PT3: Close for booking

Feb 23, 2019

With version 3 we have changed the way we close a booking round. In the previous version you would specify a specific date/time that parents would be unable to make any further bookings or changes. With version 3 are now specifying a lead-time from each time slot.

Why did we make this change?

Because of the number of calls we get from parents who are trying to book after the round is closed for booking. Some times the parent is simply too late, however we have had many instances where the booking has been closed but the time slots extend for two weeks or more, and we can’t justify to the parent why the booking has to be closed for those later dates.

Some booking rounds now extend throughout the term or even the entire year. It is not possible to define a single cut off date/time for these booking rounds so a more flexible approach is necessary.

We have moved to a lead-time structure, where the cut off time for booking is now defined relative to each time slot.

How does the lead time work?

You will now specify the number of hours as the lead-time. The number of hours is then applied to each individual time slot. Let’s consider an example:

Assume we set a lead time value of 24 hours.
We define time slots from Monday to Friday, before school from 8am-8:30am, and after school from 3pm-3:30pm.
The Monday 8am time slot will be bookable up until Sunday 8am but not after.
Similarly the Monday 3pm time slot will be bookable up until Sunday 3pm.
The last time slot is Friday at 3:15pm, so the very last booking can be made at Thursday at 3:15pm.

When the parent is viewing the time slots they may see some times that are no longer bookable because of the lead time.

Should I use 24 hours?

We set a default lead time value of 24 hours, as this would cover most schools’ requirements. It is also reasonable (justifiable) that the parent is booking at least 24 hours prior to the time slot.

You may well want to reduce this lead time to 0 (zero) for an information evening, event, or volunteer round. In these instances there is likely no preparation required for the parent booking.

If your staff would like an additional day to prepare you might bump it up to 48 hours.

Reminders at 5am

We recently implemented some reminders for both parents and staff. This is an email sent to the parent or staff member at 5am of the day of the booking – simply reminding them of the bookings they have that day.