Can technology actually improve the quality of live human interactions, not just facilitate virtual ones? By reducing stress, Child Care Seer allows parents and staff to make real connections.
These days, one often hears technology blamed for the depersonalization of human interaction. From robots answering phones to social media allowing people to substitute digital interactions for real contact, technology gets a bad rap for removing real connections. Then a program like Child Care Seer comes along and completely upends that belief.
Karen Inman, General Manager at Callahan Learning Centers, has been using Child Care Seer to manage the two centers for several months. Seer is a childcare software management program that provides a host of features, including automated billing, online schedule requests, and an innovative wallet feature. As a result, Inman has seen drastic changes in her parents’ daily experiences within the center.
“Automated billing frees you up from the mundane childcare experience, where the parent comes in to drop off their child, and the first thing they say is, ‘What do I owe?’” says Inman. “They’re much more pleasant to talk to. Parents now come in and spend more time saying goodbye, chatting with the teacher, or watching from the window. They have time to notice the new artwork that’s hung up in the classroom. Or, if they really are running late, they can leave if they need to without having to deal with paying balances on the way out.”
Child Care Seer takes much of the conversation about billing out of the center and puts it online where parents can fully examine details and take care of them at their own convenience. Without those awkward conversations, parents are free to be themselves.
No one enjoys being asked for money, for example, and Inman notes that in the past, parents’ attitudes would sometimes show. “You’d get this response, ‘Yeah, I’ll bring you the check tomorrow.’”
Tom Callahan, the inventor of Child Care Seer, designed the system to provide a rich set of modern online billing features. He comments “Collections are one of the most challenging things in preschool for most people. The staff really loves the children under their care and want the best for them. Polluting that nurturing relationship with money often feels impersonal, and sometimes even rude, to the staff member called upon to do it. We designed our software from the ground up to automate the administration of childcare for our customers, so they can have more time to do what they love to do and worry less about the ‘business’ side of their centers.”
Now that Karen and her staff members have Seer managing billing, they can take the time to converse with parents as human beings instead of contributors to their bottom line. Sometimes the information can be valuable insight into their child’s behavior, such as letting her know they are house hunting, so the child may display some anxiety. Other times it’s just sharing more personal information that helps to build a real connection. “I learned that one of my parents works at a place where they take old, worn-out money and exchange it for new money. I never even knew that something like that was done. With another parent, I found out he was one of nine children and that explained why he was so quiet.” Spending this time actually engaging with the parents forges a stronger relationship which is not only good for the soul, it’s great for business and cultivates goodwill in the community as a whole.
Being able to leave the stress and hassle of dealing with money behind has a trickle-down effect on children, who, Inman says, feed off their parents’ energy and can tell when something’s not right. The morning drop-off routine goes more smoothly. “If mommy and daddy are happy, the kiddos are happy too.”
Parents appreciate the personal contact, and those who have patronized other centers note the difference. Inman says, “One parent told me that when she came in at her previous center, she felt like just another cattle in line.” Since this is the time in their child’s life when they have the greatest opportunity to build relationships with teachers and caregivers, it’s especially meaningful to be able to make the most of that opportunity. “After this, they’re off to elementary school. It’s never going to get better than this time, right now,” says Inman.
About Child Care Seer
Software that automates everything for your daycare, pre-school, early education learning center, or after-school learning program.