Helping Hands Daycare
9 locations throughout Durham Region and County of Peterborough in Ontario, Canada.
Challenges of Accepting Payments “The Old Way”
A lot has changed when it comes to payments since Helping Hands Daycare first opened its doors in 1989. Back then, to do any banking you had to actually go to the bank. Paying with a credit card involved filling out a piece of paper and using a bulky machine to make an imprint of the card. People carried around checkbooks if they did not want to pay with cash. But for the most part, cash was the primary form of payment that consumers and businesses opted for.
Over the years, Helping Hands introduced two newer payment methods to provide parents with more convenient ways to pay tuition. One method was etransfers, which allowed for electronic payments but was very inefficient from an administrative perspective to properly process and keep track of all of the payments. The other method was an in-center debit/credit machine, which required parents to come into the center every Monday in order to make a payment.
“It was OK for a while,” reflects Helping Hands CEO, Ryan Eickmeier, “but then we realized that our supervisors were committing half a day every Monday to doing this and then committing additional hours to follow up to collect outstanding payments.”
Deciding to Switch to Online Payments
Helping Hands had been a longtime customer of HiMama for its parent communications and daily reporting features, but saw a new opportunity to provide even more value for families and staff when its new billing and payments system was introduced.
“When I read about the billing functionality in HiMama, the benefits were clear,” Ryan explains. “One, it would be automated through just a single platform, and two, it would drastically reduce the supervisors’ hours that they commit to the task. I would estimate that they save at least a day a week now because it’s all automated through a tuition plan.”
Eager to get started, Helping Hands got to work with HiMama’s support team to implement online payments for all of their locations right away.
Implementing a New Process
Once the decision was made to add payments to their HiMama subscription, a goal was set to have all parents making payments online. This would require the full cooperation of our Supervisors and Parents to help make it successful, some of whom are very comfortable with technology and others who were less familiar. Thankfully, all involved have found the system easy to use, and are thrilled with the amount of time normally spent on administrative tasks like chasing payments that they will now save!
“They absolutely love using it: it’s simple, it’s intuitive, and parents get it. HiMama replaces 3 or 4 other systems that we were using, some of which weren’t supported anymore by the company that built them and others that were manual processes.”
Reception from Parents
Since parents were already familiar with HiMama, the introduction of online payments was a natural next step. To prepare for the transition, the Helping Hands team started communicating the upcoming change a month before launching. This included sending an information sheet that the HiMama customer success team provided, placing posters around the center, and mentioning it in their weekly communications.
By the time launch day came, parents were excited to have the new convenience of online payments so they could have one less thing to worry during their busy week!
Want to learn more about how payments can save your staff time and delight parents? Click the “Start Now” button at the top of this page to get a personalized tour of HiMama!