the elegant child himama case study

The Power of Parent Communication at The Elegant Child

When Chip and Debbie Rowland founded The Elegant Child in 1992, their goal was to create an atmosphere of learning that is second to none.

Since then, the center has expanded into a 3 building campus with 26 classrooms, but has managed to still provide a friendly and family-like environment for its children and their parents. So much so that when enrolling her own child, Meg Saak decided to quit her job as a travel director and become an administrator for the center.

The Challenge

So much has changed since 1992, including parents’ expectations of early childhood education. Much research has emerged showing the importance of learning during these formative years, and parents have become more involved in their child’s early education. Moreover, the way that they want to receive updates and what they expect from childcare centers has changed. 

Research has shown that the average millennial checks their phone over 152 times a day and spends over 4.5 hours on the device. Long gone are the days of paper reports and long conversations at pickup time. Today, millennial parents expect childcare centers to implement the latest technology to satisfy their desire to stay informed and connected to their children virtually. 

The Elegant Child staff on their 25th anniversary.
The Elegant Child staff on their 25th anniversary.

The Solution

The team at The Elegant Child understood the demand for regular updates for parents and the desire for these updates to be delivered via technology. At Elegant Child, it was obvious that they needed to implement something that would allow parents to receive updates, stay connected to their child wherever they may be, as well as provide a way for the center to monitor what was being sent when and where. 

“I [Meg] had to sell it to Debbie [the center’s owner] that we needed tablets in all the rooms and to have an app to do all of this because the picture thing wasn’t going to go away; the parents were going to still want pictures.”

In the search for a suitable photo sharing app that provided quality control features, Meg stumbled across HiMama. In addition to photo sharing, she discovered all of the additional features that photo sharing was just one part of, such as activity planning and daily sheets. It was then that Meg realized that she may have found the right software for her child care center.

The Results

While the team at The Elegant Child was happy everything they could do with the new technology, most excited of all were the parents. After introducing the parents to HiMama, Meg said that “They thought it was super cool. There was a sense of relief because they knew that their report was on their phone now. When you’re picking up two kids, you set the paper down and then you’re at home at night and trying to figure out ‘what time did they get a bottle’ or ‘what time did they take a nap today.’ Now the fact that it’s in their hands and they can go back to it — it’s huge.”

‘I love that I can stay up to date on my daughter when she’s at school during the day. From what, when and how much she eats to the activities she does throughout the day, I feel like I’m in the know from the moment I drop her off to the time I pick her up at the end of the day. (…) I can’t praise this app enough for giving me peace of mind.’

– Allyson P, HiMama Parent

After two and a half decades of providing exceptional child care, HiMama has enabled the team at The Elegant Child to continue doing what they do best, while providing new ways to connect with a whole new generation of parents and children.  

If you’re thinking of adding an app to your childcare center, we’d love to talk. HiMama facilitates open communication with families and enables contactless operation of your center, from documentation to payments. Learn more about the app with a FREE tour.

Michael Keshen

Michael writes for HiMama's early childhood education blog and ECE Weekly newsletter. When not developing content for early childhood professionals, he can usually be found out and about with his wife and daughter exploring all that Toronto has to offer, or playing music with his karaoke band.