Graciela Marques-Hahn and Amrit Bhuie accepting the Acterra Award for Sustainability at the 2014 Business Environmental Awards Reception
Image by NCC
Immediately upon entering the Neighborhood Christian Center, you know this is not your typical childcare program. In this beautiful outdoor campus you will find everything from a Chicken Coup to an Edible Garden to a Native American Center. For Graciela Marques, the executive director of NCC, sustainability and living green is a lifestyle. Each part of the Neighborhood Christian Center is built with nature in mind.
Graciela and her amazing team teach their children how to compost all kitchen scraps, grow their own fruits and vegetables year round, and make every effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. Today, NCC is an amazing representation of a green school, but things were not always this way.
Children walking to the Native American Village and Edible Yard at NCC
Image by NCC
Before Kinderlime, NCC used paper sign in-out sheets. They would often find themselves printing over 250 sign in-out sheets daily. The immense amount of paper would take hours upon hours to go through. As the program grew, copying and paper cost came out to $1,000 a month! NCC was preaching sustainability, yet was wasting massive amounts of time, money, and trash on paper sign in-out sheets.
NCC finally decided enough was enough! They were teaching their children how to live a green lifestyle, yet were producing unnecessary garbage.
In the past, Graciela had tried other child care software options. They were costly, and made promises they simply could not keep. She was hesitant about trying out a new child care software, but she could tell immediately Kinderlime was different. “Kinderlime is a company I can work with” Graciela said, “someone that actually listens and understands. They truly understand NCC’s goals toward sustainability.”
As Graciela started with Kinderlime, she was able to immediately eliminate her costly and harmful paper use. She no longer needed paper for sign in-out sheets and billing invoices. NCC was finally being aligned with their green and sustainable values, but this was just a part of the many changes Kinderlime made.
Children harvesting the snap peas they have grown to make a big pot of vegetable soup
Image by NCC
When NCC used paper sign in-out sheets, they constantly faced the challenge of parents forgetting to sign their children out. Forgetting to sign in-out once or twice may not seem like a huge problem, but when it comes to child care licensing, a missed signature can be damaging.
In a large child care center like the Neighborhood Christian Center, it is difficult to keep track of the parents that are not signing their children out. Thankfully Kinderlime’s child care software makes this problem manageable.
Instead of having to spend hours and hours going through each attendance sheet, finding out which parent forgot to sign their student out, Kinderlime’s child care software keeps track of the missing sign-outs for them. While Kinderlime had not completely eliminated the problem, it helped NCC keep parents accountable and child care licensing happy.
The switch from paper sign in-out sheets to Kinderlime’s child care software allowed Graciela to easily manage her children’s attendance and stay licensing compliant without ever having to print out a single sheet of paper. Staff loved the ability to easily track their child to teacher ratio, and parents loved the quick and easy sign in-out process.
Kinderlime gave the Neighborhood Christian Center more time and money to focus on what matters most to them; teaching and implementing an incredible sustainable and green program.
After all their hard work, and a little help from Kinderlime, in 2012 NCC became a certified Bay Area Green Business, and in 2014 became the recipient of the Acterra Business Environmental Award!
The exceptional staff at NCC celebrating their successful year
Image by NCC