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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Software Developer Needs Ideas For Daycare Software
JFC_Designs 09:48 AM 03-12-2013
My name is Noah Beach, and I am a software developer. I want to produce affordable daycare software(CareConnect) targeted at smaller daycares and home daycares. The goal is to produce a solution that is simple and not so cluttered. Therefore, I need everyone's help and opinions on what you would like to see in this software. The membership will be around $30 / year to use the program. This is your chance to get daycare software that gives you what you need and not a bunch of other fluff. The more detailed the better down to the fields in the database. So if someone wants to start with Categories -> Features I would appreciate it. I would be glad to grant lifetime access for free to those willing to help.
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Blackcat31 09:51 AM 03-12-2013
Software that does WHAT exactly?

Track attendance?
Billing and invoices?
Child Documentation?
Meals and meal counts?
Daily kid reports?
Immunization records?
Enrollment?
Daily lesson plans?

Similar to Baby Connect, Minute Menu Kids, Sandbox Child Care software, Child Care Office Pro, EZ Care Pro?
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JFC_Designs 09:59 AM 03-12-2013
Everything you just mentioned. It is a complete solution. Unlike other companies I won't charge for each module used. I am banking on volume to make money instead of high pricing. Plus I want it to be affordable to the small daycare provider.
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JFC_Designs 10:04 AM 03-12-2013
The point of this is to produce software which features you actually use and leave out what you don't use. Yes there are other software solutions, but do you use everything in those programs? Going through your day as a provider what would help you manage your business without having a lot of clutter on the screen?
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Blackcat31 10:10 AM 03-12-2013
I think that is a great idea! I am sure you will probably get a lot of interest but in my honest opinion, it isnt something I would really be interested in as I currently use Minute Menu Kids Pro and it is provided for me free of charge by my food program.

I know there are several members of the forum who also get it free from their food program as well and several providers who pay for it themselves.

There does seem to be several child care software programs already available on the market and one of them even did a trial run (with free lifetime membership to those who helped with development/feedback) with providers on this forum board.

Please don't be discourage though as I am sure each software designer has it's own market or something that sets them aside from others...whether it be user-friendliness, cost, areas it covers etc.

So far for me personally Minute Menu Kids Pro does the job and does it well.

I do NOT mean this in an unsupportive way but another software would almost have to change diapers for me before I would consider changing and use something else.

I will still happily answer any questions you have though and am willing to be as helpful as I can.
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JFC_Designs 10:17 AM 03-12-2013
I really am not targeting existing providers as much as new providers. It is very hard to get people to change software when they have all their records in existing software. Not everyone likes the same things in software, and the needs are different for different providers.
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MarinaVanessa 10:28 AM 03-12-2013
I don't know if this will help you or not but a very popular software program that many of us here on the forum use and very popular nationwide is Minute Menu Kids Pro (USDA food program sponsors often use the program for family child care providers that are on the food program). It has a lot of features for record keeping that we all love.

It keeps track of children's information:
It also:Accounting features include:
And it creates TONS of reports (mostly tax reports):
And yes I use all of the above features (well maybe except for the actual food and vehicle expenses since I use the standard rate)

All of this is included in the MMK Pro online software and they charge $69.95 a year (totally worth it). These guys are your competition so you should probably check them out (you can get a free 30 day trial offer).

The one thing that they don't have that is in high demand is the ability to invoice clients, keep track of payments, attendance and meals through the use of a phone app for both Android and Apple smartphones which is integrated with the online program. We've been asking for this feature for a while now so if you can do all of the above plus a phone app that lets you do as mentioned or more and can keep the rate the same or close to the $70 a year you and I can talk business .

Oh and also a feature that allows clients to log-in and out by a personal code or something that is also integrated with the software so that we don't have to keep paper sign-in/out sheets anymore would be great. If this could automatically keep track of attendance for us AWESOME!! No one has something like this that is also integrated into their software, they only offer it as a separate attendance program.

