Find the right solution for your church with this all-inclusive list (including some free options!).

You don’t have to spend very long in children’s ministry to hear about the many different options for check in systems. From pen-and-paper sign-ins to check in software solutions, the array of choices can be daunting and the stakes could hardly be higher: the safety of the children in your care.

Thankfully, a variety of tools exist to help you safeguard your ministry while minimizing headaches for parents and team members. We’ll take a look at some of the most widely used software options below. Know of one we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Church check in software options

1. Planning Center Online

Check in software Planning Center Online

Like many of the tools we’ll look at in this post, Planning Center Online’s Check-Ins solution generates two labels for each child. The Name label goes on the child and includes her name, information on any medical conditions, and the phone number of the adult who checked her in. The second Security label goes to the adult and includes a numeric code rather than any information that would identify the child directly. This is to safeguard the child’s identity in case the label is lost. To check the child out, the adult presents the label and a ministry team member matches the code to the appropriate child.

PCO Check-Ins integrates with other Planning Center solutions such as PCO Services (service planning and scheduling) and PCO People (church membership management). However, it is NOT necessary to have these other tools in order to use PCO Check-Ins. You can purchase and use Check-Ins independently. Packages are priced according to the number of daily check-ins and start at $14/month (50 daily check-ins) and top out at $79/month (unlimited daily check ins). It is worth noting that all packages include unlimited events/service times and check-in stations. Have just a few kids? PCO Check-Ins is actually FREE up to 15 daily check-ins. (Click Show Additional Packages on their pricing page).

PCO Check-Ins might be the right choice if…

  • You need a large number of check-in stations.
  • You use another solution from PCO for managing church membership (this will save you time when it comes to importing your data).
  • You’d like help monitoring your volunteer to attendee ratio.

What you need to get started

  • A computer or web-connected device for each check-in station
  • Label printers
  • Barcode scanners (not necessary but recommended for the best experience, especially if you have a large number of children)

2. Realm Check-in


Realm is a multi-feature platform for churches to manage accounting, build community, and foster ministry growth. Realm includes a kiosk-based check-in system that prints badges for each child. While not available separately, the check-in feature is included in Realm’s Connect and Multiply plans. Pricing is based on typical weekly attendance, starting at $44/month with a $109 setup fee for 50 attendees.

Realm might be the right choice if …

  • You want an online system to help many different ministry teams (pastoral, admin, accounting) achieve their goals.
  • You’d like reporting tools to help you track attendance by age range, date range, and a variety of other options.
  • You can see yourself creating custom “Pathways” to help achieve your objectives, such as leading volunteers through a children’s safety training series or following up with families who have missed two weeks in a row.

What you need to get started

  • A computer or web-connected device for each check-in kiosk
  • Label printer

3. KidCheck

Check in software KidCheck

Unlike some of the other solutions we’ve looked at, KidCheck is exclusively focused on child safety and doesn’t include tools for other areas of ministry. Another thing that sets KidCheck apart is parent-maintained accounts (pictured here). The parents input all the information for their child, including any important medical details, saving you the time it takes to track down and log these details yourself.

KidCheck includes some neat tools such as the Label Restock Program, the ability to customize your labels and check-in stations with your own logos, and advanced features such as integration with live security cameras and Google Maps. Pricing is based on the number of check-in stations you need and the features you want to include. The basic (Essentials) package starts at $25/month per check-in station, while the full suite of features (Premium/Campus package) costs $60/month per check-in station (or $180/month to cover your whole campus).

KidCheck might be the right choice if …

  • You want an online check-in system but don’t need a lot of tools for other church departments.
  • You want parents to have complete control over managing their children’s data.
  • You can see yourself using emergency communication tools like Parent Location Tracking to help you get in touch quickly should the need arise.

What you need to get started

  • A computer or web-connected device for each check-in station
  • Label printer
  • Barcode scanner (optional but can speed up check in)

4. Rock RMS

Check in software Rock RMS

Rock is a free, open-source church management system that churches can customize to their exact needs. Rock’s goal is to put the power of technology within the reach of all churches, regardless of budget size.

Like the rest of Rock’s features, the check-in process is customizable. To help you get started, Rock comes with a default check-in system configured for nursery/preschool, elementary, Jr. High, and High School. As with the other solutions we’ve seen, the name labels are printed with the child’s name and important medical information. However, at the time of this writing, Rock’s check-out labels for the parents include the child’s name rather than a numeric code, so bear that in mind if you are looking for an additional layer of security.

Rock RMS might be the right choice if…

  • You want the ability to customize every aspect of your check-in process.
  • You have IT/web design staff or access to church members with experience in web design/development.
  • You’re comfortable with community-driven tech support and reading easy-to-follow technical documentation.

What you need to get started

  • A Windows server environment to host the free Rock RMS application (you can choose from on-site hosting, Rock hosting partners, cloud hosting, or traditional web hosting providers)
  • A computer or web-connected device for each check-in station
  • Label printer

5. Brightwheel


Brightwheel is a solution built for schools and daycares rather than churches, but you may find that it meets your needs just fine, especially because the basic version is FREE. (For fun, watch Brightwheel’s pitch on Shark Tank.) Within the Brightwheel environment, the parent checks the child in and has the option to include any notes, such as medical information. (You can require parents to check in/out using a unique 4 digit PIN for additional security.) One thing that sets Brightwheel apart from the other tools we’ve looked at is the absence of an integrated label printing system. So if you want name labels, you’ll have to print those separately (or just handwrite them).

