Check-in at each classroom vs centralized checkin

Our children's ministry team recently reached out to us with the desire to purchase additional check-in stations and printers for 5-6 classrooms.

Each classroom has between 30-50 students grades 1st-5th, and we think one printer per class should be enough. We currently do pen and paper check-in, enter the attendance retroactively, and manually print off name tags for these students (Avery labels).

For those who have made this switch before, what did you wish you knew or did differently while implementing?

We are currently thinking of going with a windows tablet or all in one device based on feedback ere: and a wired/wireless label printer. 

What device/printer combos are others using right now that seem to work well or not so well?

We are planning to avoid IPads based on feedback in this post (

Based on what I am reading here: and here: we will be avoiding the dymo printers.

For those with stations in each classroom, do you configure the stations to only allow check in to one room or is your setup more flexible?

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  • We use Microsoft Surfaces and have them set to centralized check in so anyone can check in at any station. Families come and want to check in everyone at once and the centralized system with all rooms available works well. For a short time our Middle Schoolers were checking in on "their own kiosks" for worship that only allowed that age group to check in on them for the sanctuary. That changed quickly - families didn't want to have to check in there for that age and then go to the children's area and check in again.

    We use Dymo printers. I would agree - see if you can find something else. They worked okay for a while but our newest ones, purchased this fall, don't work at all and Dymo has replaced them once. Children's ministry is still working with Dymo support to replace them again or get their money back. The older Dymos are working fine.

    We are on our third type of computers for kiosks as check in was one of the first things we implemented in 2012 when we on boarded with Arena. We just switched from HP all-in-one computers (purchased in 2015/16) over the past year to the Surfaces. The Surfaces are the best way to go, in my opinion, over other larger screen all-in-ones. Of course everything has gotten faster and more powerful since 2015.

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