I would switch if I could find a program that did all of the above or more and cost about the same price.
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DaisyMamma 11:21 AM 03-12-2013
I don't use minute menu because I don't file my food program electronically. IMO MMK is largely made around the whole menu planning, meals.

I would want to track everything needed for the business. But would alow me to turn off features that I don't want.
I would want it to keep track of enrollment, billing, etc., but also expenes: mileage, ins. cost, bills paid.
I would also want it to have a daily tracker for infants to put in their diapers, naps, feedings. and have the parents be able to see the info I put in. Similar to the babyconnect app.

It also should have an app.
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MarinaVanessa 11:26 AM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by DaisyMamma:
I don't use minute menu because I don't file my food program electronically. IMO MMK is largely made around the whole menu planning, meals.

I would want to track everything needed for the business. But would alow me to turn off features that I don't want.
I would want it to keep track of enrollment, billing, etc., but also expenes: mileage, ins. cost, bills paid.
I would also want it to have a daily tracker for infants to put in their diapers, naps, feedings. and have the parents be able to see the info I put in. Similar to the babyconnect app.

It also should have an app.
Oh yeah and I don't use the menu planning part of the program. I have pre-planned weekly meals that I rotate every 6 weeks.

I use MMK mainly for attendance tracking, meal counts and for accounting (payments, expenses etc.)

I like being able to enter all of my income and expenses and then being able to print out all of the Tax reports and having it ALL done for me.
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Blackcat31 11:29 AM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:

The one thing that they don't have that is in high demand is the ability to invoice clients, keep track of payments, attendance and meals through the use of a phone app for both Android and Apple smartphones which is integrated with the online program. We've been asking for this feature for a while now so if you can do all of the above plus a phone app that lets you do as mentioned or more and can keep the rate the same or close to the $70 a year you and I can talk business .
Does the app for MMK pro not allow you to do any of that?
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Starburst 11:37 AM 03-12-2013
Well I was thinking a while ago that when I start my business it would be great if there was one of those log in (like those punch-in clock things) they have at some work places where when the parent come in they swipe their child's card so it is marked what time the child arrived/left (if it is early or late or on time) so that way parents cannot argue with late fees because the time would be according to the time on the clock of the computer used. Or maybe if it had a list of the children enrolled and the parents just find their child's name and click on it and the time starts from when they click on it. maybe have 2 lists on the screen like one for logged in and logged out. It should be able to hold up to 30 enrolled kids and make it were you can delete children and add children when ever needed.

Just make it easy where the provider has control over the default rates (hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and can also include early drop off/ late pick up fees) and where it can be different for every family- especually if they have more than one child. It should be easy for the provider to be able to adjust it everyday if needed but still have it set on default of the agreed upon schedule hours (which may very from day to day) for the child's regular days but can change it if the schedule changes or if you agree to 1 day of extended hours for a flat fee- It should just be for attendence purposes and have a setting where if you charge when they do not attend that you can adjust it and make sure that the absents/ paid holidays doesn't affect what it says on the bill- they only thing that affects it is if they pay hourly or if they leave their child off early/ pick them up late. The late fees should have an OPTION (not default) of a small grace period like 1 to 5 minutes before starting the early drop off/ late pick up fee. a late drop off and early pick up should NOT affect the default payment unless the provider wavers it on their own. The rates should be able to be adjusted every so often for when the provider decides to increase her rates but also have a small section for where she can make different rates for new families that don't effect the old families- if she charges new families a higher rate. It should have an option where you can see the layout of what they attended daily, weekly, and monthly. It would be great if it had a feature where the provider can e-mail a weekly or monthly report to themselves so that they can print it out and save it in a folder on their email account so they don't lose it or have to worry about computer memery. And also have a setting for swipes for after hours care/parent's night specials on certain days the provider picks (can be at night or on weekends) for a flat rate for a few hours and another for overnight care and an option of a late fee or switching the child from few hours to overnight if the paren't pick up their child late.

