Sound Child Care Solutions
Preparing More Young Kids for School and Life
with Software Donations
Sound Child Care Solutions (SCCS) helps young children get ready for school and life by providing high-quality early childhood education in five child care centers throughout Seattle, Washington. Using an innovative shared-services consortium model, the organization strives to improve child outcomes and strengthen families by increasing the center's organizational capacity.
Currently, 9 of its 20 classrooms are dual-language with Spanish, Vietnamese, or Somali in conjunction with English. Built on national research showing the importance of strengthening child care economically, SCCS was the first of its kind when it started in 2007. It joins together strong, high-quality child-care centers to share business functions and professional development through a centralized model of operations. With continued growth, SCCS expects to serve 750 to 1,000 children soon.
Managing a diverse array of programs and everyday administrative tasks requires technological help. Through the TechSoup donation program, SCCS received Microsoft Office software. The donation helped SCCS standardize email communication across its five centers. With Excel, SCCS staff members collect data to gauge program effectiveness.
Excel also enabled SCCS to build a comprehensive budget system in which each of the centers can complete an individual budget that is integrated into a program-wide budget. The organization can now calculate complicated formulas with variables that differ with each center. These variables include staffing, enrollment sliding, fees subsidies, grants, and contracts from public and private entities.
For planning purposes, different scenarios can be tested using the spreadsheets. For example, SCSS can determine which combination of enrollment and staffing maximizes the number of low-income families it can accommodate.
With Publisher, staff members can produce newsletters and other materials to communicate with the families of the children they serve.