digital child care forms

5 Reasons to Go Digital with Child Care Forms

reasons to go digital with preschool, daycare, kindergarten and child care forms

“Tidy” is not typically a word you would use to describe a preschool, daycare or child care center. Don’t get me wrong, teachers put in a lot of hard work to keep things organized, but in a room filled with toys, books and paint — oh, and a dozen screaming toddlers — things can get real messy real fast.

On the administrative side, when your day is full of impromptu emergencies, the last thing you want to deal with is a stack of paperwork. Nearly everything has gone digital by now, yet many child care centers are still stuck doing administrative work on paper.

With a little upfront work, you can transform your preschool by ditching the paper (but remember to recycle!) and going digital with your administrative forms. Here are 5 reasons why you should make the switch:

1. Won’t Get Lost

digital forms child care forms won't get lost

For parents, from leaving work to picking up their kiddo to dinner to playing to bedtime, the form you gave them today is the last thing on their mind. If it gets misplaced somewhere along the way, then it can be almost impossible to retrace their steps and find it.

While you can always give them another one, if a parent gives you a form with sensitive information on it like their address or credit card number and you lose it, that can be a big liability that you don’t want to take on.

A digital form can’t get lost along the way, making the process of collecting important information that much easier. Plus, if you can’t remember where you filed it away, chances are you can pull up an email thread with a copy of the form.

2. More Secure

digital child care forms are more secure

Once something is on paper and handed over to someone else, you really have no idea what’s going to happen to it next. Hopefully it just goes into a locked drawer, but mistakes happen and it can always be left on a desk or slip out of a folder while walking outside.

Depending on the software you are using, digital forms can have security precautions in place to ensure only the right individuals have access to sensitive information. By assigning usernames and passwords to trusted staff, everyone can have better peace of mind that data is being kept safe. Plus, you may even be able to see access logs of who accessed the documents and when they did so, in case things go awry at some point.

3. Accessible When You Need It

digital child care forms are accessible when needed

How many times have you needed to know if Bradley is allergic to cilantro or if Paula’s parents’ credit card has been updated, only to go down a rabbit hole of, “did their parents fill out the form? I think I remember getting it 3 weeks ago. Wait, 3 weeks ago I did some work at home on Tuesday evening. Did I bring that stack of papers in from the side table in the living room? I remember I brought in half and moved the other half to under the bed…”

If you need to know something, you shouldn’t have to do a bunch of detective work to find it. By digitizing your forms, you can have important information like allergies, contact details and payment history accessible anytime at your fingertips.

4. Better for the Environment

digital child care forms are better for the environment

Less paper means fewer trees being cut down, as well as less manufacturing and transporting, which ultimately is better for the environment. It might not seem like much when you’re looking at one or two pieces of paper, but when you add these up for dozens or hundreds of kiddos, it’s easy to see the amount of paper being produced when a more efficient paper-free solution is already out there.

5. Better Record-Keeping

digital child care forms are better for record keeping

As mentioned earlier, digital information is much easier to keep track of and prevent from getting lost than paper. But it goes much further. Since it is digitized, you can go one step further and store this data in different folders, spreadsheets or software, depending on what your needs are. Or, you can compile information collected from various forms over time into one complete profile for each kiddo that has everything you’ll ever need to know in one convenient place.

Have you gone digital at your center? Know any other benefits that weren’t mentioned in this article? Let other early childhood educators know in the comments!

why to go digital with child care forms infographic

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Michael Keshen

Michael writes for HiMama's early childhood education blog and ECE Weekly newsletter. When not developing content for early childhood professionals, he can usually be found out and about with his wife and daughter exploring all that Toronto has to offer, or playing music with his karaoke band.


  • E. Chapman says:

    My school sends forms electronically and has an online platform for a lot of information, but I don’t get this article — licensed childcare centers in California (and I’m sure elsewhere) are required by LAW to have hard copy child care forms on file. Paper is mandatory, not optional. If during an inspection a licensing agent discovers we are missing forms it’s a violation. Furthermore, what do you do in case of an earthquake or other cause for a power outage and you need to access important medical or contact information for a child and the computers are down? Another reason to have an easily accessible hard copy file with emergency and medical information — if there’s an emergency it makes more sense to grab the file and a phone and then be with the child rather than leaving the child and running to the office to look stuff up on the computer.

    • Rachael says:

      Correct it is the same in Ohio. Computer files may be nice but you have a great point in case of power outages you need that information to contact parents.

  • CC says:

    How can I create digital forms? Are there any free resources to create these?

  • Laura says:

    I agree that digital forms are better as they are always available and doesn`t take up space in the office.

  • Lisa Braziel says:

    We have this device in the daycare. It is so much easier to keep up with each child’s daily activities as well as keeping track of every child

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