Center Name: Grimsby Co-Operative Preschool| Location: Grimsby, ON | Founded: 1971
Updating Grimsby for a New Generation of Parents
Grimsby Co-Operative Preschool has been operating in the Grimsby, Ontario community for the past 50 years and has held a strong foundation in the town and its community. As current Executive Director, Melissa McLauchlan describes it as “a hard place to leave because it just feels like home”.
For the last 49 years, Grimsby Co-Operative Preschool has collected payments with cash and cheques and tracked payments through spreadsheets. When Melissa took over as Executive Director of Grimsby Co-Operative Preschool 6 years ago, she thought to herself, “How can we simplify everyone’s day?”
It was clear to Melissa that things were changing, the world was evolving and she wanted to find a way to keep up. Not only was the world becoming more technologically advanced, but with most young children having been born during COVID, it was requiring a shift in how they taught and communicated. Melissa noticed children demonstrating different needs than they have seen in previous years, requiring a different type of teaching. This shift has led to more constant, and sometimes challenging, communication with families. Melissa wanted to improve this communication for families and make their lives as easy as she possibly could.
HiMama is easier, and parents need an easier way to do things in the morning because they are so busy. We are making everyone’s lives easier with HiMamaMelissa
One of the main reasons Melissa made the choice to implement HiMama was to improve communication and transparency for families, but she also discovered Grimsby could improve its billing process and collect payments right in the program. Using spreadsheets and collecting cash and cheques was a hassle not only for Melissa, but annoying for the parents as well.
We wanted to bring the program and the communication up to the year 2021 and knew parents did not want to write checks anymore. It costs them money, and that was frustrating for parents, especially in a COVID world.Melissa
Melissa explained that it used to be almost a full week of work each billing cycle. Hours were spent going to the bank, collecting checks, entering data, and of course, chasing some parents for the payment. With HiMama, Melissa said, “It is fabulous. I go through and make sure all the payments have been processed and then I just sit there and wait for the money to pop into my bank account.”
“HiMama has eliminated 100% of our uncomfortable conversations with parents.”
Before HiMama, Grimsby had 3 excel spreadsheets dating back to 2010 that Melissa was using to track payments. This system was not only time-consuming for her, but things would get lost and some payments were eventually missed, leading to uncomfortable conversations with families. With the implementation of HiMama, parents not only have more insight into their payments but also ownership over any missed, late or overdue invoices. Melissa explains that it “has 100% eliminated uncomfortable conversations”.
”The first of the month, I used to dread it. I couldn’t stand it. It would take 3 days for me to do it all. To go from 3 days to 2 hours a week is heaven. The way it has saved my time is unbelievable.”Melissa
At Grimsby Co-Operative Preschool, families are billed on the first of each month but receive their invoices a week in advance. With HiMama billing, Grimsby parents have time to preview the invoice and prepare their accounts for automatic withdrawal on the first of the month.
With HiMama, Melissa has saved herself upwards of 3 days of work and made her family’s lives much easier. For Melissa, it was the relief that HiMama billing created for her, and the feedback from parents that she knew she was doing the right thing.
Overall, HiMama has created a much-needed sense of ease for herself and her educators and made the busy lives of the young families at her center that much easier. For Melissa, the benefits to Grimsby staff and parents go hand in hand. “It is the whole value of the whole thing for us: the billing, the communication and not having any more paper is amazing for us.”
Grimsby Co-Operative Preschool is one of many HiMama customers who have saved more than a full day’s work with HiMama’s billing and payments platform. Fill out the form below to learn more about how our billing and payments feature can help you!