It would also be nice to have one file for when you have substitutes or a part-time/full time assistants that they can have another swipe in system connected to that but only for the assistants so that way you can make sure they aren't arriving late and trying to pass off as being on time or so they cannot say that they stayed later than they really did to try to fudge the times to make a little extra money (when I worked for one provider, one of my co-workers would do that all the time). It can have their regular pay as a default but also maybe an OPTIONAL (not default) bonus for holidays/birthdays/ or for filling in for the full day alone. It should have an option where you can see the layout of what they worked daily, weekly, and monthly. This should also be able to send a weekly or monthly report to your e-mail (if they have internet) or print out for records. Maybe a feature were you include a 2 hour 1/2 paid or non paid lunch option since a provider may need them for the ratio but cannot afford to pay them a full amount to not do anything. It will also come in handy to have another folder for volunteers (like high schoolers or people who want work expierince) with no payment features just for record keeping. It should also be an option to beable to switch a volunteer back and forth into a paid assistant if needed on some days- maybe as an option for regular assistants/subs too if they decide or need to volunteer for school or something.It should be able to hold up to 5 volunteers or assistants at a time.

The provider should be able to log out and the log ins should still stay logged in when opening a new window or when the computer is off. All of this information should only be available to the provider through E-mail or they have to provider their screen name and phone number, a safety question, or a password on the computer softwear- but they should be able to change it at anytime if they want. It should NOT need regular internet to run normally all day and the provider should be able to move the information to another computer with the same softwear either by typing in the E-mail account (with internet connection just to transfer) or by saving the information using a USB drive or disk; if needed due to viruses or the computer breaking (that is where an E-mail acount access would come in handy).
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MarinaVanessa 11:40 AM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Does the app for MMK pro not allow you to do any of that?
Nope not on the app part anyway. The app is only for the regular version of MMK (that the USDA food program uses in my area) and that version doesn't let you accept electronic payments (which is why I choose to pay extra for the Pro version) and the Pro version doesn't work on the app.

The app doesn't even let you do anything other than mark the meal counts and attendance. It doesn't let you invoice or do anything else.
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LaLa1923 11:46 AM 03-12-2013
I need a new check-in solution! I am using checkin kids but there are no master controls. The provider cannot set each child up to have their own "overtime". Each client I have is contracted differently and I can only set up a general overtime rate for all kids enrolled. I like MMK but I want the parents to be able to clock in and out.
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MarinaVanessa 11:53 AM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by LaLa1923:
I need a new check-in solution! I am using checkin kids but there are no master controls. The provider cannot set each child up to have their own "overtime". Each client I have is contracted differently and I can only set up a general overtime rate for all kids enrolled. I like MMK but I want the parents to be able to clock in and out.
Yeah me too!! Something that's similar to the way that MMK works but has a separate window (much like how MMK uses ChildCarePay so that clients can pay their invoices) just so that they can clock in. I'd like it if I could assign my clients a 4 digit code (like the last 4 digits of their phone number) to match the code that they use to get into my daycare on the keyless entry system (less to remember).

I could always just leave my laptop open to that page (like Chekin Kids) and they can just type in their code to sign in and out. Then the software would automatically update the child's attendance.
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KnoxMom 12:06 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
Nope not on the app part anyway. The app is only for the regular version of MMK (that the USDA food program uses in my area) and that version doesn't let you accept electronic payments (which is why I choose to pay extra for the Pro version) and the Pro version doesn't work on the app.

The app doesn't even let you do anything other than mark the meal counts and attendance. It doesn't let you invoice or do anything else.
I know we discussed MMK previously and me waiting to sign up due to the food program. I finally found out it WON'T be the Pro version. How do you use both?? Do you enter food info and attendance only on one and billing/expenses on the other?? Curious before I purchase anything.