Brightwheel might be the right choice if …

  • You don’t need (or want) to print name labels.
  • You just need a check-in tool, not a lot of other church management features.
  • You want an easy way to keep parents in the loop on what happened in class.

What you need to get started

  • A computer or web-connected Apple/Android device you can use at the check-in area.

6. KidEvent Pro

Check-in-software-KidEvent Pro Designed by Lifeway for managing large events like VBS and summer camp, KidEvent Pro can also adapt to your weekly check-in needs. And at a yearly subscription price of $39.99 for unlimited events, it’s one of the most affordable options we’ve looked at. Something of a hybrid solution, KidEvent Pro allows you to organize your attendee information online but still use pen-and-paper sign-in sheets. Parents can enter their child’s registration data from home, and you can organize participants into groups to better track attendance. Two standout features of KidEvent Pro are the ability to create a custom website for your event sign-ups and create rotation schedules (handy for many VBS teams).

KidEvent Pro might be the right choice if…

  • You prefer to manage the sign-in/sign-out process on paper.
  • You don’t need an integrated label printing system.
  • You recruit volunteers and attendees for larger events throughout the year.

What you need to get started

  • A web-connected device for each check-in station or classroom.

7. KidMin App

KidMin App aims to please churches and parents by eliminating the Sunday morning check-in line.

KidMin App supports “Desk Check In” and “Kiosk Mode,” but where it gets really interesting is their “Express Check In” option. Rather than waiting for a kiosk to open up, parents have the option to check in their kids using their own phones. The labels are automatically printed out, so parents can walk up to the “Express Check In” station and pick them up without waiting in line. 

Another handy feature is KidMin App’s scheduling tool, which sends your volunteers an email or text message message asking them to cover a shift. If they decline the shift, it can automatically ask someone else that’s qualified to teach the class. KidMin App currently starts at $49.99/month, and they have a 30 day money-back guarantee.


KidMin App might be the right choice if…

  • You’re dealing with long lines as families wait their turn to check in.
  • You need to have multiple check-in stations (they let you add unlimited stations for free).
  • You spend a lot of time scheduling your volunteers.

What you need to get started

  • A PC or a Mac and a Dymo 450 printer

8. Lambslist

Lambslist logo check in softwareCreated by Microframe, known for its visual paging systems, Lambslist offers check in software that will cover most church needs. No matter your ministry size, Lambslist’s cost remains the same: $49/month or $500/year for unlimited user accounts and check-in stations. You can also try out the software with a 30-day trial, no credit card required. Lambslist allows for self-check in or volunteer-run check in, and each family’s information can be located by last name, phone number, or a unique code you’ve assigned.

Lambslist might be the right choice if…

  • You don’t want to worry about price going up as your ministry grows. Lambslist’s price is the same even if you add a new campus.
  • You want an online check-in system but don’t need tools to manage other church departments.
  • You would like an easy tool to track attendance.

What you need to get started

  • A web-connected device for each check-in station.
  • Label printers.

9. Breeze

breeze kids check in software systemCreated for small and mid-sized churches, Breeze is a web-based church management software that gives you full access for just $50 per month. Their service includes no set up or termination fees and allows you to cancel freely at any time. Breeze’s child check in feature is included in their monthly price (which also includes the ability to track giving, store data, email groups, compile reports, and so much more). Customize name tags for the children, compile reports of what children attend which service, and store all of your data directly on their web app without taking up extra space on your computer.

Breeze might be the right choice if…

  • You already use PCO—Breeze offers an integration for Planning Center Online users to keep their data synchronized.
  • You want a whole suite of church management software to use other features for other parts of your church.
  • You don’t want to commit long-term (Breeze offers no termination fees so you can cancel at anytime).

What you need to get started

  • A computer or web-connected device for each check-in station
  • Label printer and labels (DYMO Label Software is supported by Breeze)

10. Fellowship OneFellowship One kids check in software system

Fellowship One provides two plans for ministries—Select and Premier. Both plans include entire church management software with features such as data management, communication tools, event/volunteer management, and much more. Check-in is included in both plans, with the Premier plan including just a little more to with real-time rosters, the ability to manage class capacities, communication with parents and teachers, and other fun extras. Want to make check-ins even easier and more secure? Fellowship One’s self service check-in feature allows kids to check in using a bar-code or fingerprint scanner! Their touch-screen user interface makes self-service check-in a simple process for everyone, while the ability to customize your screens and photo identifications makes the system feel like your own. Pricing is done individually by the church, so contact them today to see what they can offer your ministry.

Fellowship One might be the right choice if…

  • You want an online check-in system and a church management system in one (extra features to manage volunteers, teachers, communication, etc.).
  • You want the option to have parents/kids use a self check-in station, rather than having your teachers check everyone in.
  • You want to increase child safety by providing teachers/volunteers easy information about allergies or other special needs, and make it easy for them to quickly contact the parents in case of an emergency.

What you need to get started

  • A web-connected device for each check-in station (compatible with any device, including iOS)


There you have it! Whatever check-in software you choose, or if you stick to non-digital tools, I hope this gives you a few ideas on how to ensure the safety of the children in your ministry.

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Renada Thompson

Author Renada Thompson

Renada and her family live in Birmingham, Alabama, but she pretends she lives in England by taking frequent tea breaks.

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