The Berkeley School: Technology Transforms Extended Day Program

The Berkeley School logo

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.

josearellano

Jose Arellano- IT Director

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:

  1. Easy to use– Jose did not want a system that would require extensive training. He needed something that could be used by anyone!
  2. Quick to setup– He had no time for an extensive set up process. It needed to be seamless, quick and easy.
  3. 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.

The Berkeley School

The Berkeley School

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!

Camp Software Revamps Adventures in Writing Camp

camp software transforms adventures in writing camp

In 2012, husband and wife team Jen and Hans Hartvickson set out to create Adventures in Writing Camp, a unique summer camp that is dedicated to teaching and building children’s confidence in writing.

As children’s book authors themselves, Jen and Hans brought a unique perspective to the camp. Jen, Hans and the AIW Camp team created a unique curriculum that helped campers entering grades 1 through 8, see how writing can be fun and expressive. Elementary campers learned through songs, games, and storytelling. The middle schoolers were exposed to technology and blog writing, and left AIWC with a blog they could share with the world.

camp software and ipads transform camp

Adventures in Writing Camp was constantly thinking outside of the box and looking for ways to get children excited about writing. They found that even the most hesitant writers gravitated towards technology and made that an integral part of their process. By the end of that first  camp, each camper grades 2-5 had created and published their very own e-book. Today they have over 3,000 e-books, and 100 blogs published. 

With a unique curriculum and fantastic staff, interest in Adventures in Writing Camp grew, and so too did Jen and Hans’ need for streamlining camp operations. One particular challenge faced was getting up-to-date camper information and rosters out to each of the site-directors and teams. The home office team spent hours formatting sign in-out reports, getting camper information out to teachers, and archiving the paper sign in sheets of previous campers.

camp software transforms summer camp

The team prided themselves on offering the highest quality experience, and they knew there must be a better way. They had seen previously how technology had a huge impact on their summer camp through the use of e-books and blogs. They wondered if there was a digital way to improve the sign in-out and administrative side of Adventures in Writing Camp. After extensive research Hans found Kinderlime.

Right away Kinderlime’s camp software began to transform the camp. The Adventures in Writing Camp Team no longer had to deal with paper sign in-out sheets and paper rosters of children. The camp leaders could easily access their camp roster, child’s emergency contact information, and allergies on one device.

camp software and ipads 2

Instead of encountering long lines and chaos during the first day of summer camp, parents encountered Kinderlime. The camp software made sign in-out quick, easy, and mistake free. Parents loved how fast the drop off process became and appreciated the automated sign in-out messages that confirmed when their child was signed in or out. The camp software did so much more than just make the sign in and out process easy; it increased the parent’s confidence in having chosen Adventures in Writing Camp for their children.  

Adventures in Writing Camp has always been about going the extra step. They found that using technology for writing is an incredible tool to not only teach children, but engage them. As with Kinderlime they found that it was not only a tool to help with attendance tracking and long sign in-out lines, but a way to also engage with parents and stand out as a camp that is truly special.

writing camp reimagined with camp software

 

Family Daycare: Strengthening Family Relationships with Kinderlime

Helping Hands Family Daycare

Bridget being presented her 4th star by the Lieutenant Governor Matthew Denn. She recently received her 5th star from the Delaware Board of Education.

 

Helping Hands Family Daycare reading time

Bridget teaching children about the U.S. Presidents

After working in technology for 25 years, Bridget Williams decided to make a change in her career path. She always had a passion for children and helping her community, and decided to open her very own family daycare.

Bridget’s technology background gave her an innovative and creative approach to running Helping Hands Family Daycare. When parents came to her with problems, she did not only give advice, but started offering workshops to educate and encourage families. She found that if one family was struggling to get their child to sleep or needed help teaching their children about hygiene, there was most likely other parents facing the same challenges.

 

Helping Hands Family Daycare

Teaching children the importance of brushing their teeth

As Bridget continued in her new career path, she also began to look for ways technology could make her life easier as a daycare director.  However, she was immediately baffled by the lack of technology in the childcare industry. She went from being surrounded by the tech world, to doing everything on pen and paper. She knew there must be a better way, and continued to search for something that could help create a more efficient family daycare.

She found various tools and methods to make attendance tracking and billing easier, but few seemed to truly fit her needs. Nothing seemed to be created with daycares and childcare centers in mind.

