Child check-in - using the leader's Admin Area

In this article

Overview of the leader Admin area
Moving children between groups
Reprinting badges
Switching, leaving, pausing and closing a session
Locking a check-in device to a particular group
Checking out children

Overview of the leader Admin area

Leaders often need quick access to important information during a group session, but it's not always appropriate or desirable to give leader access to the entire Children module. Usually, they need very limited information and only for those registered or checked-in children in their care. The Child Check-In system's Admin area is purpose-designed to give them everything they might need to manage their group. Importantly, the area is only accessible by leaders when there is an active session running. The Admin area is also the place to do in-room check-in or to check children and young people out at the end of the session. There are lots of great features to help leaders, ensure good safeguarding practices and solicit useful leader feedback on things that might need following up after the session.

Access to the Admin area requires entry of a PIN - a 4-digit number that you set in your Children module's settings on the Check-In Options tab. You'll share the PIN with just those leaders who need Admin area access. The default PIN is 1234, but this should be changed to something secure and easily memorable by those that need to know.

During an active Check-In session a leader can access the Admin Area by clicking the Admin button in the top right-hand corner of the check-in page. Enter the Admin PIN when prompted.

From here leaders see a visual overview of the active Session. There are two tabs - Now and Total. The Now tab displays an overview of the currently checked-in children, visitors and team, while the Total tab gives the same overview based on registered children, whether currently checked in or not. An important distinction is that at any given time not every child may yet be checked in (when two-stage Register first, check in later is used), and some children may have been checked out (at the end of the session). Some may have registered but didn't attend and were not checked in. The Now tab is your up-to-the-minute register in the event of an emergency where a "roll call" of children in your leader's care is needed.

As check-in progresses during the active session the Capacity indicator bars on the Now tab update according to either the adult-to-child ratios set for each group or the group's capacity (if a capacity has been set for the group). The indicator bar changes colour from green (within capacity) to orange as you near or reach capacity (calculated as being when the final adult of an adult-to-child ratio is reached). The bar turns red when a group is over capacity - a great way to monitor a potential need to draft in additional helpers or to cap the number of children able to attend. While young people aged 11+ can be checked in as Team, only adult team members in your Address Book are used in calculating the progress indicator bar.

You can Edit to make changes to a group's capacity or adult-to-child ratio during an active session. On the Edit group pop-up add or edit the Capacity and Ratio as appropriate. Changes made here will update the Group settings for the Gathering in the Children module.

From the Admin section, clicking through from the Now or Total tabs into a group takes you to the Group page for the active session, with 4 tabs showing Check-Ins, Details, Attendance and Notes. Let's look at each tab in turn...

The Check-Ins tab lists all registered children, visitors and checked-in team members for the group. The list is scrollable, but for long lists, the Search and Boys/Girls filters may be helpful. The list can be re-ordered by clicking on a column heading. The Check-Ins page can also be printed as a Report. At a glance, for each child, leaders can see the name of each child in the group, their check-in Code (used to match against the parent pick-up badge code, and helpful if a child has lost their badge), the time they were Registered for the group, and the times they were checked In or Out. Contact details for the primary parent are also shown for each child.

Within the list are buttons for Check out, and where a child has been checked out, to Check in again - for example, if a young child is taken from the group by a parent for a nappy change. The Check-in button is also used during a two-stage check-in process, where children have been previously registered but are now being checked into your care, perhaps in the room. Note that only registered children can be checked in and out - those arriving at a group who are not registered will not be able to be checked in until they register and obtain their badges. The Check-in and Check-out buttons update the child's group attendance data for the active Session back in your ChurchSuite Children module.

Clicking on a child in the list opens a pop-up with further child information, including basic Emergency Contact details, Photo/Video consent, Medical Information, Additional Needs, and Additional Information, such as any children's custom fields you've set as Visible in Connect.

The Details tab provides a more detailed list of Medical, Additional Needs, Additional Info and Photo/Video Consent - ideal for checking for allergies in the group before distributing juice and biscuits to the children. Child details cannot be edited by leaders - only Children module Users and parents (in My ChurchSuite) can make changes.

The Attendance tab shows recent group attendance - ideal for welcoming back a child that may have been absent for a time.

Finally, the Notes tab is great for group leaders to add feedback about their sessions.

Notes added in the Admin Area are surfaced in the Children module's Attendance section back in ChurchSuite so that children/youth ministry overseers can pick up on all session feedback in one place.

Moving children between groups

It's sometimes necessary for a child to be moved to a different group to the one they were first registered to - perhaps to place an unsettled child with a sibling or friend, or to move a child that has been incorrectly assigned to a group. Locate their entry on the Group page and click the Action menu on the right-hand side of their name and select Move child.

On the Move child pop-up, select the new group and click Confirm. The child is moved to the new group for the active session and their group attendance record is also moved (recorded in the Children module's Attendance section).

Reprinting badges

You can re-print badges. Locate the child on the Group page, click the Action menu on the right-hand side and select Re-print badge.

All badges, as determined by the Session printing settings, will be re-printed for the child - it is not possible to print just a parent badge or just a child badge.

Switching, leaving, pausing and closing a session

Within the Admin Area, from the Session menu option on the left-hand side of the screen, leaders have options to Swap, Leave, Pause or Close the active session, and Lock the device (see next section).

The Swap Session option is only shown if there is more than one session active, enabling leaders to quickly swap to a different active session. This may be helpful during a 'crossover' period between two services where your leaders need to be able to switch to the first session that's soon closing, to check the remaining children out, or to switch to the second session that's just started, to check in new children to their groups.

The Leave Session option is helpful to the team leader that's responsible for starting a check-in session. Once started they can leave the session, perhaps to open a different session ready for the next service.

Pausing a session prevents a further child or team check-ins at any station until the session is set running again.

From the menu clicking Search will exit the leader from the Admin Area and return them to the Child Search page ready for the next parent or child to be checked in.

Closing a check-in session

Selecting to Close a Session affects all check-in stations and will immediately check out all remaining checked-in children for the session, adding a 'check-out' time stamp to each remaining child. All child registrations (two-stage) that didn't check in are deleted. A Session should only be closed at the end of the session meeting, ideally once all children have been checked out and returned to their parents. Any active Sessions that remain open will be automatically closed at midnight. Once a Session has been closed it can not be reopened.

Locking a check-in device to a particular group

It's possible to lock a child check-in device to a particular group for an active session. Searching for children will still work across all groups for the session's gathering, but when checking in children they will always be checked into the group the device is locked to, regardless of the child's age or normal group assignment. To lock a device to a particular group head into the Admin area. Enter the PIN when prompted. From the Session menu select Lock device.

On the Lock device pop-up select the Group to lock the device to.

You can return to the Session section at any time to Unlock the device if you need to.

Checking out children

At the end of the active Session, leaders can check children out. To check children out head into the Admin area, entering the PIN when prompted. From the Now tab click on a Group page (or click All Groups).

On the Check-Ins tab and following your church's check-out processes (e.g. matching the parent pick-up Code number with a child's Code), locate the child on the list and click the red Check out button beside their name. An Out time stamp is added.

Top Tip for parents!

In addition to the printed parent badges you may produce, parents with My ChurchSuite access on their Smartphones can access their parent pickup badges in the My Children section during an active session. In addition to being able to quickly check their children into groups using a QR code scanned at your check-in stations, they can also present their parent pick-up badges, which also show the check-in and check-out time - ideal for one parent to know if the other parent has already collected a child.

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