How Famly Helps You Switch From Paperwork to Playtime
Little Schoolhouse, Northampton, MA
Who are they?

Little Schoolhouse has big ambitions for little children. The 30-child daycare in Northampton, Massachusetts sets out to feel just like home — with a special mixed-age classroom license, Little Schoolhouse lets infants, toddlers and preschoolers all play together in a progressive, creative curriculum.

Outside play, thinking big and getting creative are all at the core of what Little Schoolhouse does. Though as Owner and Director Candice Chouinard says, running a program like this can be a little easier said than done.

“We’re focused on cultural learning, environmental awareness, and play. That takes us outside all the time, finding ways to explore art, language, music and science together,” Candice says. “But sometimes, it takes a lot for our teachers to create such big curriculums for such small people.”

What was going on?

At one point, Candice and her team were using eleven different platforms to stay organized and keep parents in the loop.

“We were spread out across emails, texts, phone calls, paper sign-ins, billing software, photo sharing apps, message boards, you name it,” Candice says.

But juggling so many platforms takes time — and it’s a lot to ask of busy parents. And if anything slipped through the cracks, that meant answering more phone calls from families, sending more follow-up emails, and spending more time double-checking schedules.

All that time took Candice away from the reasons she loves working in child care.

“As a director, an owner, and a mother, there’s nothing more important than organization in the everyday routines — but that shouldn’t take all day. We needed our families to have their important information in one place,” Candice says. “But then we got Famly, and that’s really allowed us to focus on what matters. We just have more time to focus on the children’s experience, and the wellbeing of our teachers and families.”

“Famly allows me to enjoy myself more each day. As a business owner, I’ve just spent so much time on administration, but now I really get to focus on what I love again. I can be on the floor with children, building new curriculum, building relationships. That’s where Famly is an essential tool for me.”

Candice Chouinard, Owner/ Director, Little Schoolhouse

“Famly allows me to enjoy myself more each day. As a business owner, I’ve just spent so much time on administration, but now I really get to focus on what I love again. I can be on the floor with children, building new curriculum, building relationships. That’s where Famly is an essential tool for me.”

Candice Chouinard, Owner/ Director, Little Schoolhouse

What did they do?

Famly gave Candice and her team one single, simple place to keep track of all their daily duties.

“I really love Famly — it’s simple, beautifully orchestrated, and it doesn’t have the tasteless bells and whistles of other daycare management platforms. I feel like Famly is tailored for my center,” Candice says. “Having everything automated creates space for us to breathe. Instead of poring over staff time sheets, or billing and invoices, I can do those all in a batch with a click. Instead of a whole day of admin work, I can do that in an hour.”

Free from stacks of paperwork and backlogs of voicemails, Famly gave Candice and her team more time and energy for the parts of child care they’re most passionate about. Translated to real life, that means more time with the children, and fewer headaches for everybody.

“Now we can focus on developing a new curriculum, or creating a new sensory table — the things we really want to focus on,” Candice says. “And for the parents, Famly’s news feed is just streamlined and direct, and I can make sure they’ve seen important messages. So parents are saving a lot of time in their day, too, and that’s a big deal.”

What changed?

In a moment where child care across the country is more pressed than ever, Famly helps Candice and her team take some moments for themselves throughout the day.

“Oftentimes, directors expect teachers to take notes, write up daily reports or do busywork in their down time. But since we’ve got all that at the click of a button, there’s no need,” Candice says. “Teachers can actually take a break during naptime — just to look at the window, recharge and focus on their wellbeing, which is so critical these days.”

And in these hectic months of the coronavirus, Candice has found Famly helps everyone feel that much safer, and that much more in control — which means better relationships with her team and families.

“Especially now, Famly helps us keep parents more connected with their child, and to share more of their day,” Candice says. “The live news feed connected us in a way we never could have before. It really makes parents and caregivers a part of the whole equation, which is good for everybody.”

At the end of the day, Candice says, Famly just helps her get back in touch with why she got into child care in the first place.

“Famly allows me to enjoy myself more each day. As a business owner, I’ve just spent so much time on administration, but now I really get to focus on what I love again. I can be on the floor with children, building new curriculum, building relationships. That’s where Famly is an essential tool for me.”

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