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Customers/Step with Purpose LLC

Opening a new center: Why I chose Lillio at Step With Purpose LLC

Products used

  • Activity Planning
  • Center Management
  • Family Engagement

I chose Lillio because of your focus on learning and development. This means a lot to me as an educator

Shannan Ramsey, Owner and Director of Step with Purpose

Shannan Ramsey is the owner and director of a brand new high-quality childcare facility in Blackwood, New Jersey. Shannan is not new to the field, with over 25 years of experience in home childcare, but she is new to owning and operating her own center-based childcare facility. “Center-based childcare is a whole different ball game,” Shannan confessed. As childcare is evolving, Shannan has been too, which is why she was ready to take her work to the next level. 

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Shannan to discuss why, as a previous Brightwheel user, she chose to bring Lillio into her new childcare center.

Starting a new center the right way

Shannan opened the doors to Step with Purpose LLC in January of 2022 and knew immediately that she wanted to bring a childcare management app into her center. Shannan wanted to make sure Steps with Purpose was keeping up with the times, and that they had a system in place to operate as efficiently as possible. To achieve these goals she started her search for the best childcare management app for the center. 

At her home-based childcare in New York, Shannan used Brightwheel, another childcare management app. She was comfortable with Brightwheel but found herself constantly being drawn to HiMama. Shannan was already a big fan of HiMama Activities and the HiMama Helps Webinar series. After spending so much time on our website and using lesson plans and resources from HiMama, Shannan decided it was time to learn more about what else the company had to offer. After getting a tour of HiMama and gaining more insight into the learning and development tracking available in the app, Shannan was sold. 

I chose HiMama because I really like the fact that it has the learning domains and indicators built right in. I also really like the way the assessments and the lesson planner are set up to support our documentation.


Elevating the quality of care at steps with purpose with the right tools and resources

Shannan explained to me right from the start of our conversation that creating and providing a high-quality early learning environment was her top priority.

“High-quality childcare means we have great educators, we provide research-based programming, we offer child-led learning activities and most importantly we keep up with technology. Lillio helps us to keep that high-quality of care going,” Shannan explained.

Shannan is an advocate for early childhood educators and it is extremely important to her that the educators at her center do not view themselves, or have others view them, as babysitters. It was for this reason that Lillio's development evidence tracking feature was so crucial in her decision to switch to Lillio. As Shannan’s mission is to provide high-quality care, that means being able to articulate the deep learning that is happening and share it with families, in a way she wasn’t able to before Lillio. 

According to Shannan, “The reason why documenting and sharing the development evidence is so important is because it reminds me of the great job I am doing, and it can remind my teachers of the great job they are doing. For example, if we document something as simple as the kids playing drums, with Lillio we can attach the developmental indicators and domains, some of which we may have not even have known we hit! It provides me with motivation, and it also helps me to facilitate the language that I want to present to parents.” 

With the help of Lillio, Shannan has been able to enhance the details of their documentation and offer a more professional form of communication to the families. 

Sometimes it is hard to fully express the learning and development that is happening with the families. With the help of Lillio, I sound like a genius. That is priceless.


As the operator of a new play-based program, Shannan was concerned that many parents would not understand the research and developmental benefits behind play-based learning. She knew that many new parents, especially those who have never heard of play-based learning, may be apprehensive. With the help of Lillio, Shannan has been able to go above and beyond by sharing the deep learning and growth that is happening through play-based learning. 

Not only am I able to have a successful play-based curriculum, but I have the evidence right in Lillio to show parents exactly what we are doing, how we are doing it, and why we are doing it. 


Shannan and her team can then take these developmental observations and records and use them for meaningful and in-depth conversations with parents. 

When we did our first ever parent-teacher conferences, we did it through zoom and we were able to share our screens and share the assessments and developmental observations. We could break it down with the parents and could even show them correlating pictures to the skills we were discussing. That was so huge for me. Lillio has really supported us in deepening our conversations with parents, and that is really what high-quality care is all about.” 


Shannan also took on the challenge of starting her first center-based childcare and launching Lillio at the same time. Though a daunting challenge for anyone, Shannan was able to succeed with the help of Lillio's onboarding team, another reason why Lillio was the right partner for Step with Purpose.

The Lillio team was awesome in supporting me with dedicated calls to walk through the program. Brightwheel did offer training but it was not as comprehensive as what you offered. I really appreciated the hand holding and the kindness your team showed in making sure I was okay and comfortable with everything. You were so calm and so patient. It was just awesome. 


Step with Purpose Today

Within just a few months of opening the doors to her new center and using Lillio, Shannan has gotten so much value out of Lillio's development evidence tracking and the professional communication she can offer to parents. Shannan shared that Lillio is now used as a marketing tool when finding new educators and recruiting new families, and it ultimately compliments everything she she wants to provide in a high-quality early learning environment. 

I want to have high standards for myself, for the educators, for the parents, and for the children. What better way to do that than with Lillio by our side every step of the way.”


Want to learn more about how Lillio and FunShine Express curriculum can help you improve your center quality?

Step with Purpose LLC

20-50 children
New Jersey, USA
Single Center

Shannan Ramsey

Owner and Director

More detailed

activity planning than ever before

Instant support

Received more support than at any other company