The Berkeley School: Technology Transforms Extended Day Program
The Berkeley School’s extended programs have been an instrumental part of the school, giving children the opportunity to continue their growth and learning after school. The talented extended day staff have not only provided a safe oasis for children to play and learn, but have offered everything from woodworking to dance classes! In spite of the amazing programming, there was one very large problem.
When Jose first started working as The Berkeley School’s Technology officer, he knew one of his first project’s would be finding a more efficient way to manage the school’s Extended Day programs. The extended care team was spending at least 2 hours a day on accounting! They wanted to be spending time with the children, not on tedious paperwork.
As Jose began to search for a solution, he quickly found that spending time on paperwork was only a part of the problem. Paper sign in-out sheets were inefficient and inaccuracies of time tracking were much more likely to happen. This made billing families for extended care an absolute nightmare. The school tried their best to bill parents precisely as possible, but using a pen and paper to record attendance made it a challenge.
Jose knew the problem, but now he needed a solution. He began to research and talk with numerous tech companies that promised they could solve his problem. As he continued his research it became clear he needed to work with a system that fit the following criteria:
- Easy to use– Jose did not want a system that would require extensive training. He needed something that could be used by anyone!
- Quick to setup– He had no time for an extensive set up process. It needed to be seamless, quick and easy.
- Low startup cost- He did not want to invest in costly hardware. He wanted something that had a minimal cost, and easy maintenance.
That’s when he stumbled upon Kinderlime. There were no startup fees, no hardware that needed to be installed, and the setup time was minimal. But, what truly sold Jose on Kinderlime was the customer support. From the first time he spoke with Kinderlime he was hooked. He felt less like a customer, and more like a collaborative partner. The Kinderlime team was always there to answer any of his questions, and more importantly, they listened to him. If he had a suggestion or wanted advice, Kinderlime was always there to listen and help.
It was a week before school, and Jose had officially made a decision, they would go with Kinderlime. Within a couple days his account was setup and student information was imported. Kinderlime’s simple interface made it a breeze to train and prepare staff. Now came the true test. How would the parents like Kinderlime?
Some staff worried that less tech-savvy parents might struggle with the new system, or forget their parent sign out pin codes. After only 2 days the parents not only had the process down, but loved it! Jose described how “everyone just got it.” The sign in-out messages that confirmed that their child had made it to extended care gave parents such an ease of mind, and made it easy for families to coordinate pickups.
Once Kinderlime was up and running it was hard for The Berkeley School to imagine how they ever lived without it. The extended day staff had more time to focus on activities with the children, there was never a debate over parent pick up times, and most importantly, the business office no longer spent hours upon hours calculating bills for families.
To the school’s amazement, billing and administrative work went from 2 hours a day, to an hour a month! Gone were the days of illegible parent sign out times, manual calculation of attended time in extended day, and file boxes full of paper attendance records. Jose described how simple and easy it was to start using Kinderlime, but the long lasting effect it had was vast.
It’s been a couple years now since The Berkeley School started using Kinderlime, and the experience only seems to improve. The school’s preschool now also successfully uses Kinderlime, and Jose feels proud knowing that the extended day program is in good hands!