SmartCentral incorporates a general purpose forms designer that can be used to create forms for a wide variety of purposes in a childcare centre.

The process involves creating new forms templates from the Forms tab under Account > Setup Org.

Once form templates have been created they can be accessed from the Forms tab on the Service page.

Form templates can only be created or modified by Admins however they can be used by all staff.

Creating a Form Template

To create a form template click Add from the Forms tab, give the form a name and choose whether the print layout should be portrait or landscape layout.

Grid mode is a special layout option that adds a room selector to the form and lays out the questions in a grid with a child per row for the selected room.

Use Grid Mode if you want a roll-like form. Leave Grid Mode off for a standard form.

If using Grid Mode it’s recommended to limit the number of questions in the form as a grid form quickly becomes very crowded if there are too many questions.

Click Save to finalise the form template.

Configuring the Form Template

Having created the form the next step is to add questions to the form. This is done via the Configure action button.

SmartCentral has a large variety of question types that you can mix a match in your form.

The question types available are:

  • Text - a single line of text
  • Big Text - multi-line text
  • Yes/No - a drop down with options Yes and No
  • List - a customisable drop down pick list
  • Checkboxes - a customisable multi-select list
  • Child Details - pick a child from the currently active children at the service
  • Staff Details - pick a staff member from the currently active children at the service
  • Date Picker - a calendar date picker
  • Time Picker - formatted time picker
  • Current Date - automatically records the current date each form is created from this template
  • Conditional Details - ask a yes/no question and if the answer is yes present a big text field
  • Conditional File Upload - ask a yes/no question and if the answer is yes present a file uploader
  • Signature - capture a signature via sign on glass
  • Lable Only - a display label only, usually used as a heading to break the form into sections

All question types have several settings in common. List and Checkbox question types have an additional setting.

Common Settings:

  • Type - the question type to be used for this question
  • Required - is it mandatory to provide an answer
  • Key - internal question name, must be unique amongst all the questions in this form, recommended to use a short text string of alphanumeric, no spaces eg tea_am rather than Morning Tea
  • Description - The question text diplayed on the form. This is a multi-line feild and can be as long as you need but its recommended to stay concise.
  • Order - The order of the question on the form
  • Subject - Only relevant if exporting the forms via APIs. Includes this field in calculating the subject of the form.

Additional Setting for List and Checkbox * Options - List and Checkbox provide multiple entries to choose between. Enter these in the options box 1 per line.

Once you are satisfied with the questions click Publish to make the template live.

You can trial the form from the Service > Forms menu and make modifications if necessary. Make sure to hit Publish to save any changes to the template.


Keep in mind how your form will be used. For example , if the form will primarily be used on an iPad then preview the form on an iPad or use the emulator built into Chrome to preview it.

Do not over crowd your form, the longer you make an individual form the harder it will be for staff to fill it out.

Forms work best if they can be completed in one go or at the most on the same day. When moving from paper forms to electronic forms consider rethinking forms such as weekly forms that are partially filled out a day a t a time.

Accessing Chrome’s built in device emmulator.

Chrome Emmulator

  • Open the form you wish to emmulate from the Services > Forms tab in Chrome.
  • Select the options menu - 3 dots in a vertical line top right of the browser
  • Select More Tools > Developer Tools
  • Enable the device toolbar by hitting control-shift-M or clicking the device icon
  • Select the device you wish to emmulate from the Dimensions dropdown
  • Change the scaling if ncessary to fit your screen

Emmulators are only an approximation of the result on the actual device but this can save a lot of time and is a useful step.

Once you see how the form will look on your chosen device you may wish to make adjustments to the template design. to do this go back to the form templates in Forms tab under Account > Setup Org and modify the configuration of the form. Remeber to publish and changes.