From Paper to Parent Engagement App at Victory Early Learning Academy

The Challenge 

Time-consuming paperwork that parents were not reading at the end of the day.

Victory Early Learning Academy, located in Audubon, Pennsylvania, was founded with the belief that children thrive when provided with responsive, consistent care both at home and in early care settings. Since its founding in 2010, center director and pastor, Missy Knechel has been running child care programs that are known to do just that. 

In the time since Knechel started the academy, childcare has changed, and what parents expect of care providers has evolved. Paper reports, handwritten records, and the time spent photocopying were just some of the things that Missy knew had to change at the Victory Early Learning Academy. Parents were expressing interest in receiving information about their kids digitally and often weren’t even reading the paper reports that educators worked so hard to provide at the end of each day. 

Knechel saw this shift and noted that not only was it time-consuming for educators to do all of the paperwork, but it was also challenging for her to ensure that all staff adhered to educational standards. She knew something had to change. 

The Solution

Using HiMama to engage parents with real-time updates.

In 2016, Knechel decided to implement HiMama to improve parents’ experiences and solve some of the administrative issues she was observing around her center.

Knechel knew HiMama was the right app for Early Victory Learning Academy. HiMama had features that allowed the center to move away from the time-consuming paper process and towards digital communication for parents and staff. In addition, HiMama also had local educational standards built in, making it easier for educators to plan their lessons, record observations, and ensure they were following the guidelines set by the state.

With HiMama, staff now have the opportunity to send updates and photos to parents during the day. At the end of the day, the reports staff have been working on can be sent to parents with a simple click of a button.

“Love the availability to see and download pictures and videos of my child on a daily basis.”

-Victory Early Learning Academy Parent

“Being able to get updates and photos makes the greatest difference in my day”

-Victory Early Learning Academy Parent

The Result

A stronger relationship between Victory Early Learning Academy and parents.

Today, all staff at Victory Early Learning Academy use HiMama to communicate with parents and to complete administrative tasks efficiently. Check-in, check-out, sending updates, daily reports, photos and learning observations — everything that happens in a child’s day is easily recorded in HiMama, and visible to Knechel as center director.

When asked about HiMama’s role in their relationship with Victory Early Learning Academy, 80% of center parents ranked it as 8 out of 10 or higher in terms of importance.

From their first tour at Victory Early Learning Academy, parents are introduced to HiMama.  Knechel believes seeing HiMama in action allows parents to get comfortable with the idea of leaving their child in a care setting and even excited to be part of the center community.

“Parents get excited as soon as I show them the app. They want to go and download it right away. Usually, I have to tell them just to wait until it’s closer to their child’s first day.”

After a new child is enrolled, Knechel knows that parents appreciate how connected HiMama allows them to feel to their children throughout the day. “It gives them a sense of security that their child is okay and that they aren’t missing any big milestones.”

“I have parents that get obsessed with HiMama. They tell me that they will refresh the page every 30 seconds, hoping that something new will be posted. I always tell them that although educators try to post as much as they can, they are busy interacting with the kids and making sure they are safe and happy. That’s their most important job.”

Say goodbye to paper for parents and hello to the #1 rated parent engagement app.

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.

Morgan Scott

Morgan Scott is the Product Marketing Coordinator at HiMama. Morgan is a full-time business student at Wilfrid Laurier University, located in Waterloo, ON. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and baking lots of delicious desserts for her friends and family.

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