My first experience with Procare, I was in awe. I was so excited about the idea of fingerprint scanners. I thought “what a fantastic idea.” We can accurately account for all adults coming and going. Little did I know that it is a “fantastic idea” only in theory. If it worked as promoted, then yes, fantastic. The reality of it is it only works a fraction of the time. A high percentage of the people coming and going can only get the fingerprint scanner to work sometimes. So what that means for a Director is that I am still stepping in and signing-in and out the majority of the children. The fingerprint scanner while promoted as a security feature actually became a time suck. I allow people the opportunity to try and sign-in. After 3 or 4 fails, then I step in, check their ID and sign the children in myself. After the parent makes several failed attempts on different occasions, then I re-register the parent and start again. Sometime this is successful and the parent enjoys a stress free sign-in process for a while. More often than not it continues to be an issue for that parent. We eventually try different fingers, a thumb, and usually wind up bypassing the fingerprint option altogether for this parent.
Then there are the parents who are completely annoyed with the whole process and the inability for the scanner to read their prints, so they become detached from the process. It then becomes my responsibility to check them in every time. While this is a quicker solution on my part than to fight over and over with the fingerprint scanner, it is an inaccurate accounting. Where Procare has the ability to track who is signing-in and out, it ultimately becomes my initials every time.
Out of this frustration, we decided to get rid of the scanner all together. The option then becomes the parent must have two separate ID numbers. This didn’t seem like a huge issue until we started the process of reregistering the whole center. It took a couple of weeks to get to everyone, but that was not the biggest issue. I now have frustrated parents because they have to remember 3 different numbers to sign the children in and out: the door code, their personal ID number, and their password number.
In steps SmartCare, finally a company with an innovative approach. Talking with the founder of SmartCare, it was evident of his concern for parent sign-in ease. He understands the importance of 100% participation from the parents and with this in mind is trying to find the most effective and easy sign-in process.
SmartCare has been awesome so far. In the 3 short months I have been looking into this system, I have had 4 in-person visits from my SmartCare rep. They are there to help train me on the system, gather feedback from me, and make adjustments to the program based on my suggestions. I appreciate their dedication to making my job as a Center Director an easier one.
--Child Care Center Director in Utah