Also, for the developer. I agree that you should check out Minute Menu Kids Pro and read reviews to get more insight. We all use software differently depending on the # of children, the type of payments we take, etc. I think many of us would be interested in the clocking in/out feature as well as in-depth information being available for parents with their own log-in credentials. I would be willing to pay for something that put all of these together instead of forcing you to buy so many add-ons the prices are impossible for small businesses (i.e. ProCare Software @ http://procaresoftware.com/). I almost purchased ProCare by sacrificing and making the upfront investment, but once I saw how many separate fees there were for different pieces of the puzzle (i.e. tuition payments, attendance, menu planning, etc) and how some won't work without you purchasing the others, I became overwhelmed and completely loss interest. If you could find a more cost effective way to offer the services between those two companies, I'd be ALL IN!
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Lila 12:25 PM 03-12-2013
I agree with others, if you could make a check in/out program that actually works for each family home child care that would be wonderful! I use Checkinkids too, but like others, I need to be able to contract certain hours for certain families. If you could make a program that allows each individual parent to sign in/out their child (I say individual parent due to divorced parents who change weeks picking up/being responsible for payment, etc.) with the use of an individual pin, along with being able to have them being within a certain time frame (contracted hours, instead of a close time or an hour limit), and then make it affordable I'd look into it! I need something where I can have parents contracted hours in so that even though one of my kids leave a 4:30 (because they are contracted to) and another who leaves at 6:15, that the parent is alerted to their late payment due to being outside of their individual contracted time.
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MarinaVanessa 12:31 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by KnoxMom:
I know we discussed MMK previously and me waiting to sign up due to the food program. I finally found out it WON'T be the Pro version. How do you use both?? Do you enter food info and attendance only on one and billing/expenses on the other?? Curious before I purchase anything.
Not sure if all Food Programs that use MMK are like this (I know some automatically use the Pro version) but mine uses the regular version and there isn't a way to integrate both together so I have to track my attendance and meals in the regular version for the food program and then also do it in the Pro version separately too . But again, I think that for the price and ease of use MMK Pro is well worth the time and price.
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MarinaVanessa 12:34 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by Lila:
I agree with others, if you could make a check in/out program that actually works for each family home child care that would be wonderful! I use Checkinkids too, but like others, I need to be able to contract certain hours for certain families. If you could make a program that allows each individual parent to sign in/out their child (I say individual parent due to divorced parents who change weeks picking up/being responsible for payment, etc.) with the use of an individual pin, along with being able to have them being within a certain time frame (contracted hours, instead of a close time or an hour limit), and then make it affordable I'd look into it! I need something where I can have parents contracted hours in so that even though one of my kids leave a 4:30 (because they are contracted to) and another who leaves at 6:15, that the parent is alerted to their late payment due to being outside of their individual contracted time.
I'd like this to be integrated with the above features like MMK and don't forget the ability to be able to waive extra fees if we wish.
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snbauser 12:52 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by KnoxMom:
I know we discussed MMK previously and me waiting to sign up due to the food program. I finally found out it WON'T be the Pro version. How do you use both?? Do you enter food info and attendance only on one and billing/expenses on the other?? Curious before I purchase anything.
Here if you get the food program one first you can just upgrade that version and use everything together. I have two separate sign ins because I was using MMK before the food program started using it and in order for me to have one login I would lose all of my historical data.
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MarinaVanessa 12:57 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by snbauser:
Here if you get the food program one first you can just upgrade that version and use everything together. I have two separate sign ins because I was using MMK before the food program started using it and in order for me to have one login I would lose all of my historical data.
For some reason my Food Program doesn't do this . I signed up with the food program first and then wanted to upgrade and they said that I couldn't combine the two . I'm wondering if "drop-out" or cancel my participation and then sign up again if I can then just give them access to my MMK Pro account since I know that it still has a claim submit option.
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itlw8 01:17 PM 03-12-2013
I would like to se a good developmental checklist We could check when the child was working on the skill and mastered it. maybe have a place to scan and save the childs work. then we could pull up a file o each child to show the parents their childs progress ad what skills we need to work on or if there are any delays we need to be concerned about.


