When you spend as much time interacting with child care & ECE owners, administrators and directors as my team and I do, you get pretty familiar with questions & concerns. Below, I’ve listed & responded to the 10 most common questions & concerns my team and I get.

  1. How do I trust my staff on devices? At the end of the day, as a Director, you need to be able to trust your Staff. But, of course, we all know that, with phones, the temptation is, at times, very difficult to ignore. In working with our customers, we’ve found a few solutions: Guidelines & discipline. Be very clear that devices are for tend.ly only. If anyone is caught doing something else, they will receive a warning. The second time, they will be disciplined. (That sounds brutal – In all transparency, I’ve not heard of a center that actually had to discipline an employee.) You can purchase tablets for them to use specifically for tend.ly. These days, you can purchase an Android Tablet for $50 or less. To take it a step further, you can oftentimes lock these tablets down so staff can only access work-related apps. All of that said, more often than not, Staff members are so excited to have the privilege to use a tool like tend.ly – and not have to hand write 15 reports daily – that they don’t cause any issues.
  2. Won’t an app like this be expensive? Not at all! For $2/child/month, you not only get access to the app, but you get free training, phone & email support and the ability to work with your Client Success Manager to customize things according to your specific needs. More often than not, our customers will pass this cost along to their parents in the form of a technology fee. I don’t recall the last time I heard a customer mention that parents weren’t willing to pay $24/year for this level communication & peace of mind.
  3. Isn’t my center too small? No center is too small or too big to use tend.ly. Whether you’re an in-home daycare with 6 children, a single facility with 25, or a multi-facility center with hundreds of children, tend.ly can support your needs.
  4. My Staff isn’t tech savvy enough. The tend.ly team has invested immense amounts of time and energy into creating an app that is as easy to learn and use as possible. We know that the users of tend.ly cover a massive range of ages & technical abilities. So, we designed & built our app with each and every one of them in mind. The result is an app that virtually anyone & everyone can use, and use it well. In fact, I taught my 4 year old how to use it the other day.
  5. Can’t I just use Facebook? Facebook, while on the surface, seems like a great alternative, loses its luster when you dig a little deeper. Sure, you can set up a private group, but the settings to do so are incredibly cumbersome. In addition, Facebook wasn’t designed with parental communication & engagement in mind. It also wasn’t designed to meet the very specific needs of daycares & ECE centers, such as child profile information, curriculum, menus, one-way communication, attendance & payroll reporting, ratio tracking, insight into where any given child or staff member is at any given moment, etc.
  6. I don’t think my Staff and I have time to learn how to use it. Of course you do! We’ve found that we are able to achieve 100% adoption & retention with a simple, 1 hour training session. Most of which, of course, is devoted to walking Staff through the various features of the app & answering questions…and chitchatting and sharing humorous stories. Between the training session & 5-10 minutes of real-life use, your Staff will be good to go. Tend.ly really is that easy to learn and use!
  7. Won’t it take more time than paper? As our CEO, Caitlin, always says, “If someone can’t do something in tend.ly faster than they can do it with pen & paper, then we’re doing it wrong.” With that sentiment as our guide, we’ve built an app that saves time and eliminates the laborious process of hand writing notes. Think about how long it takes you to take a picture, tag a friend & post it on Facebook. Probably less time than it took me to write that sentence. That’s how quickly you can create a Moment in tend.ly. Plus, the delivery of the end-of-day recap is done automatically.
  8. I’m not sure if my parents would be interested in something like this. Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, today’s society lives on their phones. Regardless of their age, their lives either already revolve around their phone or are well on their way to. While the question used to be “What can I do on my phone?” now, it’s “What can’t I do on my phone?” You can check & respond to email, pay bills, do your banking, track your runs, get directions, read the news, play fantasy football, search for houses to buy, improve your golf game, make reservations at a restaurant, and find a ride home from the airport. Today, technological utilization is an expectation. Trust me – parents will be crazy about the idea of being able to keep track of their child’s day on their phone. I see it day in and day out.
  9. Can parents see Moments for children that aren’t theirs? They cannot. We have built tend.ly in a manner that makes it completely secure, on multiple levels. First and foremost, each center has their own, dedicated account. The Director or Owner determines who gets access to their tend.ly account. Parents can only have access if they are invited and actively register their account. They can only see Moments in which their children are tagged. They do not have access to identifying information for anyone else that uses the app.
  10. What reports do you offer? While the majority of our customers are looking for simple reports showing Reservations, Meal tallies & Attendance Records, we have the ability – and willingness! – to create reports based on any of the data we’re collecting within tend.ly. And, if you want a report based on data we’re not collecting, we can customize your version so you can.