Features & Updates

Introducing Contactless Sign In/Out for Timeclock

Gavin Wieske
July 9, 2020

Over the past few months, COVID has forced many childcare, daycare, and preschool centers to reduce their capacity or even close their doors. Thankfully, as things have begun to progress in the right direction, many centers have been given the green light to re-open. However, these reopenings are dependent on minimizing COVID spread and come with new regulations and restrictions, creating new hoops for centers to jump through in order to remain open. 

We know you’re looking for ways to put your customers at ease and stay open for the long-term, so after receiving welcomed feedback from many of our customers during this unique time, it became obvious that our customers required a sign-in/out system that was contactless. 

You may be familiar with our existing Timeclock feature which has a simple keypad that can be opened on a center device, where parents can sign their child(ren) in and out of the center and staff can sign in and out by tapping in a unique four-digit code with their finger. We heard from some of our clients that due to requirements for physical distancing and regular cleaning in order to prevent the spread of COVID, this process is no longer ideal at this time. 

Our team embraced the challenge and immediately got to work on a solution. With a fast-tracked R&D process, we were able to quickly design and test a new update and are excited to announce the release of our brand new contactless sign in/out feature! Check out the details of this exciting, FREE new feature below:


What is Contactless Sign In/Out?

Contactless Sign in/out uses the camera on a phone or other device to scan a QR code, allowing parents and staff to sign in/out on their own device without having to touch a common device or keypad. With Contactless Sign In/Out enabled, you will notice a QR code* showing up on your timeclock. 

Contactless Sign In/out Image

*QR codes are labels similar to a barcode that encode information and can be read by a machine such as a phone camera. For more information about QR codes, click here.


How does Contactless Sign In/Out work?

When parents or staff come to your center, they will simply be able to scan the QR code on your timeclock with their personal device. This will prompt them to open the timeclock web page on their personal device. They will then be able to operate the timeclock as normal on their own device by entering their 4-digit code and initials to complete the sign in process.

To make this transition as easy as possible, we have made this process as similar as possible to the manual sign in/out in order to prevent confusion on the parents end. We also have a free printable sheet with instructions for parents that you can access here.

This exciting new feature also allows you to easily implement new check-in methods like curbside pick up and drop off. Staff can have the Timeclock open on a center device for parents to scan when they meet them outside to receive the child they are dropping off or sign out a child who is picked up. 


Is this feature an additional charge?

No! We are happy to share that this new feature will be readily available to all of our customers at no extra charge. We continue to uphold our subscription model with all features included. We simply hope this allows each center to provide a better experience for parents and ease their transition back to full capacity, while preventing the continued spread of the virus. 

Is Contactless Sign In/Out secure?

Security is always a top priority here at Sandbox Software. With the previous version of the Timeclock, centers would open it on a center device to avoid giving parents and staff personal access. This helped ensure that parents and staff were at the center when signing in/out.

With the new update, we set out to find a solution that would help keep this security measure in place. The QR code changes every time you refresh the page and the page automatically refreshes every 5 minutes. After parents/staff scan the QR code, they will have 10 minutes to complete the sign in/out before the page times out. This means that parents and staff will not have the ability to complete sign in/out’s before arriving or after leaving the premises.


How do I enable this in my account?

If you are interested in using this feature at your center you must first enable it by navigating to the ‘Settings’ tab with the gear wheel (in the account profile - top right corner) then select ‘Timeclock’ from the categories section. Under Timeclock Defaults you will notice a new option to Enable Contactless (QR) Scanning. Check off this option by clicking the box beside this option, then click the red ‘save’ button at the lower right of the screen. That’s it, you are all set for Contactless sign in/out! The QR code will now show up automatically beside the regular timeclock sign-in screen on your device, to be scanned by parents or staff. Keep in mind this is not a static QR code and cannot be printed as it refreshes every 5 min.

To learn more about how this new feature works take a look at our User Guide, or download and print the instructions here

We are very excited to hear your feedback on this new update - let us know what you think!


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