An alternative to electronic check in

alternative to electronic check in

If you’re like many people you appreciate the accountability of a good check in process when dropping off your kids. This can cause a problem if you’re trying to compare yourself to the electronic check in process many large facilities that make use of the electronic check systems.

The good news you can have accuracy and accountability without a computerized check in system.  Maybe you don’t have money in your budget for the computers, software, and printers. Maybe you don’t have enough kids to make the jump to an electronic process. Whatever the reason, there is an alternative to electronic check in. I’ve been in your position many times before and through much trial and error have come up with a solution that works for us and I think will work for you too.

We tried using the address labels and writing names on them and sticking the sticker on the child shirt. We then gave parents the similar sticker with the child’s name. Then we went to pre-printed labels for all regular kids and hand wrote tags for guests. You name it, we tried it. While most methods worked, we continued to tweak, change, and improve the check in card

We ultimately decided on and what worked best for us was a system that used laminated name cards and bracelets. We printed the family’s last name and a three digit number on a business card and then laminated it. Upon check-in we presented the family card to the parents and then we wrote the three digit number on a Tyvek wristband and put that on the child’s wrist. At the end of service when it was time to pick up their children parents would present the card with the number that would be matched with the child’s bracelet number and then the child would be released. The card would be collected to be reissued the following week upon check-in. We found that if we did not collect the cards at the end of the service that parents would forget to bring them the next week.

guest check in cardFor guests we had the same process. We printed multiple business cards with the word “guest” and a three digit number. When a guest family checked in, we would present the card and then write that number on the wristband for the child. After one month of attendance that family was put onto our run our roster and then they were issued a regular family card with a permanent number. For each family the three digit number always stayed the same. We hand wrote the number on the wristband when we issued it to the child each week.

We began by creating a master spreadsheet with all families that were regular attenders. We then created the family name card using the last name of each family, then laminated them.

When families checked in on a Sunday morning a check was placed next to the child’s name on the master list. At the end of the morning, the attendance was transferred from the list into the computer spread sheet, which was used to track attendance.

This may not be a perfect method of a secure check in process and way to track attendance, but it was our alternative to electronic check in, and it worked well for us. Hopefully if you choose to use this method it will work well for you also.alternative to electronic check in



Post a comment if you have any questions, or if you have a different alternative to electronic check in. 

About the Author

Ron is happily married to his best friend, and dad to the best daughter you could imagine. As a teacher and children's pastor, he has over 20 years experience of teaching, leading, writing, creating and consulting. He has written for churches, contributed to several collaborative publications, and written a #1 Best Selling Devotional, Got Fruit? on Amazon. His blog is consistantly listed in the Top 40 Children's Ministry Blogs and Websites. Don't hesitate to ask if you think he could help you and your ministry in any way.

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