The Phoenix School is a small community based non-profit daycare and preschool. The school was founded in 1979 by a group of parents who, like today’s parents, wanted a better child care alternative for their children within their neighborhood. The school provides exceptional child care for children from 8 weeks through 5 years of age, including the state-funded Georgia Pre-K program. They offer full-time care, year-round.
Life before Kinderlime
Ana Lawless, the school’s bookkeeper and former board member, gave us some insight as to what life was like at The Phoenix School prior to Kinderlime. She said the biggest thing that Kinderlime helped bring to The Phoenix School is accountability and documentation compliance.
Attendance used to be handled via printed sign-in sheets. If a parent didn’t sign in, the records weren’t accurate because teachers didn’t really make a note of it on the sheets. The school had spent a lot of time trying to bring all of its information together, since it was being tracked multiple times using different “systems” (which weren’t systems at all, it was all just on paper).
Parent communication was also a big deal — it was difficult not being able to have one way to effectively communicate with everyone. They had been using email and Google Groups, or old fashioned paper newsletters. Invariably, someone’s email would be incorrectly typed, and parents wouldn’t be able to update information themselves. It would also be a struggle if a staff member needed to contact a parent after hours or outside of the classroom.
Most time-consuming of all was how it would take half a day to invoice the parents. Attendance billing for their pre-K program was excruciatingly difficult because Ana had to rely on sign-out sheets which weren’t always accurate.
It was taking way too much time to manage operations – from having quick access to parent or child info, to having accurate billing, outdated wait lists, parents didn’t feel engaged or that they received enough communication. For Ana, as the school’s bookkeeper, it was mostly about the money and efficiencies.
Life after Kinderlime
Ana stated that, since the community base and parents are very involved, Kinderlime helps improve overall communication between staff and parents. Staff are able to provide real-time updates, so parents can see the children’s activities at any time. Parents are also able to message staff within the app, making it easy to notify each other about important news or emergencies.
With so many to pick from, it’s hard to nail down our favorite feature. The ability to streamline operations at the center has been the true game changer for our school!
As the school’s bookkeeper, Ana highlighted how Kinderlime’s automated invoicing and payments saves her hours each month. This academic year, Ana was able to set up the recurring plans once, and spent less than five minutes checking to see if the plans would go out correctly on the 31st. “The invoicing is lovely,” she said.