 

 

Helping Hands Family Daycare

The Helping Hands team brings creativity into everything they do and teach

She then came across Kinderlime, and immediately fell in love. One of Bridget’s toughest challenges was maintaining her sign in-out sheets. She not only needed a system that could count the hours a family attended her daycare, but something that was licensing approved, and could record signatures. Kinderlime was the only tool she found that fit her needs. As she continued to explore Kinderlime she found that they did not just provide a solution to her problem, but helping childcare centers was what they did! Kinderlime was “The Childcare App!”

Today, Kinderlime has helped the Helping Hands Family Childcare to eliminate paperwork, and go completely electronic. Bridget’s team uses Kinderlime to create and send daily sheets, communicate with families, record staff hours, and manage billing.

 

Helping Hands Family Daycare

Parents love hearing how their baby is doing throughout the day

Bridget loves Kinderlime for making her life easier and saving her time, but she found that Kinderlime was also an amazing tool for building strong family relationships. Her parents love Kinderlime just as much as Bridget does.

Kinderlime helps remind parents about upcoming workshops, and sends newsletters with parenting tips and tricks.  The parent app allows families to quickly view and pay their bill, and see in real time what activities their child is doing throughout the day. For busy parents with young children, this tool is priceless.

 

 

Helping Hands Family Daycare

Learning to read at Helping Hands Family Daycare

Bridget and her team at Helping Hands Family Daycare can’t imagine how they ever ran without Kinderlime. It’s been an incredible tool that has helped in not only managing the business side of her daycare, but provides effective parent communication. Instead of keeping Kinderlime to herself, Bridget has helped and encouraged other childcare providers to start implementing tools like Kinderlime to help in creating more efficient and successful programs like hers.

Child Care Software Helps FairStage Academy Dream Big

Child Care Software Helps FairStage Academy Dream Big

 

Ryan Lea and Evan Summers were riding home on a bus in Manchester after work one day. During the journey home, a group of bored children started to throw rocks at the bus. Instead of becoming annoyed with the disturbance of the young rock throwers, Ryan and Evan saw something missing in the Manchester community, and wanted to make a change. They wanted to provide a space where children could thrive and learn outside of school hours.

Ryan and Evan’s lives have been greatly impacted by performing arts, theater and dance, and they hoped to share these passions with children from all aspects of life. They firmly believed that all children should have the opportunity to experience the performing arts, so in 2012 the FairStage Academy was established.

The FairStage Academy started to offer classes and workshops at a very affordable price, making the program accessible for families of all incomes. Children from the ages of 3-17 had the opportunity to learn ballet, tap, jazz, disco, drama, singing and more!

 

Child Care Software

FairStage Academy’s ballerina performance

 

The FairStage Academy quickly exceeded Ryan and Evan’s expectations. It grew from an idea between two people, to a team of inspirational drama, dance, and singing teachers. The children and the Manchester community fell in love with the FairStage Academy.

The amount of children signing up for their program continued to grow and grow. But, as the FairStage Academy grew, it became apparent that the sign in-out and drop off process was getting out of hand. When the FairStage Academy first started, it was easy to keep track on a simple paper sign in and out sheet the children that were coming and leaving the academy. After more and more children started to attend, Ryan and Evan needed a way to ensure all children and their parents were being safely and securely signed in and out of the academy.

Ryan and Evan began to do some research in hopes of finding an answer to the rapid growth of their program. They came across Kinderlime’s child care software on the iTunes store, and, in Ryan’s words, “immediately fell in love.” It was clear right away that Kinderlime was the missing piece to their fast growing academy.

 

Child Care Software

2014 Summer Production

 

Kinderlime’s child care software made it quick and easy for parents to sign in and out their children, and did all of the attendance tracking and child care billing for Evan and Ryan. They no longer needed to store and calculate paper attendance reports and do paper invoices. Instead they had access to all of the attendance reports and invoices with the simple click of a button.  While attendance tracking and a simplified sign in and out process was what drew Ryan and Evan to Kinderlime, it was only a small portion of the help Kinderlime provided.

Ryan, Evan and their staff were able to use the Kinderlime app as an incredible safety tool. They now could easily access which group each child was in, which staff they are with, as well as have access to all emergency contact information in case of a fire drill or emergency. The best part, the FairStage Academy no longer had a need to carry around clip boards or binders. They could quickly access student and roster information from the app on the FairStage Academy phones and tablets.

