SmartCentral has a module, specifically to make it easier to manage online applications for Activity based programs, such as Vacation Care.

Whereas routine care such as Long Day Care , Preschool and Before and After School care are oriented around recurring or casual bookings, Vacation Care and other Activity based programs have their own unique requirements.

Since all service types may run activity based programs it has been made accessible to all.

The basic process for Activity based care (VAC Care) is as follows:

  • A list of activities is published (usually well in advance)
  • Parents may pick and choose from the activities based on the child’s interests
  • Different activities may have different requirements and different fee structures
  • The whole program can go from empty to full in a relatively short period
  • Some activites may fill up before others

The biggest impact to the online application process is the way in which the booking is set up and selected.

  1. Set up the fee schedule
  2. Create the program
  3. Set up the activities within the program
  4. Allocate activities to the fee schedule

To Create the program: Select Services, then Program, then Add:

  • Fill in the relevant fields and hit save.

Note: Leave ‘Active’ unticked until you are done setting up the program and activities and you are ready to release the Program to parents for bookings.

We will explain about the function of ‘Capacity’ and the close action a little further down.

Adding a VAC program

To create an activity: Go to the relevant Program, then click on the activity number under the Activities column: - Click Add to add an activity - Or click on the activity to update or close it


The ‘Capacity’ is just the number of children that you can take at the same time in the same activity. When you set this at the Program level it becomes the default for all activities in the program. You can also override this in any activites in that program if you wish.

For example : In most activites in my program the number of children who can attend a single activity is 30 but for 1 special activity I can only take 25 because of the venue. So for the program I set the capacity to 30 but for the special activity i set its capacity to 25.

Close Action

This specifies what to do when the number of submitted / approved applications for an activity passes the capacity of the activity.


  • Do Nothing : The system will track the number of applications but does nothing to prevent more being submitted once the capacity is reached.
  • Warn : Parents are warned that the activity is full but are allowed to submit a request for that activity. You might use this option if you intend to operate a waitlist for the activity.
  • Close : Parents are told that the activity is fully booked and they won’t be allowed to select this activity

These same warnings are visible to staff as they process the application or manually adjust bookings on the enrolment directly.

process vac application

Parent View

Parents see the calendar view when the booking type is ‘Vacation Program’. They see indicators against each activity if the activity is filling or filled depending on the close action setting. They are prevented from selecting a closed activity.

vac booking parent view

Activity Progress

You can review how your Program is filling from the Activities list.

The far right column shows, per activtity, the total number of requests for an activity and how many are already processed. These numbers are updated as applications are submitted and processed and also if manual adjustments are made to the bookings using the calendar view.

monitor program progress

Adjusting Bookings

Sometimes you need to modify a Program Booking after the application has been processed.

The Program Calendar view is now visible on the booking screen if you have an active program or up to 4 weeks before the program’s start date and up to the program’s end date.

This will give you access to the calendar for the current program even if its not available to parents.

edit program booking