Family Check-in (AKA Child Check-In) is the best way to keep your children's ministry safe and secure. It only requires 2 things: A computer and a printer.
When it comes to computers, we're not all going to agree on which to use. Some people prefer PC's, while others like Mac or ios. In this day in age, it's just a fact of life. However, we can all agree that printers...we'll...they can be a challenge!
Though you can use virtually any type of printer for Child Check-In, the best type of printer to use is a Label Printer.
Why label printers are best for Child Check-In:
They print on thermal paper and require no ink
Labels are sticky on one side, making them easy to attach to a child's shirt/garment
Label printers print on a more manageable size paper
They're really fast compared to conventional printers
Wired vs Wireless
When deciding between wired or wireless label printers, it comes down to the type of device you will be using with the printer as well as your internet connection. If you're using an iPad for Child Check-In, you will have to use a wireless label printer. If you're using a computer (either PC or Mac), you can use either a wired or wireless label printer.
Tip: If you do not have a dedicated secure wireless network for your children's ministry, we strongly recommend a wired label printer. Sharing a wireless network with numerous other devices can lead to network slowdowns, which will affect your ability to quickly print your labels. Slow internet in the Children's Ministry is no Bueno!
Setting up the Label Printer
There are many variables that come into play with the printer setup. Are you using a wireless printer or wired? Ipad or PC? Brother or Dymo? There's no way we can cover how to set up every single model. However, we can give you a good guide. Check out "Label Printer Setup" in our Online User Guide.
As you go through that guide, here are a few common Q&A's:
Question: Why is my iPad not connecting to the printer?
A: Most likely, your iPad is not connected to the same network as your printer. Also, you need to set up your printer in advance with a computer before it can be used with an iPad.
Question: Why is my label printer printing everything soo large/small?
A. The zoom settings need to be adjusted. See below...
Question: How many printers should I have?
A. We always recommend having a backup printer. If you're using wireless or ethernet printers, you can theoretically have a single printer in use for multiple computers/ipads. Keep reading for our "Ideal Printer Setup".
The "Ideal" Printer Setup
When it comes to running your children's ministry smoothly, there are are a multitude of printer setups that you can use. In our experience, we've found that the wired computer to printer solution to be the #1 best in terms of reliability. Here are a few scenarios as our "Ideal Setups" depending on the size of your children's ministry.
Children's ministry is under 25 children
Children's ministry is 25 to 50 children
Children's ministry is 50+ children
Note: When checking in children, your bottleneck is always going to be available computers/check-in stations.
Does ChurchTrac have an official printer model?
We have a few different models that we offer step-by-step instructions for setting up. These models include:
To access our step-by-step instructions, click HERE. We offer a very limited amount of support with printers due to their complex nature. We strongly recommend obtaining the user guide for your exact model of the printer for setup.