) and then the Business package ($399 per month).
Sapling is an HR information system focused on people over process. With options to amplify your people power, connect teams wherever they are, and unify your global data in a single system, Sapling is definitely one of the top HRIS options for child care providers.
With Sapling ECE pros can:
What Sapling say:
Sapling is a People Operations platform that manages everything from onboarding to offboarding. The partner of choice for People leaders who care about employee experience, retention, and creating an amazing culture for the most successful teams.
Top feature: Sapling’s smart integration features mean you can pull all your hiring data from your applicant tracking system in one click.
Cost: Sapling’s packages start at $6 per person per month.
Wepow is a true video interviewing hero. The easy-to-use tool allows you to connect with candidates wherever they are, with pre-recorded and live video options. What’s not to love?
With Wepow you can:
What Wepow say:
Experience a new way to connect with candidates and enjoy all the benefits of consistent, structured interviews. Our video interview technology not only streamlines the interview process, it levels the playing field for candidates. When combined with real-time evaluation tools, Wepow helps you increase objectivity in your recruiting process and reduce hiring bias.
Top feature: Wepow can be integrated with a ton of applicant tracking systems, making your hiring process smoother than ever.
Cost: Wepow offers a free trial, and the ongoing cost is dependent on your business size.
Great preschool tools exist to make your life easier.
From maximizing employees’ time with smooth admin processes, to increasing parent communications and family retention, the impacts of exceptional technology are priceless.
But remember, the key to a truly streamlined ECE business is to not only choose great preschool tools that fit your needs, but also to make sure they can be integrated under one roof.
With the right tools, the possibilities are endless.
Ready to streamline your ECE systems all in one place? Join the thousands of child care centers already optimizing their processes with MomentPath today!