Evaluating new registration software usually comes at the behest of pain, meaning something with your current process isn’t meeting your needs. It can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start. Here are some tips to make purchasing registration software easier.
Know what your child care program needs. Most likely the needs of your staff and the parents engaged in your program are not being met and change is being requested. Make a list of these requests divided into Needs and Wishes. Needs are those things that are critical to the success to your program. Wishes are the things that seem too good to be true or may cost a small fortune to implement.
Do your research on current software programs. If you haven’t needed child care registration software for a while, you may not know everything that is available. Search current registration software online and check with surrounding school districts to see what software they use or would recommend.
Do you need to go out to bid? Once you gain pricing from vendors, you begin to understand the costs. This might require you to solicit proposals from vendors through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. If this is the case, it is important to develop a bid team that includes multiple stakeholders such as site staff and program coordinators to ensure your requirements are comprehensive. Once you’ve developed a solicitation, make sure you understand distribution methods, whether that is to post on your school district’s website or a third-party bid site.
Demo software programs. You won’t have a clear picture of what the software does unless you see it in action. It is strongly encouraged that you gain a demonstration of solutions both before you release a solicitation and as part of the solicitation process. This ensures you are developing specifications that exist today and you gain a deep understanding of what you are buying.
Finding registration software can be a large task to take on. Following these four steps will give your search direction. If you are new to the process or looking for help, Eleyo has the experience to help guide your district through the purchasing process.