You wear many hats as an afterschool coordinator, administrator, or programmer. You are the activities coordinator for the children in your program, the expert parents rely on to keep their children safe and engaged, and the coordinator who interacts with the surrounding schools your students attend during the day.
Those are some enormous hats. However, you have access to many tools to lighten the load, increasing your effectiveness with less effort.
Take advantage of these four best practices to succeed in your stressful yet rewarding role.
Data Is Your Friend
Analyzing data will allow you to make insights about your program and what can be improved. Make sure you keep track of student demographics data, grades data, test scores data, and other day school information for all students.
A record of attendance data will help you see which students are regulars and which student you may need to check on. Grade information from day school will also tell you which students may need extra homework help or staff support.
When you enroll a child, gather complete information and store it in a central database to be used with other applications of the childcare management system, reducing errors.
Capture critical information, including:
- The child’s full name
- The parent’s names
- Contact information
- Emergency contact data
- Days of attendance
- Medical information, including vaccinations
You can easily access the information anytime you need to note absences, change schedules, or make plans for events that include parents and other family members. It also makes the data more secure, reducing the potential for a cybersecurity event.
Parents are your ultimate customer. As you plan your calendar of events or determine operating hours, keep their schedules at the forefront of your mind.
Parents usually appreciate when their child’s program keeps them in th eloop. Communicate frequently using email, online parent portals, bulletin boards, or text messaging. Create segmented contact lists with shared characteristics such as grade level or day of the week. Make relevant communication with key details to a segment or the entire email list. You can even craft your communications in advance and set a future send date.
Be Smart When Fundraising
Fundraisers are often the lifeblood of an afterschool program. Tuition only goes so far, especially if your program has many students with subsidized care. You have a wide array of fundraising options, from online shopping to t-shirt sales.
Afterschool management software makes it easy to offer pay-as-you-go fundraising, set dates for events, and report financials.
Improve Your Marketing Efforts
You'd like to think your program speaks for itself, but parents and schools don't always have the correct information to reach you. You need to reach out to them.
Encourage registration by simplifying the process. Offer online registration, so parents don't need to pick up, fill out, and drop off forms. Online registration can go on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year around. Promote your program through the local schools. Create marketing emails and pamphlets to distribute to school administration so that they can provide your website or email address to parents seeking childcare or enrichment programs.
Plan family activities and invite them to see your afterschool program in progress. Have an open house to show off your current students’ work and help parents understand how their child can profit from your program.
Your marketing efforts can include a comprehensive website, email newsletters, social media, text messaging, and billboards. Obtain permission to use student images in your promotional products and keep your website up to date with calendars, secure registration, fees, contact information, and anything else a parent needs when making the decision about where their child should go after school.
Use Childcare Management Software
Most of today's parents expect to find whatever they need online and want to schedule and pay online.
Childcare management software allows you to accept payment and registration online and so much more. You can leverage a centralized database to drive everything from enrollment in special events to payment processing.
Automate and digitize your afterschool program to save time and effort while streamlining daily operations and revenue.