In today’s world, we’re busier than ever before. Childcare owners/operators, like you, and both your enrolled and inquiring families are looking for ways to streamline processes to make things easier. Unfortunately, there are 5 common mistakes that you may still be making during the registration process.
We recently hosted a webinar addressing these issues, the future of registration, and how you can quickly streamline your registration process. Watch the recording and read more below to determine if you're making any of these mistakes at your own center.
1. Incomplete & Illegible Data
Typically, a parent is handed a hefty paper packet that includes all the necessary questions a center must ask to keep track and take care of an enrolled child. When parents fill this type of information out on paper, it’s very easy for fields to be left blank, either because the parent may be resistant to answer or simply due to human error.
Everyone’s handwriting is unique; this means that what is considered legible to one person is not necessarily easy to read for anyone else. In the traditional registration process, after parents fill out the paper forms, the natural next step is for a staff member to manually enter the entirety of the packet’s contents into your management system. Even if your paper registration packet is only 10 pages long, and you only have 10 new students registering each month, you’re still depending on your staff to manually enter 100 pages of information and decipher 10 different kinds of handwriting. According to Ugerboek Software, the average manual data entry error rate for humans is 1 percent, meaning that 1 out of every 100 entries is inaccurate.
2. Insecure & Vulnerable Data
Paper can be an incredibly vulnerable method of information collection and storage. Paper forms can be easily accessed, stolen, misplaced, or even destroyed. In cases of fire or flood, education systems that rely on paper files are left without a backup plan and the data is simply gone.
To give you an idea of how much time and money searching for misplaced paper documents can cost an organization, the average office spends about 8 hours performing paper management. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, businesses with 100 employees waste approximately $4,800 per week due to the inability to locate and deliver needed information.
3. Lack of Follow Up
With no way to synchronize the collection of data from paper forms into your CRM or management system, the follow-up process can become strenuous and time-consuming. This often leads to a lack of follow-up after a parent has registered or waitlisted. Unfortunately, if you aren’t communicating and engaging with these families, you are unlikely to stay top of mind and you may lose the chance to provide care for their child(ren).
4. Inconvenient for Parents & Providers
When a parent is registering for care, they first must request your forms via phone, email, snail mail, or in-person. If your center is more tech-focused, maybe you offer your forms on your website so families can print them out at their convenience. But even this method requires several steps for submitting the forms back to your center. Once families have collected and completed all these forms, they must either mail them in, fax them to you, or drop them off.
While filling out lengthy state forms in addition to your custom registration packet, parents may be prompted to fill out the same information multiple times. This can lead to delayed enrollment and incomplete forms or even, in some cases, annoyed parents.
5. Wasted Time on Data Entry
Following your organization’s receipt of their forms, your staff must then spend time manually entering data into your management system or wherever you store enrolled children’s records. Manual data entry, although traditional, is quickly becoming eradicated with the ability to integrate software platforms (and for good reason)… Did you know that businesses that utilize software integrations primarily for data entry processes save an average of 3.8 hours a day? That’s over 8 weeks a year!
Download our FREE Ultimate Childcare Enrollment Packet Template to minimize these issues at your center today. If you'd like to use this same packet in a digital format, ChildcareFORMS can simplify the entire process, meaning that you save hours each day.