Still want all the other record keeping that minute menu has.
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JFC_Designs 03:09 PM 03-12-2013
I really really appreciate everyone taking the time to post your needs, likes, dislikes, etc. It really helps me as a developer. It seems I have a big undertaking ahead of me, but that is ok. I will offer the app for free until it is finished at which point I will settle on a price point of around $30-40 / year. The best part is I will continue to work with customers providing a one in all solution for this industry. Please continue to post in this forum giving me ideas. I really didn't want to just copy someone elses software. That is what other software companies do. A fresh and easy user interface is wha I am looking for.
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JFC_Designs 03:15 PM 03-12-2013
To those seeking a unique pin per parent solution for checkin ability please note I have already developed a beta stage feature for this in the program. Where my program may be different than others is the fact that everyone has a user account and profile. The entire program is based off this. You have users who are providers. Then you have users who are family members and family contacts. Each has his/her own username and data is tracked for each user. Family members can be children, parents, grandparents, etc. The benefit of this type of system is the fact families do have multiple people picking up a child on different weeks. I have this same situation in my own home.

One question I have on the checkin checkout solution is I thought states required paper based signin and signout solutions. Even though a username pin feature will be used in this application do states require physical signatures?
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Patches 03:31 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by itlw8:
I would like to se a good developmental checklist We could check when the child was working on the skill and mastered it. maybe have a place to scan and save the childs work. then we could pull up a file o each child to show the parents their childs progress ad what skills we need to work on or if there are any delays we need to be concerned about.


Still want all the other record keeping that minute menu has.
oooooh, I like this idea! Like a digital portfolio for each child. That would be great! Maybe have a place where we can record anecdotal records and upload photos to go eith them?
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JFC_Designs 03:35 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by Patches:
oooooh, I like this idea! Like a digital portfolio for each child. That would be great! Maybe have a place where we can record anecdotal records and upload photos to go eith them?
What do you mean by anecdotal?
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Blackcat31 03:54 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by JFC_Designs:
To those seeking a unique pin per parent solution for checkin ability please note I have already developed a beta stage feature for this in the program. Where my program may be different than others is the fact that everyone has a user account and profile. The entire program is based off this. You have users who are providers. Then you have users who are family members and family contacts. Each has his/her own username and data is tracked for each user. Family members can be children, parents, grandparents, etc. The benefit of this type of system is the fact families do have multiple people picking up a child on different weeks. I have this same situation in my own home.

One question I have on the checkin checkout solution is I thought states required paper based signin and signout solutions. Even though a username pin feature will be used in this application do states require physical signatures?
Could the electronic sign in/sign out records have a printable option? For example I have forms I must use to track a families attendance and at the end of a weekly or bi-weekly period I take the paper copies and have the parent review the information and agree that the information is true and correct and then sign that form.

So maybe if you did an electronic sign in/out feature you could make it printable on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule so parents can review it, agree and then physically sign it and then the paper could be filed away in each family file.

I don't know...just thinking outloud
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JFC_Designs 04:21 PM 03-12-2013
That is a really great idea Blackat. I think I will go with that option. The entire sign in thing has really got me confused, because I read elsewhere that providers had to provide physical signin sheets. So maybe providing options for printing and signing would be the solution I was looking for. Thanks!
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EntropyControlSpecialist 04:34 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by Starburst:
Well I was thinking a while ago that when I start my business it would be great if there was one of those log in (like those punch-in clock things) they have at some work places where when the parent come in they swipe their child's card so it is marked what time the child arrived/left (if it is early or late or on time) so that way parents cannot argue with late fees because the time would be according to the time on the clock of the computer used. Or maybe if it had a list of the children enrolled and the parents just find their child's name and click on it and the time starts from when they click on it. maybe have 2 lists on the screen like one for logged in and logged out. It should be able to hold up to 30 enrolled kids and make it were you can delete children and add children when ever needed.

