Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Purchase Preschool Software
Each is covered in more detail below.
- How can you tell if the software is user friendly?
- Does the company you are dealing with provide support and training?
- What are your requirements from the software package?
- What about the company you purchase from?
- Does the price and the potential return on investment concern you?
1. How can you tell if the software is user friendly?
Generally you cannot tell if the program is easy to use or not without trying it for yourself. During the demonstration you can ask them to let you enter data yourself. Be sure that you are happy with the package and that you understand where to enter the data.
2. Does the company you are dealing with provide support and training?
It all depends on what you are looking for in terms of support and training. If you prefer in-house, on-site training or telephone online support, make sure that the right resources are available to suit your needs. Also it is important that you have access to real time support (i.e. if something goes wrong, you can contact a support team that will help you resolve your issue).
3. What are your requirements from the software package?
You should make a list of all the things that a program like this can help you with. Your list should include things like:
- Child information: Class room rosters, birthday lists, child photos, meal counts, schedules.
- Family info: parent/guardian contact details, Parent/guardian photo, parent/guardian work contact details.
- Staff payments & rosters: Staff hours, staff payments, staff scheduling, overtime, sick leave, holidays, training days.
- Time & Attendance: sign in sheet/time clock, child drop off and collection time.
- Working outside the office: Accessing data from a source outside the
- Finances: Financial reports, billing charges, monthly statements, balances due.
- Child care office security: Parent authentication upon collection, parent photos, door monitoring, verifying authorized pick up persons.
4. What about the company you purchase from?
It may not be something that you have put much thought into but it is an important issue. Make sure that the company you purchase the software from is reliable and that you trust that they will be around for many years to come.
5. Does the price and potential returns concern you?
For most people the answer to this is yes. Your budget has a big factor to play with this question. Try to stick within your budget and find the right software package that will give you a return that you are pleased with. Keep in mind however that the cheapest quote may not be the cheapest solution in the long run.