- Configure your virtual check-in stations
- Determine your tag printing layout
- Setting up your groups and classes for check-in
- Entering events and tying classes to those events
- In the navigation menu, go to ADMINISTRATION
- Click on the SETTINGS tile
- On the left menu, select "Safe Check-in"
- Click on the ADD STATION button to begin building your first station
- Enter a Station Name: Each physical station needs to have a corresponding virtual station in Seraphim. You don't want to open the same virtual station on more than one physical station. This will cause printing problems, statistic issues, and user experience deficiencies. Be specific with your name! You want to know exactly where this station is located if you ever need to do some troubleshooting.
- Select your Station Type: Each station can be a Staffed Check-in, a Self Check-in, or a Volunteer Check-in station. Yes you can even check-in your volunteers! Staffed Check-in runs through Seraphim, and is intended to be operated by a staff member. This is a good choice if check-in is a new concept to your congregants. It's also great to have staffed stations if there are new visitors, or just to ensure that people are getting the right tags and going to the right locations. Self Check-in is allows parents to check in their own kids without a staff member present, and can also be used for check-in stations for older kids that don't necessarily need to be accompanied by an adult. Volunteer check-in is just what you would expect: a place where your volunteers can check in for their responsibilities that morning.
- Enter a station description: This is not necessary, but you can add more details to the station to insure that others know what physical station this corresponds to.
- Select an Age bias (not recommended): Setting an age bias only allows children between a specific age range to check in at that station. In theory, your church may want this, but in reality many churches do not have the infrastructure to support this kind of setup. The age bias looks at the world in black and white. There is no gray area. For instance. Let's say a there is a 6 year old that has special needs. As such his parents want him to stay with the 5 year olds one more year. This isn't a problem for the church, but if the check-in station has an age bias of 3-5 year-olds, then this boy won't be able to get checked in. Only use the age bias if your church has a plethora of check-in stations, and folks can easily find the right check-in station for them.
- Click on the MONITORING Tab on the left.
- Select your Monitoring Type: Selecting the Universal monitoring type will allow individuals to check in to any/all events happening on that date that they are qualified to attend. This setting also shows the total number of people checked in across all stations, regardless of what station they checked into. Selecting the Station Centric/Time Centric monitoring type will allow users to only check into events that are available to them according to the check-in time frames defined below the monitoring type.
- Select your check-in time frame (For station centric/time centric monitoring type only): Select the number of hours before the current time that individuals can check into. We recommend 4 hours for this setting. This means that someone has up to 4 hours before the beginning of the event to check into that event. Also, select the number of hours after the current time that individuals can check into an event. We recommend 1 hour for this setting. This means that someone has up to 1 hour after the event begins to check in to that event.
If this station is going to be a self check-in station, click on the "Wallpaper" tab on the left. If this is a staffed check-in, go to the next step.
If this station is going to be a Self Check-in station or a Cherub station, you will probably want to upload a wallpaper for the station itself. This wallpaper image will be shown behind the interactive elements of the check-in station such as the search box and the check-in selectors.
- In the menu on the left, click on OPERATION
- If you are a multi-campus church, you may want to limit what events can be checked into from this station. Just select the correct campus from the dropdown menu. If not, you can leave the selection to ALL CAMPUSES
- Check the box for "Allow operators to Add Visitors" if this is a staffed check-in and if you want your station assistants to be able to add visitors from the Check-in screen. If you plan on using a self check-in station such as Cherub, this setting will not come into effect.
- Check the box for "Require Parental Check-in for any child check-in". This is not necessary for older children checking themselves in that do not require a parent to check them in.
- Check the box for "Enforce Privacy on Parent information". This will make sure that only the Parent's name information shows up on the check-in screen when searching. If you want to see parent's mobile and address info, uncheck this box, and no extra parental info will show beneath the parents name upon check-in.
- Check the box for "Show Virtual Keyboard" if your check in hardware runs on touch screen devices such as Surface Pros.
- Check the box for "Enable Deep Searching" if you would like your congregants to be able to search for their record on things like email address or street address. If you uncheck this field, your congregants will need to search based on their name or their phone number.
Creating a Check-in Station: Labels
On the left menu, select LABELS. Here you will decide what exactly you would like to print on each check-in label, as well as how many labels you'd like to print for parents and kids.
- Check the box for "Make labels for Parents" if you would like to print a parent label when a child is checked in. Then select the number of parent labels you would like to print for each check-in.
- Let's say a parent checks in three children for one service. If you don't want the printer to print three corresponding labels for the parent for each child, then check the "Make only one parent label per check in" box.