Just make it easy where the provider has control over the default rates (hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and can also include early drop off/ late pick up fees) and where it can be different for every family- especually if they have more than one child. It should be easy for the provider to be able to adjust it everyday if needed but still have it set on default of the agreed upon schedule hours (which may very from day to day) for the child's regular days but can change it if the schedule changes or if you agree to 1 day of extended hours for a flat fee- It should just be for attendence purposes and have a setting where if you charge when they do not attend that you can adjust it and make sure that the absents/ paid holidays doesn't affect what it says on the bill- they only thing that affects it is if they pay hourly or if they leave their child off early/ pick them up late. The late fees should have an OPTION (not default) of a small grace period like 1 to 5 minutes before starting the early drop off/ late pick up fee. a late drop off and early pick up should NOT affect the default payment unless the provider wavers it on their own. The rates should be able to be adjusted every so often for when the provider decides to increase her rates but also have a small section for where she can make different rates for new families that don't effect the old families- if she charges new families a higher rate. It should have an option where you can see the layout of what they attended daily, weekly, and monthly. It would be great if it had a feature where the provider can e-mail a weekly or monthly report to themselves so that they can print it out and save it in a folder on their email account so they don't lose it or have to worry about computer memery. And also have a setting for swipes for after hours care/parent's night specials on certain days the provider picks (can be at night or on weekends) for a flat rate for a few hours and another for overnight care and an option of a late fee or switching the child from few hours to overnight if the paren't pick up their child late.

It would also be nice to have one file for when you have substitutes or a part-time/full time assistants that they can have another swipe in system connected to that but only for the assistants so that way you can make sure they aren't arriving late and trying to pass off as being on time or so they cannot say that they stayed later than they really did to try to fudge the times to make a little extra money (when I worked for one provider, one of my co-workers would do that all the time). It can have their regular pay as a default but also maybe an OPTIONAL (not default) bonus for holidays/birthdays/ or for filling in for the full day alone. It should have an option where you can see the layout of what they worked daily, weekly, and monthly. This should also be able to send a weekly or monthly report to your e-mail (if they have internet) or print out for records. Maybe a feature were you include a 2 hour 1/2 paid or non paid lunch option since a provider may need them for the ratio but cannot afford to pay them a full amount to not do anything. It will also come in handy to have another folder for volunteers (like high schoolers or people who want work expierince) with no payment features just for record keeping. It should also be an option to beable to switch a volunteer back and forth into a paid assistant if needed on some days- maybe as an option for regular assistants/subs too if they decide or need to volunteer for school or something.It should be able to hold up to 5 volunteers or assistants at a time.

The provider should be able to log out and the log ins should still stay logged in when opening a new window or when the computer is off. All of this information should only be available to the provider through E-mail or they have to provider their screen name and phone number, a safety question, or a password on the computer softwear- but they should be able to change it at anytime if they want. It should NOT need regular internet to run normally all day and the provider should be able to move the information to another computer with the same softwear either by typing in the E-mail account (with internet connection just to transfer) or by saving the information using a USB drive or disk; if needed due to viruses or the computer breaking (that is where an E-mail acount access would come in handy).
I use checkinkids.com on an iPad for my clients. It is FREE and they check in with their phone number. You tell it what your closing time is and in red letters it will tell them how much is owed in late fees.
Yes, it is a pain if you have different times for different clients (Ex: Johnny is here from 7:00-4:00 and Sally is here from 8:00-5:00) but if you don't operate on contracted hours for each family then it would work well for you. I operate 8-5 and don't deviate from that.
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JFC_Designs 04:49 PM 03-12-2013
Checkin is a nice simply solution, but like the website says it is free while it last. They are obviously planning something for the future for pay. The system may be in development. I am considering doing something like this to help gain support for my product, and get users to provide feedback. The only problem with Checkin is that it is only one solution, and my software will be a complete solution.
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SunnyDay 04:51 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by JFC_Designs:
To those seeking a unique pin per parent solution for checkin ability please note I have already developed a beta stage feature for this in the program. Where my program may be different than others is the fact that everyone has a user account and profile. The entire program is based off this. You have users who are providers. Then you have users who are family members and family contacts. Each has his/her own username and data is tracked for each user. Family members can be children, parents, grandparents, etc. The benefit of this type of system is the fact families do have multiple people picking up a child on different weeks. I have this same situation in my own home.

