Children’s Creative Center
Years in Operation
2 (opening a 3rd soon)
6 (soon to be 11)
Favorite HiMama Features
- Saving time (2.5 hours/week per teacher)
About Children’s Creative Center
Children’s Creative Center is a family-owned business that has been providing exceptional childcare in Chicago for over two decades. With some of the same staff since the very beginning still teaching at the center, it is clear that ower, Toni Simeonov and now her son, Mark, has created a community that educators, parents, and children love.
Halle Rubin joined the center three years ago as its new Director, and it didn’t take long for her passion for early learning to shine through. In fact, she was nominated by her community for the title of 2018 Early Childhood Educator of the Year, which she earned enough votes to become the winner of! Her journey to get there involved making many big improvements at Children’s Creative Center, one of which was finding a way to go digital with its daily reports and activity planning.
Deciding to Go Digital
When Halle joined the center three years ago, she had an opportunity to view the center’s processes with a fresh perspective. With some staff turnover around this time, Halle found herself taking on more hands-on tasks within the classrooms in a teaching capacity, and it was here that she quickly noticed the biggest areas for improvement.
“How they did their daily sheets every day was hand-written, and I was like, ‘you gotta be kidding me, I’ve got 58 kids I have to handwrite?’” Halle recalls.
To make the reports easier to write and for parents to digest, Halle began typing up the reports, but this soon proved to also not be very sustainable in the long-term. Needing to type up every activity the kids did that day and the teacher’s notes for each child began taking up Halle’s lunch hour and requiring extra time after work, and so she knew that she had to find another solution. This is when she set on her quest to find a software solution to save time and be more efficient with her parent communications.
“I went through every single app you can imagine. I said to Mark [the owner], ‘if I find the app of my dreams, will you support me,’ and he said, ‘you’ve got to sell me on it.’”
After trying out many different apps and eventually stumbling across HiMama, it was clear that Halle had finally found the solution she was looking for.
“As far as time goes, when you’re putting in all these kids’ information, you fly through it, so my teachers have more than half of their hour back to prepare for curriculum/hands-on things,” she explains.
Although HiMama improved things on the administrative side, ultimately it wouldn’t matter if parents weren’t on board. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for parents to be delighted by these new changes. Instead of a piece of paper tucked away in their child’s cubby, parents now had access to beautiful, detailed reports on all of their devices. Plus, parents also now had a convenient new way to contact the center’s staff through HiMama’s messaging features.
“The communication lines are just so open and accessible, it’s amazing,” Halle explains. “Within the first week, parents were just so thrilled by how much detail is there when they get that daily report. They’re like, ‘how long does this take you guys,’ and that’s the thing: it looks like it would take us days, but it takes a minute!”
With the benefits of HiMama being recognized by management, staff, and parents, Halle was confident that she had found the best app for its needs. Since then, HiMama has become a key component of helping things run smoothly.
“It’s a huge part of what we do,” Halle explains. “Our program wouldn’t be what it is, honestly. It made my job a lot easier. Without HiMama, my job would be more stressful.”
With over ten years’ experience in child care, Halle believes that the key to having a lasting career in the field is taking great care of yourself.
“Balance is very important,” she reflects. “You have to take care of you. You have to do things that make you feel good.”
With HiMama, Halle and her staff now have a sustainable way to make detailed reports and keep parents informed. This helps to reduce their workload, so after a long and busy day, they can go home, recharge, and come back each and every day refreshed and energized.
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