Children’s Check-In When Parent Involvement is Limited
Using a secure children’s check-in system has many benefits. It helps streamline your check-in process, improve child safety, track attendance, and create a positive parent and visitor experience. The best approach to ensure a safe check-in is to have family accounts with complete parent and child information, and have parents check their children in. However, in some situations when parents may not be highly involved, for example with a bus ministry , this may not always be possible.
Here are some suggestions on how to approach this situation and still ensure a safe and secure check-in.
Attempt to Engage Parents to Set Up Accounts
Work with the parent to create a KidCheck account, even if they won’t be involved with your organization, or the check-in process itself. Even if the parent won’t be present to check the child in, having an account is imperative to safety and also provides the option to use the youth self check-in feature.
It’s free and fast for parents to create a KidCheck account, and they can do so from anywhere with an internet connection, or using the KidCheck mobile app from their smartphone or tablet. If a parent or guardian is unable to complete their KidCheck account from a computer at their home or work, invite them to create the account at your facility.
If they just can’t create their account or get to your location, you can create the account for them. That said, we recommend you don’t set up parent accounts for them as a standard practice, only as a last resort when it is necessary.
Gather Key Guardian and Child Information
If you must set up the guardian and child accounts, create a form that contains all pertinent information such as contact information, allergy or medical alerts, and authorized/unauthorized guardians. Consider different communication options to get the form in their hands and see what works best for guardians to complete the form.
If you can, visit with the guardians, explain the process and your plans. Ask them to complete the form at that time. This also gives you a chance to do outreach with the families. If getting the form filled out while you are present is not possible, leave it with them and set up another time to come pick it up. You can also send the form home with the child, ask them to give it to their parents, and then return it.
Once you have the completed form, you would then create an account in KidCheck for each of these children, utilizing the information on the form. Keep in mind when the account is completed by you, the parent will not be keeping contact and other pertinent information updated, so you will be unaware of changes, and need to manage the account for them.
Parents Still Not Involved
When parents just aren’t involved or engaged, and won’t provide the necessary information for you to create an account, you still need the ability to do an electronic, tracked, secure check-in when the children are at your facility.
In the cases where you haven’t been able to create a separate parent account, we suggest you create a new KidCheck account using the name of the main person at your organization running the associated program or bus ministry. Each child attending the program would be listed in the “My Kids” tab on that account. In essence, that main person would become the designated “guardian” for all the children being checked-in for that particular program, or bus route.
If you are using this approach for a bus ministry with multiple routes, or a program with multiple leaders, you could set up a KidCheck account for each bus route’s driver or leader. When the children check-in under that driver/leader’s account, the child will be associated with the 10-digit phone number of that designated “guardian.”
Associate an Authorized Guardian from Your Organization
Even if a child’s account is created, whether by you or the parent, if the parent is not involved, you should have your facility’s designated (and background checked) guardian (i.e. program lead, bus driver) also listed as an authorized guardian on the child’s account. As the child’s parent will not always be highly involved, and therefore not completing the check-in, this gives your organization’s leader/driver the ability to still complete a secure check-in and out.
Reporting Set Up
In KidCheck, set up a template and/or location specifically named for the program or bus ministry. This will enable your reports to accurately reflect the specific program attendance information. Also, when printing name badges, that location name shows up on the name tag for the child.
While the process when parents aren’t highly involved is different and might take a bit more work, we hope these suggestions and ideas help you continue to create a safe child check-in environment.
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