Customer Success Story - Wild Garden of Childhood Nursery

Here’s how Famly helps educators switch from paperwork to playtime.
Wild Garden of Childhood Nursery uses Famly
December 8, 2022
Reading time:
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Outdoor play, child-led learning, play-based curriculum

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Northampton, Massachusetts, USA

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0 months - 2.5 years old

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With Famly since

July 2020

Wild Garden of Childhood Nursery has big ambitions for little children. The 30-child program in Northampton, Massachusetts sets out to feel just like home: with a special mixed-age classroom license, Wild Garden of Childhood Nursery 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 Wild Garden 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." 

That’s where Famly comes in. In their day-to-day operations, Famly helps the Wild Garden team cut down on the paperwork and maximize playtime, making more time and headspace to help children grow their roots.

Let’s take a look at how it all works from day to day.

A child plays outdoors in a stream

The problems Wild Garden needed to solve

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

The big ideas

What did Famly bring to the table?

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.”

The Wild Garden of Childhood Nursery classroom

What’s changed since Wild Garden started using Famly?

In a period 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, draw 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.”

During the hectic months of the coronavirus pandemic, Candice found Famly helped everyone feel that much safer, and that much more in control. That meant better relationships with her team and the Wild Garden 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.”

download pdf
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Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

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UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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