Wiggles & Giggles
Fort St. John, British Columbia
Years in Operation
Favorite HiMama Features
- Attendance tracking
- Parent messaging
- Billing & invoicing
Growing from Home Daycare to Two Locations
In the Spring of 2007, Tammy and Adam Reaburn first opened the doors to Wiggles & Giggles Group Daycare, a small home-based daycare center with eight children enrolled. Five years later, the business expanded into a larger center due to the local demand.
“They had a home daycare and they decided to go big because of the need,” Janice Gibos, current Manager of Wiggles & Giggles, explains.
Janice has experienced this need first hand in the form of long wait lists to get into the center. As a response, they have recently expanded and launched their second location to help accommodate this demand. Even still, however, it seems like they can’t grow quick enough, which can be emotionally taxing for everyone involved.
“One of the hardest things is talking to parents on the phone and telling them that maybe in two years we’ll get you in,” Janice explains.
The Need for a Child Care App
Over the years, one of the keys to Wiggles & Giggles’ success has been maintaining the same great charm and quality of care that it started off with from its humble beginnings, but now applied to its larger scale. Managing this, however, has become increasingly more challenging during this expansion. After all, Janice can’t be everywhere at once when there is more than one location, and so they have had to become more sophisticated with how they approach core components of the business.
One of the center’s owners, Adam, has a strong interest in technology, so much so that he is also the owner of Moose FM, a local radio station. Having noticed several child care apps popping up, he had suggested to Janice that they should look into adding one to their own business. This suggestion, however, would not be kicked into high gear until a little while later, when the true need for an app became clearer.
Adding a second location is a big step for a child care center, which presents a set of new challenges. With more staff, kiddos and parents, while simultaneously removing the ability to physically be in each location, a solution is needed from a management perspective for how to effectively communicate and keep track of everything and everyone.
On a personal level, Janice is also a strong believer in reducing paper use whenever possible to have less of an impact on the environment. Without an app, their paper usage was very high, and this would only get worse when they more than doubled in size.
“We were using paper attendance sheets and weekly reports,” she explains, “and of course you have to keep records, so we have hundreds of boxes that we’ve got to keep for years.”
Plus, in the event that they ever need to access a past record, good luck finding it!
“If there’s ever a court case or something then we’ve got to go back through three million pieces of paper to look at attendance records.”
Choosing & Implementing HiMama
Now that it was the right time to add a child care app, Janice began evaluating different options. Several apps were looked into, but they were either challenging to use or missing one or more key features that were important for Janice and her team.
Eventually, Janice found her way to HiMama and decided to give it a try. HiMama checked off all of the requirements on their list, and provided a helping hand to ensure that the center was properly set up for success.
“We implemented it into the first location so that we could start understanding it and getting all of the girls trained on it,” Janice explains, “and so by the time we opened the second location we knew how to use it really well.”
How HiMama Has Helped
With HiMama fully rolled out across both locations, Janice — initially skeptical about whether the software would be a success — is happy that Adam made the initial suggestion to give it a try.
“As much as I was leery about it, I’m actually really glad we did it and the parents are loving it,” she explains.
Using a child care app has helped Janice have a better handle on the growing business now that she can’t be everywhere at once. “It’s been really great because I can see what’s happening at the other center without being there,” she reflects.
HiMama has also made it a lot easier for Janice to communicate with parents without needing to message hundreds of people individually. “I love that I can just go on HiMama and message all the parents at both centers and just tell them something really quick,” she adds.
Wiggles & Giggles also recently added billing and invoicing through HiMama, which they were initially waiting to do after things had settled a bit after the busy period of opening the new center.
“We didn’t start using the billing and invoicing until this month because the first month was just chaos,” Janice explains. “I was a little bit overwhelmed and nervous but it actually ended up being fairly easy, so I’m glad that we finally jumped into that as well.”
Now that Wiggles & Giggles is fullly set up with HiMama, Janice and the rest of the team are looking forward to continued growth as a business and can rest easy (well, as much as you can when working in child care) knowing that they have laid the technological groundwork to support them no matter what the future has in store!
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