There is always a feeling of guilt when you are in a classroom and give all of your attention to your children but also have to balance this with administrative requirements.
As a practitioner the thing I enjoyed the most was spending time with the children. One of the biggest challenges I faced working in a nursery was that I was spending a large proportion of my time writing observations and reports as opposed to being in the classroom teaching.
For so long, the industry standard in Childcare has been to use paper. Even with the rise of technology, the education industry still isn’t quite on board with going fully paperless.I would often leave paperwork during the day and complete it in the evenings. I found that I would spend weekends and evenings trying catch up with paperwork, and that despite all this effort – it was difficult to stay up to date.
I decided to embark on a journey to create the best learning journey platform for nurseries, based on my experience in the classroom. I knew that whatever I created needed to be practitioner-led and attuned to the needs of the Early Years sector.
I put together an Advisory Board of senior Early Years practitioners, managers and owners. Together, we have worked to design and develop an online platform that can really help in the classroom and improve learning outcomes. We have also built a special framework for Montessori schools, which helps practitioners link their Montessori activities to EYFS outcomes.
1. Nurseries have way too much paperwork to do
Having to log all of the daily activities of my children, writing observations and completing regular reports made me feel like I was always behind with my paperwork. Most importantly, I wasn’t able to spend enough time with my children! We created Blossom to massively reduce the time spent on paperwork.
You can log day-to-day information, observations and children’s learning quickly and easily – including linking it to different frameworks. For example the EYFS Development Matters and Characteristics of Effective Learning.
2. Cohort tracking is difficult – very difficult
This has become one of the most challenging areas for nursery managers – cohort tracking takes an average sized nursery approximately 30 hours a term.
With Blossom’s online observation tool, data is automatically pulled together into comprehensive and easy to read reports at the click of a button. At any point, you can view different reports about the progress of groups of children. This makes Ofsted inspections a breeze!
3. Parents need to be kept informed and involved
Practitioners can’t always find the time to give a comprehensive breakdown of each child’s day to parents when they pick up and drop off their child to nursery. Instead of showing photos twice a year at parent’s evenings, you can share with them instantly what their child has been up to. As a result, the parents will have peace of mind and you will have a breeze at handovers!
Blossom lets you do this at the click of a button; we wanted to create something which enhanced the communication between parent and practitioner and made conversations more targeted.
4. Safeguarding paperwork is difficult
Paper-based learning journeys take up physical space in a nursery and are more at risk of being misplaced, lost or even stolen. When you go paperless, all of that data is stored safely and securely and can be accessed by you even if your device has been stolen or lost. You can also manage who within your nursery has access to specific data with flexible account permissions.
Blossom puts security at the core of everything we do, keeping your nursery setting’s data protected. Blossom has several safeguards in place to protect your nursery including encrypted passwords, access logs and full backups of data.
5. Admin costs money. A lot of money!
The cost of paper and printing is an extra overhead that nurseries can’t really afford, along with the unreliability of the printer itself. With Blossom, everything is stored in the cloud and printing is not necessary – saving you time and money.
Flashy nursery software is viewed as something that is potentially more expensive than sticking with paper. The amount spent on printing alone is a lot more than you expect. This combined with the time saved on administration makes switching to paperless more than worth it, with some settings saving up to £5000 just from making the change.
6. Practitioners just want to teach
Children should always be the focus of what we do, and this can get difficult when you have a mountain of paperwork to get through. Going paperless keeps everything in one convenient location, so no more searching for that one piece of paper with all of the important information on it. As you make small changes, the system works for you to change all the information and keep your nursery running smoothly. Some worry about technology taking the focus away from the children, but it’s really the opposite.
On average, Blossom saves nurseries 110 hours of practitioner time per child per year, creating a better work-life balance for everyone involved!