- Check the box for "Make label for children" if you want to print a label for a child when they are checked in. Then enter the number of child labels you would like to print for each check-in.
- If you want volunteer labels to print from this station as well, you'll want to check the box for "Make labels for volunteers"
- If you would like to add a custom tag header, check the box next to "Label Header" and enter your message in the text field. Keep the message short, there isn't a lot of printing room on these tags!
- Next select what you would like included on the printed tag. This includes: Check-in times, class location, child allergies, additional medical information, parent's name, parent's mobile phone, and child's name on parent's label.
Note: Where does the medical information and allergy information come from to print on the label? This information is located on each child's individual record in the Directory under the Medical tab.
- If you want a custom label footer to print, check the box next to "Label Footer" and enter your message in the text field.
You'll also need to select an "Authentication method". These various codes are randomly generated for each family. These codes will then "follow" the family. There's a possibility that in the future we will have the ability to generate new codes for each family for each date. But for now, the code is persistent across dates.
Finally, choose whether or not you'd like to include a 4 digit pager code that the children's ministry can use to get in touch with parents during the service.
Creating a Check-in Station: Cherub
If you plan on using self check-in stations, we would recommend setting these stations up as Cherub Stations. Cherub is a sister app of Seraphim, that uses the same information located in Seraphim, but is specifically designed with the Congregant in mind. You can download the Cherub Application here: http://downloads.seraphimsoftware.com/InstallCherub.exe
You can add additional Cherub settings by clicking on the "Cherub Station" tab on the left. Here you can select various check in input methods. Options include:
- Barcodes/Key FOB Only (Note, if you're scanning barcodes, you'll want to make sure to program a carriage return into the scanner if it doesn't already. Each scanner is different, but if you check the support documentation on your scanner, you should be able to set this up so folks don't have to hit the "Enter" key after they scan their barcode).
- Last 4 digits of Phone/Mobile
- Confidential Family pin
- Name, Address, Home/Mobile Phone
Configuring Groups for Safe Check-in: Static and Dynamic
Great Job! That's all there is to it to set up a Check-in Station. Pretty easy right? If you haven't already, go ahead and try setting up a Check-in Station in Seraphim.
You may recall from the previous chapter that there are some other important components of the system that play into Safe Check-in:
- Groups and classes
- Calendar Events.
Why are groups important to Safe Check-in? To understand this, we should take a look at the general structure of How Safe Check-in works again:
- Children are put into "Family Units" with their parents. This creates a link between parent and child.
- Child records hold individual information such as age, grade, allergy, and medical info.
- Kids are then placed into groups, such as "3rd Graders".
- Groups are then designated as classes and assigned a room location.
- Groups/Classes are then assigned to specific events.
- Parents then check their children into events that they are qualified to attend according to the groups/classes that are associated to the events.
In order to make Check-in work smoothly, all of these pieces need to be constructed correctly. In this section, we're going to focus on Groups and classes.
The two types of groups:
There are two types of groups: Static and Dynamic. Static groups are manually managed - child records are added to the group by administrators. Records will stay in static groups until they are removed. Dynamic groups on the other hand are assembled by indicating specific criteria. For example, you can create a dynamic group based off of a defined age range. You don't have to go searching for qualified records, the system will find them for you based off of the criteria you've selected. For classes and events, you might use a combination of both static groups and dynamic groups. The directions below will focus on the basics of groups to configure them to get them ready for safe check-in specifically.
How to create a static group
- Go to ADMINISTRATION > DIRECTORY TILE.
- Click on the GROUPS tab, and click on NEW GROUP
- Enter your group name, then make sure that "STATIC" is selected in the drop down menu.
- Enter the name of a child in the search by name field. Highlight their name, and click ADD to build your list on the right.
- When finished, click SAVE. (NOTE: You can build groups based off of pre-built groups by using the "Existing groups" drop down menu!).
How to create a dynamic group
- Go to ADMINISTRATION > DIRECTORY TILE.
- Click on the GROUPS tab, and click on NEW GROUP
- Enter your group name, then make sure that "DYNAMIC" is selected in the drop down menu.
- Click on NEW CRITERIA
- The first criteria in EVERY dynamic group should be a "MEMBERSHIP" criteria. In Box 1, select MEMBERSHIP. In Box 2, select MEMBERSHIP STATUS. In Box 3, select "in". In box 4, select "CHECK ALL".
- Continue to add criteria as you see fit.
To set a group as a class and assign to a room:
- When in the group editor, click on the PROPERTIES tab on the left.
- Click on the "Class" Toggle at the top to indicate that "This group is a class".
