Choosing management software? Find out how these 5 nursery rhymes can help you

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Our early years technology survey back in March revealed that nearly 3 out of 5 settings currently use nursery management software, with the most popular system being Abacus. If you don’t use management software or you’re not happy with your current provider, here are a few pearls of wisdom – taken from nursery rhymes – to help guide your next choice!

1. A wise old owl

A wise old owl lived in an oak

The more he saw the less he spoke

The less he spoke the more he heard

Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

When choosing nursery management software, doing plenty of research is key. Make sure you prepare a list of the requirements you have for the software and ask plenty of questions when you make your enquiries. As well as reading real-life case studies, just like the ‘wise old bird’ it can also be really helpful to listen to what other childcare providers say about their experiences with management software.

The lesson: Be a ‘wise old owl’ and do your research; listening to what others have to say

 

2. As I was going to St Ives

As I was going to St Ives I met a man with seven wives, 

Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, 

Each cat had seven kits: kits, cats, sacks and wives,

How many were going to St Ives?*

With so much financial information to track at your setting –free entitlement, revenue, billing for ad hoc sessions, fees due – there’s a real danger that you’ll suffer from information overload. Make sure the software you choose has a variety of financial reporting functions which make it easy to track how well your setting is performing and also allow you to forecast how well it’ll do in the future.

The lesson: Find out what financial reporting functions are available as part of your package

(*If you’re interested, the answer is 2,801 kits, cats, sacks and wives!)

 

 3. Doctor Foster

Doctor Foster

Went to Gloucester

In a shower of rain.

He stepped in a puddle

Right up to his middle

And never went there again!

To make sure you never feel out of your depth (like Doctor Foster!) when using new software, make sure your chosen company provides comprehensive induction training and ongoing support for all your staff. For example, Parenta’s Customer Care Team provides phone and email support from 8am to 8pm weekdays, as well as hosting free face-to-face training at their head office.

The lesson: Make sure you’re comfortable with the level of support you’ll receive

 

 4. Rock a bye baby

Rock a bye baby on the tree top

When the wind blows the cradle will rock,

When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,

And down will come baby, cradle and all.

When choosing nursery management software, you need to find a provider who will keep ahead in terms of changes to legislation. For example, Parenta’s nursery management software Abacus is updated weekly, so improvements are always being made without any extra charge to you. If you choose software which is completely inflexible and doesn’t adapt, the ‘winds’ of government change could completely topple your business.

The lesson: Make sure the software you choose is adaptable to change

 

5. London Bridge is falling down

London Bridge is falling down,

Falling down, falling down

London Bridge is falling down,

My fair Lady.

 

Build it up with wood and clay

Wood and clay, wood and clay

Build it up with wood and clay

My fair Lady.

 

Wood and clay will wash away,

Wash away, wash away,

Wood and clay will wash away

My fair Lady.

There’s a common saying: ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’. This nursery rhyme teaches us that if the materials you use aren’t of sufficient quality, they’ll soon be ‘washed away’. Of course, financial constraints will always play a huge part in which software provider to choose, but the quality of the service provided should be at the forefront of your mind. Check what mechanisms your provider has for storing and backing up data, how they control access to your nursery’s personal information and how secure the software is against online attacks.

The lesson: Don’t compromise on quality to save a few pounds

Choosing the right nursery management software will hold the key to taking your setting to the next level by reducing the hours you spend on admin, giving you the tools to track your profitability and being able to manage your staff more easily. The result? Having more time during your week to spend where it’s needed most – providing great childcare.

Find out what our award-winning software, Abacus, can do for your setting! 

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