Why You Need A Children’s Check-In System

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The KidzMatter Blog/Child Safety/Why You Need A Children’s Check-In System

Electronic children’s check-in has many benefits, including improving child safety and security, creating a better parent experience, providing a positive first impression, increasing communication, and efficiently managing your children’s ministry.

Improving Child Safety
Child safety is vital and certain tracking and safety measures are necessary. You must have accurate records of children checking in and out, know who is picking them up, verify they are authorized to do so, and be aware of allergy or medical concerns. When parents leave their children with you, they entrust you with their safety. Parents want to know the well-being of their children is your top priority. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they are to keep coming back.  

Security Features
A check-in system’s multiple security features immediately create parent peace-of-mind. These include designations of who is and isn’t authorized to pick children up, child allergy warnings and medical alerts, document management options, and the ability to quickly and easily locate and contact parents directly through the system. These elements can be especially helpful in today’s environment and diverse family situations. These at-a-glance details help ensure child safety and that only authorized guardians can pick children up.

Reduce Risk and Liability
A secure children’s check-in system adds layers of protection for the children, your staff, and your organization. Matching unique security codes on parent and child labels and immediate staff access to authorized guardian lists help ensure only those authorized can check children out. Knowing about allergy or medical concerns puts you a step ahead in preventing possible incidents. Electronic document management links key documents, such as waivers, court orders, or incident reports, directly to the associated child for easy record retention. Parent location information and the ability to text from within the check-in system enable quick contact with parents in an emergency.

Positive Parent Experience
First impressions are important! Using an electronic check-in process makes a definitive statement right away that child safety is a top priority. You’re making a statement about your commitment to being efficient, organized, safe, and focused on the children in your care. This makes a powerful first impression, creates parent peace-of-mind, and helps foster a strong relationship with the families. It also makes visitors more likely to return.

Easy Parent Communication
Consistent communication between parents, volunteers, and staff can be difficult if tasks must be done manually. Therefore, multiple communication tools are available within children’s check-in systems. These include individual and broadcast text, email, check-in notes, announcements, and check-in surveys.

Parents can be texted right from the system. Options include individual texts in case of emergency or to provide a quick child update, and broadcast to inform a group simultaneously. Email allows for fast and easy communication of information such as upcoming events and can be sent to all the families, a subset, or an individual. Parent check-in notes allow parents, right at check-in, to add any comments or special instructions they want you to be aware of for that day. Perhaps their child is grumpy, teething, or simply tired. The note will show up on the child’s name badge.  With check-in announcements, you can add a note to share pertinent information for all parents, or individual families, which will be prominently displayed for them to see right on the check-in screen. Check-In Surveys allow you to gather answers to key questions right at check-in.

Mobility is Key
In today’s world, mobile solutions are not only appreciated but expected. Mobile check-in options add flexibility and convenience. Multiple check-in options are available to meet your ministry’s needs. These include check-in computer stations, mobile check-in options with tablet devices, Roster Check-In, and Express Check-In, where parents can check children in using their own smartphone. No waiting in line, no check-in station required, no barcode to scan, no intervention needed from your organization.

Accessible Data
A manual system can make capturing, storing, and reporting important data difficult and cumbersome. This can lead to less of an understanding of where your ministry excels or has challenges; thus affecting support, budget, and overall relevance. Electronic systems include at-a-glance data and reports that automatically gather and extrapolate key data such as family contact information, check-in logs, attendance, ratio tracking, and birthdays. With access to this information, you can analyze trends and better understand what’s going on in your children’s ministry to more effectively follow up, save time, and increase efficiency.

In Case of Emergency
The worst time to plan is during an emergency. Children’s check-in software includes technology to help make an evacuation easier and more organized with fast access to attendance records. Roster Check-In and associated administrative apps provide real-time attendee information, confirm headcount in designated areas, and complete check-out and update data as parents arrive to pick up kids.

Good for All
While a pen and paper process or add-on check-in component from a management system may seem good enough; a robust, focused children’s check-in system can take your ministry to the next level. Investing in children’s check-in software makes a big difference in increasing efficiency for your ministry, supporting the families you serve, and protecting the children in your care.

Angela Lewton is KidCheck’s child protection specialist. KidCheck provides secure children’s check-in systems. Angela focuses on the latest child safety research and trends. She is passionate about equipping organizations to improve child safety.

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