- Click on the "Class/Staff" Tab on the left.
- Select what campus this class will be located at.
- Choose which building this class applies to.
- Select your "Room" for this class. (If you haven't built rooms in your system yet, you'll want to do so under the Facilities tile. Click HERE for instructions on how to create new rooms.)
- You do not have to add start and end ages for your group (especially if you're using a dynamic group to determine who should be placed into the group).
- Make sure to hit SAVE when you're all done!
When building your classes, you’ll want to make sure that you use a consistent naming convention. This makes it MUCH easier to find the groups you’re looking for in a pinch, and it also helps admins from creating duplicate groups. For example, if you’re creating a group of each kind per service, maybe you’ll want to name the classes like this:
- Building – Service – Grade/Age group – Rm Number
It doesn’t have to be that detailed, but the larger your church, the more important it is to keep a consistent naming convention. Next, we'll look at how to tie groups and events together for safe check-in.
Entering Events for Safe Check-in
After creating the appropriate groups and classes, you’ll now want to tie those groups/classes to an event. For example, for a child to be checked into your Sunday morning worship service, you’ll want to have a Sunday morning event on your calendar. If you have two morning services, then you’ll want to have one event for each service. The instructions below outline how to create a basic event and assign groups/classes to that event. For more detailed event creation, check out our other Help Center materials, or reach out to our support team for more assistance
Creating an Event:
- Go to ADMINISTRATION > EVENTS Tile.
- Click on + NEW EVENT
- Choose an event type, and Campus location.
- Give the event a name and description.
- Select the Appropriate date and times that this event will be for.
- Click on the Location tab on the left.
- Select the campus and building. Then select any classroom that would be applicable.
- Select the GROUPS/CLASSES tab on the left.
- Click on ADD/REMOVE CLASSES FROM EVENT. A list of all your groups will appear.
- Check the boxes next to any and all groups/classes that should be associated to this event.
- Click on SAVE SELECTIONS at the bottom, THEN click on the SAVE button at the top.
Quick Test - Setting Up Your Safe
Now that we have the basic elements of a check-in setup, let’s try a quick test. To do this, you’re going to need to:
- Create a check-in station
- Create a family unit, that has at least one guardian and one child.
- Make sure the child record has an applicable birthday/grade/medical info
- Create a group (either static or Dynamic).
- If static, assign the child to the group
- If dynamic, make sure the child is pulled into the group based off of the criteria you’ve selected. Make sure to include the membership status criteria!
- Set the group as a class
- Create an event an hour out from the current time. Assign the group you created to that event.
- Open the check-in station in Seraphim if using staffed check-in, or Cherub if you’re using self check-in.
- If using staffed check-in, open the companion printing app.
- Connect your label printer to your station hardware. Turn the label printer on, and download/install any necessary drivers to the machine.
- Set the label printer as the default printer for your computer.
- In Seraphim (or Cherub), search the parent’s name.
- Select the child, and select the event you created. Hit “DONE” to complete the check-in
- Does the label print correctly? If so, GREAT JOB! If not, check-out some of the troubleshooting tips below. If you’re still having trouble, please reach out to your support representative, and we can assist you in setting up your stations.
- The Parent isn’t showing up in the search – Is the name spelled correctly?
- The child isn’t showing up after I select the parent – Is the child in the correct family unit? Is the name spelled correctly? Is there a duplicate? Is there an age bias on the check-in station that wouldn’t allow the child to appear?
- Events aren’t showing up – Is the child in a group that is correctly tied to that event? According to the check-in station, is the event too far in the past or future to appear as a check-in event? Try clicking on the Refresh button under the events, does the event appear after clicking on the refresh button?
- The expected information isn’t printing on the tag – What kind of information are you expecting to print? Is that data type selected on the station under Settings?
- The tag isn’t printing – Is the label printer set as your default printer for your computer? If you’re using Staffed check-in, do you have the companion app open? Does the companion app and the check-in station have the same station selected? If you’re using Cherub, do you have the right station selected?
In this chapter we covered the meat and potatoes of how to set up Safe Check-in at your church. We covered:
- Setting up virtual check-in stations in Seraphim
- How to build groups and set them up as rooms for check-in
- Creating check-in events and assigning groups and classes to those events.
Before moving onto the next section, you’ll want to make sure that you complete the following:
- Build your virtual Safe Check-in Stations
- Build any necessary rooms in Facilities
- Build out your groups and assign them to the correct rooms
- Make sure to try the Safe Check-in Quick test on the previous page! This is a great primer on getting used to setting up the Safe Check-in Process.