Child check-in using scanned barcodes
In addition to the conventional method for checking children into their groups through Child Check-in (where parents enter the child's name in order to search and select them from a list of results), ChurchSuite also supports the ability for children to be checked in using a scanned barcode or QR code.
Barcodes can be purchased in bulk from promotional material companies and the barcode number assigned against a child's profile in the Children module - either one barcode number for each child, or with one barcode number being used for all of the children in a family. This barcode would then be used by the parent at child check-in at your weekend services and mid-week gatherings. Instead of searching for the family name, scanning the bar code will bring up a list of all the parent's children without the need to search by name. Then for each child present, the parent simply ticks the name(s) on the list and clicks to check the child/children in to their group(s).
For churches using My ChurchSuite, parents with linked children will see a QR code in the My Children section of My ChurchSuite. The QR code is only visible when there is an active check-in session. Parents simply present and scan the QR code from their smart phone at check-in in order to to get a list of all their children. They simply 'tick' all the children present at the session and click to check them in. QR scanning is an incredibly fast way for parents to locate and check-in their children quickly and easily.
Checking children into their groups using a scanned barcode code is a very simple process, but does require a little bit of set up first. Use of QR codes requires no set up - no module setting changes or changes to children profiles in the Children module.
The system should work brilliantly no matter which make or model of barcode scanner you use (provided you can plug it in via usb), although we have tested it most extensively using an Esky USB Automatic Barcode Scanner.
Setup for barcodes
Begin by going to the Children module and then clicking through to the Module Options section (the cogwheels icon in the upper right hand corner of the page).
Once you're in the "Module Option" section, scroll down to the "Child Fields" section and tick the box marked "Show Check-in barcode field". This step is only required for barcodes, not QR codes.
Next, in order to allow parents to check-in using barcodes, you'll need to make sure that barcode check-in has been enabled in the Children module settings. Click the action cogs in the top right corner of the Children module to enter the module's settings. Click on the Connect tab (where all your child check-in settings are managed) and scroll down to the "Search Fields" settings. This section manages the search methods you'll allow parents to use to locate their children within the check-in system. Tick to enable barcode search.
Then click the "Save Changes" button to complete this part of the setup.
Assigning a barcode to a child
For the next part of the setup, select a child in the Children module and on their contact page click "Edit child".
Next, with your barcode scanner installed and connected, click your cursor into the field marked "Check-in Barcode" and then scan the barcode that you wish to assign to that child. Once the barcode has been scanned it will automatically populate into the "Check-in Barcode" field. You can also enter barcode numbers manually. Multiple barcodes can be entered - simply separate each one with a comma.
Click "Save Changes" to complete the setup.
Checking in a child using a barcode scanner
Now, when using Child Check-in, instead of typing in the child's surname, or the last four digits of their parent's phone number (although both of these methods would still work) a parent can simply scan their barcode, which would then bring up the child's name (or list of children) where they can be checked in as normal. Scanning the QR code provided within My Children works in exactly the same way.