One question I have on the checkin checkout solution is I thought states required paper based signin and signout solutions. Even though a username pin feature will be used in this application do states require physical signatures?
Here in MI we are required to keep accurate daily attendance records, but signatures are not required (for homes at least, centers may be different).
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EntropyControlSpecialist 04:53 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by JFC_Designs:
Checkin is a nice simply solution, but like the website says it is free while it last. They are obviously planning something for the future for pay. The system may be in development. I am considering doing something like this to help gain support for my product, and get users to provide feedback. The only problem with Checkin is that it is only one solution, and my software will be a complete solution.
It's free to all who registered to use it from the time it was free. In the future, people will have to pay to register to use it.

I get Minute Menu Kids Pro free through my food program and use it for everything (including invoicing my parents since it is linked to childcarepay.com and receiving tuition through it) and use checkinkids.com as an easy way to check everyone in and out. Only those that are authorized to pick up each child are put into checkinkids.com. If someone comes to pick up that was not included on the child's information sheet then they will be unable to log into the system since their phone number and name is not attached to the child.
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Patches 05:09 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by JFC_Designs:
What do you mean by anecdotal?
Like observations or stories about the child that help illustrate a milestone being reached or a new skill in a cerrtain area of development.
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MarinaVanessa 05:13 PM 03-12-2013
Originally Posted by JFC_Designs:
One question I have on the checkin checkout solution is I thought states required paper based signin and signout solutions. Even though a username pin feature will be used in this application do states require physical signatures?
I'm in CA and I am not REQUIRED to keep any type of physical sign-in/out sheet or have signatures. It's recommended however because of IRS issues (in case we get audited and need to prove our attendance records). A printable sign-in/out record like BlackCat suggested that the parent's could then sign at the bottom would be just as good in my opinion.

As for the part about you not wanting to copy another program, no one ever mentioned that ... MMK is simply extremely popular because it offers all of those features. If you are offering a program for FCC I think that it needs to meet or beat MMK to be successful because we are looking for an all-in-one solution ... not several programs to use at once (another reason why I stopped using checkinkids and went back to using paper sign-in sheets). ALl of the providers in my area that I know use MMK because of all of the options and how easy it is to just print off the end of year reports and either do your taxes yourselves or just hand them to your tax preparer. It's saves us time and money in the long run.

I always recommend MMK to the members of our child care association (I'm the Vice President), new providers, veteran providers etc. because it does almost everything you need and it's all in one.
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JFC_Designs 05:19 PM 03-12-2013
When I code the accounting section it will require a lot of help by providers. Not being a provider myself it would be impossible otherwise.

So it looks like I need to rethink my current system. What main categories would you call choose to start out? I wasn't thinking about all this when I started so now I need to add it.
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LaLa1923 08:58 AM 03-13-2013
Originally Posted by JFC_Designs:
To those seeking a unique pin per parent solution for checkin ability please note I have already developed a beta stage feature for this in the program. Where my program may be different than others is the fact that everyone has a user account and profile. The entire program is based off this. You have users who are providers. Then you have users who are family members and family contacts. Each has his/her own username and data is tracked for each user. Family members can be children, parents, grandparents, etc. The benefit of this type of system is the fact families do have multiple people picking up a child on different weeks. I have this same situation in my own home.

One question I have on the checkin checkout solution is I thought states required paper based signin and signout solutions. Even though a username pin feature will be used in this application do states require physical signatures?
Here in MD it can all be electronic.
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LaLa1923 09:03 AM 03-13-2013
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
I use checkinkids.com on an iPad for my clients. It is FREE and they check in with their phone number. You tell it what your closing time is and in red letters it will tell them how much is owed in late fees.
Yes, it is a pain if you have different times for different clients (Ex: Johnny is here from 7:00-4:00 and Sally is here from 8:00-5:00) but if you don't operate on contracted hours for each family then it would work well for you. I operate 8-5 and don't deviate from that.
BUT there's no "master" functions. We were outside the other day and I didn't have my tablet with me to check them out. I also couldn't check them out with the time they showed up. It would also be nice if I could give them a pin and not have to use their entire phone number.
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DaisyMamma 11:17 AM 03-14-2013
Please keep us posted on your progress.
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MarinaVanessa 11:38 AM 03-14-2013
Originally Posted by JFC_Designs:
When I code the accounting section it will require a lot of help by providers. Not being a provider myself it would be impossible otherwise.