 

FairStage Academy Child Care Software

Star dancers at FairStage Academy

 

With the additional time Kinderlime’s child care software had given the FairStage Academy, they were able to focus on their passion of teaching performing arts to all children. They expanded the FairStage Academy team, and gave each child the opportunity to perform in a high quality production. Ryan, Evan and their team continue to teach more students daily how to only be amazing performers, but how to dream, work hard, and JUST GO FOR IT!

YMCA finds Safety with Child Care Management Software

child care management software

Justin is no stranger to the world of summer camps. He first started working at the Pav YMCA as a camp counselor his sophomore year of high school, and has been hooked ever since.

It’s hard for Justin to imagine a life without the Pav YMCA. His years working with kids at the YMCA’s summer camps have shaped who he is today. He fell in love with the rewarding environment that working with children created, and pursued his teaching credentials.

He is now working as an elementary school teacher, but still finds himself returning to the Pav YMCA every summer.

When you walk into the Pav YMCA’s summer camps, you immediately see why Justin has returned year after year. As parents and children walk in they are greeted by friendly camp counselors. Parents quickly sign in their children in seconds using the Kinderlime attendance app set up on tablets and iPhones.

After the quick sign in-out process, children are off to have a fun filled day. Campers have the opportunity to participate in many YMCA themed camps including healthy cooking, a drama camp where campers can write, act and direct their own movie, and even a camp where children can learn to scuba dive.

When it comes to summer camps, the Pav YMCA seems ahead of the game. The sign in-out process is anything but hectic, and the activities offered are incredibly unique and interesting. However, according to Justin, the Pav YMCA was not always this organized and innovative.

child care management softwareWhen Justin first started working as a camp counselor, he dreaded the parent sign in rush. Like many other summer camps, the Pav YMCA used paper sign in-out sheets. They tried to maintain some level of organization by giving each child their own paper daily attendance sheet, and using binders to separate campers by groups. However, with 200 campers coming through the Pav YMCA daily, the sign in-out process was simply chaotic.

The paper sign in-out process created long lines of parents waiting to sign in their child. Parents would become frustrated with camp counselors, and some would simply drop off their child without even signing in.

Staff struggled to manage the check in process, and wasted hours upon hours manually going through daily attendance sheets. There was no easy way to keep track of how many kids were signed into the program. Staff had to count the attendance totals, and find missed parent signatures manually.

Justin and his super team at the Pav YMCA managed, but knew there must be a better way. The Pav YMCA provided amazing camp programs; however, they felt their camps and counselors were overshadowed by the unorganized sign in-out process.

The Pav YMCA decided to try out Kinderlime’s Child Care Management Software, and to their surprise, it changed everything! Immediately the long lines for parent sign in disappeared. The sign in out process went from looking unorganized and hectic, to easy and enjoyable.

The camp counselors now had more time to connect with parents during the sign in-out process, and could focus more on camp planning, and less on attendance counting.

child care management software

Kinderlime’s child care management software helped the Pav YMCA take their summer camps to the next level! Staff and parents immediately noticed how Kinderlime improved the sign in-out process, but as time went on, they experienced the true value of having a child care management software like Kinderlime.

 

Kinderlime not only helped with attendance tracking, and the sign in and out process, but became a useful tool to ensure the safety of campers.

While Justin never expects to have any accidents or problems on a camp field trip, he is comforted knowing that if an emergency ever occurs, he is prepared with Kinderlime. With his unique staff login, he is able to access campers’ allergy information, a picture if a child is lost, and parent contact information right from the Kinderlime app on his iPhone.

Justin’s director, Stephanie Robinson, is comforted by the fact that she has the ability to check up on her campers and counselors from practically anywhere. She can quickly access staff to child ratio, and see how many kids are still signed in to camp during closing time from anywhere at any time.

Kinderlime’s attendance tracking, sign in-out, and safety features have proven to be an irreplaceable tool for the Pav YMCA. Ever since Justin started as a camp counselor 8 years ago, he knew that the Pav YMCA provided a place where kids could learn, grow, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The themed camps and passionate counselors created an amazing summer for the campers, but Kinderlime’s Child Care Management Software filled in the missing piece.