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Archive for March 2013

Feature: Our New Timeline Report

Whether you “like” Facebook at your child care or daycare center or wish you could “un-like” it, Facebook’s Timeline view of you and your friends lives has become ubiquitous. So much so that when Facebook makes updates to the timeline view, as they are at the time of this post, it causes major ripples in the blogosphere and keeps users on their toes.

Timelines are a very intuitive way to view information. That is why we brought our own take on a timeline for Child Care Center Management to BumbleBee. With our timeline report, for each classroom, you can see when children are coming and when children are going and how many spots will remain. This is an extremely effective way of visualizing your enrollment through time. It will also give you the ability to quickly see, by age-group, when a spot is going to open and in which classroom.

child care daycare classroom timeline report to management preschool enrollment

With BumbleBee’s Child Care Center Timeline Report, you can see when children are entering and leaving classrooms

BumbleBee has a built in process to help you manage a child’s enrollment at your school. You can mark spots as “Offered” and “Accepted” to keep track of children who will soon start or possibly start the next school year.

Use the timeline report to do the following:

  • Answer families confidently about when spots will open and how many have already been committed.
  • Track families that have accepted offers for future dates.
  • View transitions for current students.
  • Manage transitions of children after they have left their current room.
  • See openings by day of the week if you have flexible schedules.

It’s easy to get your timeline to populate. Simply add start and end dates for each of your children (you can do this en masse with our bulk update features).

Have you used the timeline (BumbleBee Childcare Software’s or Facebook’s)? What do you think?

Infographic: How Parents Research and Select a Preschool

Infographic: How Parents Research and Select a Preschool

Families invest a lot in pre-school and child care. With such a large decision, it’s no wonder families spend a lot of time carefully researching and selecting early childhood education programs.

BumbleBee Childcare Software surveyed families to see how they were making those decisions and how they viewed ther interactions with directors, managers and administrators. We compiled the results into an easy-to-read infographic about how families research and make child care decisions.

Click on the image below to see an enlarged version of the infographic:


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Please email BumbleBee Childcare Software if you have any questions about the data.

BumbleBee Childcare Management Software Global HQ

BumbleBee Childcare Management Software Global HQ
BumbleBee's sign at it's Global HQ along side other startups.

BumbleBee’s sign at it’s Global HQ along side other startups.

It’s been almost six months since we started subleasing office space from a leading, Portland-based startup accelerator called Upstart Labs and it’s been a great ride.

The “space” itself is terrific. It’s in an old warehouse in Portland, OR (imagine a creaky, old freight elevator, exposed brick and hardwood plank floors). But, the best part is meeting all of the great entrepreneurs and exciting projects they are working on. It’s a cauldron of of activity and energy. New folks are always visiting and pitching there ideas to the Upstart Labs team vying to become Upstarts.

We’re grateful to Upstart Labs for welcoming BumbleBee into their midst and look forward to the months to come.

If you are in town, please stop by

Improving on “Generation Waiting List”

Improving on “Generation Waiting List”

There was a really great article in the paper about waiting lists in the big city. The article describes how waiting lists are a fact of life for children and parents living in The Big Apple. We have talked before about how this problem is not exclusive to the big city, but the problem is excacerbated (and more often reported on) in large metropolitan areas.

The article only touches on some of the possible causes for the issue and why the writer calls children born after 2004 “Generation Waiting List”:

  • Budget cuts
  • Population growth (in certain areas deemed family friendly)
  • Families having children have more money (note this does not mean, on average, all people are more well-off)

[He] has been conscientious about tapping into playground gossip on what programs fill up first — and what steps to take to avoid ending up on the waiting list. “We’ve had many years of paranoia about this kind of thing,” he said with a laugh.

The obvious question you might be asking is: “What can we do, besides buying BumbleBee’s Childcare Management Software, about managing child care and activity waiting lists?” It turns out, there is a lot we could be doing. There is a large body of economic research (often called queueing therory) to help smooth out waiting lists. Some of the biggest things that can be improved are in dealing with the emotional issues around waiting lists. Think back to the last time someone cut in front of you in line, you probably can remember that more easily than what you had for lunch today.

There is a MIT professor nick-nammed “Dr. Queue”, here is some advice he provides and a number of BumbleBee’s own insights that we have learned after working with child care centers:

  • Tell people how long they will be waiting – think about all the sophisticated things Disney World does while you are standing in line.(By the way: BumbleBee makes this easy)
  • Let people know that they have a number – My friend went to the professional football game. He had tickets for an open seating section. Instead of having everyone show up, hold places, have people get upset when someone eventually cuts in line, they handout wristabands. My friend loved it. Instead of arriving at 6am, he picked up the wristband at his liesure, and showed up right before the game started.
  • If there are peferences, make sure people know that up front
  • Make one large line that everyone waits in (Wendy’s versus McDonalds)
  • Change a nominal fee to applyHow long would you be willing to wait for a free ice cream cone from Ben and Jerry’s? At some point, you should just go to the ice cream parlor and buy your own. Charging a small fee, for applications is a good way to sort out the number of people who are truly on your waiting list or those people who just aren’t that interested.

Do people line up to get into your child care center? Do they have to wait in line over night? Please tell us how you manage your waiting lists:

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