So it looks like I need to rethink my current system. What main categories would you call choose to start out? I wasn't thinking about all this when I started so now I need to add it.
I think for your accounting section a good thing to do would be to get a better understanding of how we as family child care providers do our accounting. We can almost literally deduct at least a portion (what is called our time/space%) of anything that we buy for our household that is shared with DC (toys, toilet paper, pots/pans, dishes, cleaning supplies, office supplies, alarm systems etc). That's why having the ability to enter our expenses and categorize them and then be able to mark it as either time/space% or 100% business is really important.

If you read Tom Copeland's book called Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide you can get a better understanding of how it all works. Typing it all on here is possible but will be really time consuming. If your accounting part of the program could then automatically input the accounting information (income & expenses) into tax documents (schedule C, W-10 etc.) that would be a necessity to me.

I'll try to type up a list of how I categorize my accounting information for you (i'll have to look at my records) and post them later.
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JFC_Designs 07:58 AM 03-15-2013
Thanks for your help on the accounting section. You don't have to post a list right now. I will probably look into guides for help in that area as you suggested. Right now I am working a lot of hours. Not only am I a developer but I am on the transplant team in my city. So between all this work and managing my family (married with 3 kids - 2,6,8 years) I am running out of development time every week. My goal is to shift more time away from the hospital to my business, because the hospital is limited income for me. A person can only work so many hours. I really like coding and providing solutions for people who need them. It is like making a product and getting the pleasure of watching it benefit people's lives. My business website is http://www.jfc-designs.com, but I am thinking of changing the name to Trinity Groupware on down the road. Everyone thanks again and please keep posting your ideas. I will use this thread as a reference point throughout the development cycle.
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babysdays 10:16 AM 06-14-2013
Baby's Days will be being released into the USA this year, currently a very successful system across Europe and Asia and a system like this is past due in the USA.

There is no other system available anywhere in the USA like this and it will be sure to revolutionize the US market with regards to childcare settings.

If you're interested to see what it has to offer take a look at:

More information regarding the release of the system to the USA will be announced soon.

Thank you
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lisawatsonis 08:38 PM 07-30-2013
I think MarinaVanessa is spot on with her evaluation of common needs that all daycares need. I started typing a response only to see that she said it already and with great detail. What MM cannot offer is all of it's greatness to mac users. So if you offered everything MV mentioned and it was compatible with my computer and iPhone you would be inundated with new customers.
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Childminder 09:09 AM 07-31-2013
Originally Posted by :
Here in MI we are required to keep accurate daily attendance records, but signatures are not required (for homes at least, centers may be different).
If you live in MI and have state subsidy children you are required to have a signature.

I would love to have a sign in/out program but can not find the elements needed in any one program. I have checked into MMK, Childcare Cake, Sage and just about every other one out there. Either they are not affordable or do not accomplish what is needed. If a parent could check in using their smart phone or at a kiosk(computer) as they enter that would be ideal for my needs.

MMk is great for most of my needs but is lacking in some areas. I used MMK when it was CKKids and it was so much more user friendly then. I can not count the meals in as easy as before and menu planning is difficult, especially since infant and child menus are no longer done together and neither are meal counts.

OP I realize that is is not what you want and probably feel like you have bitten of more than you wished for.
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ross32 11:32 AM 08-04-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Software that does WHAT exactly?

Track attendance?
Billing and invoices?
Child Documentation?
Meals and meal counts?
Daily kid reports?
Immunization records?
Enrollment?
Daily lesson plans?

Similar to Baby Connect, Minute Menu Kids, Sandbox Child Care software, Child Care Office Pro, EZ Care Pro?
You will find all there here at http://www.fetchflow.com/invoice-templates for free. Just need to design your free invoice template using your business logo and every thing is set. Even you can download it in any format.
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