When it’s time to order supplies for your early childhood center/s and classrooms, you NEED the process to be convenient, organized, and efficient.
As an early educator, you’re busy overseeing all the day-to-day operations of your program. You don’t have hours to spend on paperwork and catalog browsing when it's time to order something as basic as finger paint.
Here at Kaplan, we’ve been a full-service procurement solution for early childhood centers for years. We understand the ins and outs of ordering, tracking, and shipping supplies. In this article, you’ll explore the various ways you can use a myKaplan account to easily furnish your childcare centers and classrooms so you can get back to what matters most – helping children learn through play!
What is a myKaplan online account?
Think of it as your personal online shopping tool; ready to make the process of ordering, tracking, and reordering supplies quick and easy! You can access your myKaplan account from our website. Once you’re inside, you’ll have our entire inventory at your fingertips.
Ordering is as easy as adding items to your cart, entering payment, and tracking your shipment all the way to your front door. Any order you make using your myKaplan account will stay safe and secure in the completed orders section. This makes it incredibly easy to find items you need when it’s time to reorder.
But before you rush off to sign up for an account, let’s dive into all this online portal has to offer.
Design your classroom space using the Floor Planner tool
The last thing you want to do is buy furnishings that don’t fit into their intended space. The myKaplan FloorPlanner allows you to design your early childhood classrooms before you make big purchases -- like a new bookshelf for your reading nook.
To use the Floor Planner, simply create a space with your room dimensions and place your desired furnishings where you would like them to go. You can see how your plans will come together to maximize play space and work around the flow of classroom traffic.
Once you’re happy with your newly designed space, head over to the shopping portal to bring it all to life.
Explore the shopping portal
You’ll find the full line of Kaplan brand products when you're logged into your myKaplan account. You can search for items using the search bar at the top of the webpage or by browsing our various product categories. Once you find what you’re looking for, add it to your shopping cart, enter the quantity needed, and then checkout.
Need to ship supplies to multiple locations? With a myKaplan Platinum account, you can add multiple delivery addresses to your profile. When you’re ready to checkout, select the locations for shipping and we’ll take care of the rest. You can store, and ship to, up to two different addresses with a myKaplan Gold account.
If you’re not ready to buy just yet, all you have to do is click the “save to cart” button and we’ll hold your selections for up to 15 days. Saving items to your cart does not hold the price firm or guarantee that an item will be in stock when you decide to complete your order.
What if you only want to get an idea of how much it will cost to furnish your classroom before buying anything? What if you need a way for the teachers in your center to create a wishlist of items they need for their classrooms?
That’s when you’ll want to use one of the next two features.
Create a wish list
While shopping, let’s say you come across an item that you would love to buy, but for whatever reason, now isn’t the time. Creating a wish list is a great way to save these items so you can come back at a later time to complete your purchase. The teachers in your center can also create wish lists of items they would love to have in their classrooms but aren’t a top priority at the moment.
You’re not limited to the number of wish lists you can create in your myKaplan account. To keep things organized, give your lists a fun name, like “Toddler Reading Nook” or “Spring Carnival Must-Haves,” so you can easily order items when the time is right.
You can print your wishlist to share with site directors, teachers, parents, and anyone who would want to purchase supplies for your early childhood classroom. While we don’t yet have the capability of tracking purchases or who made them (like Amazon wishlists can), there are ways to work around this.
Let’s say a teacher in your center wants to ask parents to help supply the classroom reading nook with new books. The teacher can create a wish list inside your myKaplan account. They can then print the list as a PDF and place it next to their classroom sign-in sheet. Parents can write their name beside the item they plan to buy, order it, and ship it to your center. Once the order arrives, the teacher can mark that item off their list.
We know that’s not the most convenient process for purchasing items from a wish list, but it works.
Create a classroom list
Like a wishlist, a classroom list allows you to save products from the myKaplan shopping portal. One advantage of using classroom lists is that they save indefinitely. So instead of sifting through invoice after invoice when it’s time to reorder supplies, you can scroll to your classroom list and purchase items from there.
Another way to use classroom lists is when you’re planning out a new classroom space. Adding supplies to a list will help you stay organized and allow you to place one large order with everything you need. Instead of placing small orders here and there and potentially forgetting items your teachers and students will need.
Why would you need to create wishlists and classroom lists?
Imagine a teacher is preparing for circle time, only to discover a favorite book (and several others) is missing several pages. She grabs another book from the shelf, but the kids get upset. They want to hear their favorite story, and they want to hear it now. Your teacher needs a replacement book ASAP.
In a matter of minutes, you can find that book on a saved list and reorder it. Classroom order restored!
If you have several classrooms or centers to order for, just think of all the time you could save by using lists inside your myKaplan account.
Does a myKaplan account include support?
That depends on which tier you sign up for. A myKaplan Gold account is best for individuals who occasionally order supplies, and doesn’t include support of any kind. Signing up for a myKaplan Platinum account will give you access to a Kaplan representative. To learn more about the different tiers of myKaplan online accounts, read this article.
Every myKaplan account is free to use, but if you choose to go Platinum and work with a Kaplan representative, they can help you by:
> Setting up credentials that allow certain members of your team to create, accept, or approve orders before processing
> Adding multiple shipping addresses to your account so you can easily ship supplies to every center that you oversee, no matter where they are located
> Applying organizational purchasing terms to your account, if applicable
> Enabling an option for you to pay multiple invoices simultaneously
How easy is it to find past invoices in my myKaplan account?
Incredibly easy! Once you log into your account, click on “Completed Orders” and you’ll find every invoice for every order you’ve made through your myKaplan account. You can search through invoices by year, which makes reordering supplies quick and painless.
You can also download your past invoices as a PDF document if you need those for tax write-offs or grant proposals.
What happens once I place an order through my myKaplan account?
Your order goes to our team at Kaplan where it is then boxed and shipped off. Some items may be on backorder or unavailable at the time you place an order. If that happens, a Kaplan representative can help you sort that out.
Something you won’t find in your myKaplan account, but you CAN find on our website, is our Label Maker. This tool allows you to create printable labels for every item we offer. You can use these labels on activity bins, classroom shelving, storage areas, etc.
Some labels include a QR code that when scanned, will open up additional resources on our website.
Ready to sign up for a myKaplan online account?
Placing orders through your myKaplan online portal provides you with 24/7 convenience when it’s time to order, reorder, and track your shipments.
The best part is, there is no fee to join.
To find the myKaplan account tier that fits your ordering needs, read this article that highlights our different account tiers.