Running a childcare center requires a lot of balance, dedication, and organization. It involves supervising children, planning lessons, coordinating activities, and ensuring that operations run smoothly behind the scenes. Managing your staff's schedules and tracking their working hours is an important part of your administrative responsibilities. By utilizing employee time tracking software, you can accurately keep track of the hours worked by your staff, their time off, and ensure they are getting paid correctly.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways to track employee hours and best practices to consider when using employee time tracking software.
What is employee time tracking software?
Employee time tracking software is a digital tool that assists businesses in monitoring and managing their employees' work hours, enabling them to pay their employees for the correct number of hours worked. Compared to standard manual methods, a software solution improves operations by increasing efficiency, accuracy, and transparency. These types of software typically include clock-in and clock-out features, real-time tracking, and detailed reporting, allowing employers to maintain a thorough record of employee work hours.
Whether your business processes payroll manually or outsources to a third-party provider, small mistakes in tracking employee hours can have a big impact on workplace efficiency, staff satisfaction, and childcare quality. By using employee time-tracking software, you can ensure fairness, trust, and compliance with labor regulations.
Another important benefit of using employee time tracking software is that it can easily integrate with payroll software. When your staff members input their hours, they are automatically calculated and processed for payroll. This tool takes the headache out of administrative duties and makes it easy to ensure that every team member receives proper payment for their hard work.
How to keep track of employee hours
Effectively tracking your staff's work hours is essential for accurate payroll reports, resource allocation, and labor law compliance. You can choose from various methods to track employee hours, including:
Manual time tracking
Manual time tracking involves manually recording employees' work hours. Staff members write down their start and end times on a sheet or log. While this method is simple, manual tracking can be prone to errors, such as forgotten entries or incorrect calculations.
Manual timesheets are a step up from basic manual tracking. Your staff records their work hours on a paper or digital timesheet, which they submit to their managers for approval. Although this method is more structured than manual time tracking, it's still prone to errors and makes record keeping a hassle.
Tracking employee hours is made more accurate and automated using time clocks, whether traditional or biometric. Traditional time clocks require employees to use cards to clock in and out, while biometric time clocks use fingerprints or other biometric identifiers. This method effectively reduces the likelihood of time fraud and allows for real-time tracking.
Biometric time clocks, in particular, improve accuracy and security by ensuring that only authorized personnel can clock in and out. You can also integrate time clocks with payroll software to streamline payroll processes.
Time tracking software
Time tracking software is easy to implement and is an efficient solution that automates the entire time-keeping process. It lets employees digitally log their hours, breaks, and time off using devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers. And you can review and approve entries through these devices as well. Additionally, the software often integrates with payroll systems for a more seamless and error-free process. A tool like brightwheel’s payroll solution powered by Gusto, is a complete, easy-to-use payroll solution that enables providers to automate tax filings, save time, and manage payroll with confidence. Quickly and easily manage timecards and run payroll in a click, without ever having to export anything.
How to keep track of employee time off
Keeping track of employee time off is essential for maintaining efficient operations and ensuring fair treatment of all team members. A well-organized time-off tracking system helps both employees and employers by reducing scheduling conflicts and promoting transparency. To effectively manage your staff's time off, you can:
- Establish a clear time-off policy that outlines the types of leaves available (e.g., vacation, sick leave, personal days), the process for requesting time off, and any relevant eligibility criteria.
- Use employee time tracking software to automate the process, making it easier for your staff to submit time-off requests and for you to review and approve them.
- Ensure that all approved time-off requests are accurately logged, including the type of leave, dates, and any additional notes. Keep the information secure and easily accessible for both staff and management.
- Encourage open communication between you and your staff. Promptly address time-off requests and notify staff members of their request status. In return, encourage your employees to provide as much advance notice as possible for planned time off.
Employee time tracking best practices
To make the most of employee time tracking software, consider the following best practices:
- Clear communication: Introduce the software to your staff transparently. Highlight its benefits regarding accurate pay, better time-off management, and streamlined operations.
- Training and support: Train your staff on how to use the software effectively. Address any concerns they might have and offer ongoing support and training resources.
- Regular check-ins: Conduct regular check-ins to ensure that staff members use the software correctly and encounter no difficulties. This also provides an opportunity to address any issues promptly.
- Data security: Emphasize the importance of data security. Assure your staff that their personal information is secure.
- Integration with payroll: Seamlessly integrate the software with your payroll system. This reduces the chances of errors in calculating employee wages and saves time on manual calculations.
- Customization: Opt for software that allows customization to suit your specific business needs. Different childcare businesses might have unique requirements, and a flexible software solution can adapt accordingly.
- Regular auditing: Periodically review the time-tracking data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. This data can provide insights into employee productivity and workload distribution.
Simplify your back-office processes
Operating a childcare center isn't easy, but adopting tools that help streamline administrative duties can keep you organized, allowing you to focus on providing quality child care. From simplifying the process of tracking work hours to streamlining time-off management, employee time tracking software can be the key to operating efficiently.
Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at mybrightwheel.com.