There is such a variety of nursery software providers available that it can be challenging to choose the best one for you and your early years setting. When nursery managers and owners are dissatisfied with their current nursery software provider, it can be tempting to settle for mediocrity to avoid a disruptive and complex transition to a new software. We sat down with Blossom Educational’s very own George Stern, Account Executive and sausage roll-maker extraordinaire, to discuss how switching from mediocre to intuitive couldn’t be easier!
In this article, you will find:
Why do nurseries change software providers?
Nurseries are fast-paced settings, and after a tumultuous 24 months, nurseries have reacted quickly to adapt their provisions to meet the changing needs of the children. Your nursery software should keep up with your progression; and choosing to stay with poor software puts your business at risk of reducing your nursery’s effectiveness and profitability.
Nurseries change software providers for a variety of different reasons. We share some of the most commonly found reasons (that you may resonate with) on why childcare settings are making the switch to Blossom, so that you too can maximise your nursery’s potential and occupancy.
A lack of flexibility in contract agreements
Nursery software contracts can often be restrictive, tying a setting into a 12-month contract with little room for flexibility. When your nursery business is growing and evolving, your software contracts must be flexible enough to support it. Blossom operates a monthly rolling contract, with the option to alter your package as and when you wish to fit your changing setting’s needs.
Outgrown single-feature tools
When you first move from paper-based processes to intuitive technology, some nurseries can choose to trial single-feature tools: (online payments, parent apps, invoicing and billing features, for example). Once your staff and parents recognise the benefits and further potential impact of using nursery software, expanding to a provider who combines all the single-feature tools into one app is a natural progression. You may just want to find a nursery software that is smoother to use, or has a more appealing design!
Cost of current nursery software versus impact experienced
Nursery software can be a sizeable investment. Therefore your nursery should experience a significant positive impact on occupancy levels, management of accuracy and efficiency, quality of communication and increased profitability.
Many nurseries switch their software providers as they don’t feel they are getting the value for money that was initially communicated they would, and cannot see the positive impact on their business any longer. Blossom lays it out clear and simple when it comes to the positive financial impact you can expect to receive by switching. Why not try out our cost savings calculator to give you an idea?
Outdated and stagnant feature updates
Feature updates and releases are important for your setting to stay current and on top of your game. While also maintaining high levels of engagement and satisfaction from your parents.
Check the number of updates and the types of releases other providers have shared with their users in the last 24 months. Were they purposeful feature releases? Updates that will make your life as a nursery manager easier? We can’t stop talking about our new in-app notifications feature release; it has earned its title of ‘game-changer’ by our customers. And that’s just one example of the powerhouse updates Blossom regularly releases.
Offshore and uncontactable customer service teams
You only know how good the customer service team of your current provider is once you need them. If you have found yourself waiting for customer service, or only being attended to when it’s too late, you aren’t alone. This is a popular reason why nurseries are switching to Blossom.
“We often find customers complain about the length of time taken to have technical issues resolved with their current software. With the focus purely being the tech problem, not the human challenges this can cause if the software system has a malfunction.” George Stern, Blossom Account Executive.
Many childcare software companies operate large customer service teams which are not from educational backgrounds, focusing on tech only. Blossom has a friendly, UK-based customer care team that is contactable through the app, where an EYFS and technical specialist can talk via the phone to help if any issues arise.
“I would describe Blossom’s customer service as exceptional. The helpline is fantastic. It is reliable and consistent. People on the other end of the phone are knowledgeable. The staff walk you through the issue and you never feel like you’re being rushed. I actually just love giving them a ring because they are so nice and calming!” Joanne Anderson, Operations Manager at Siblings Nursery.
What are the common concerns about changing nursery software providers?
Each setting is different, with different needs and ambitions. However, there are some concerns each nursery may experience when considering changing their software provider. There are a number of different myths behind nursery software, which can make navigating the nursery provider field tricky. We share 6 of the most common concerns on switching software that may be on your mind, and more importantly, how Blossom works to address them.
Concern: Disruption to working processes and time taken to migrate data
Changing across software will naturally take some time, but certain nursery software companies can take longer than others. ‘It is important to work to the customer’s timescale when migrating the data. Some nurseries are working to a tighter deadline whilst others plan ahead of ending their existing contract. Blossom’s service teams work to make the transition timeous to your individual business’s needs- whatever they may be. ” George Stern, Blossom Accounts Executive.
Concern: Upsetting parents with a nursery software change
Some nurseries may be concerned about their parents’ reaction when they have new software to download, and that they’ll now be required to familiarise themselves with the features and layouts. Research and take into consideration the improved experience and communication your parents will receive when switching to a friendlier parent app. Blossom’s Parent App has a familiar, social-media feel that parents want to use every day.
Also, by having excellent support that Blossom provides when assisting your parents with the change, it reduces the pressure that your team may feel when they are learning the new software themselves. Blossom provides attentive support every step of the way.
“Remember that nobody likes change, so in the beginning some parents may have said to us: ‘I prefer the old software’ or ‘I’m not too sure how to use this one.’ But when we conduct parent surveys of their experience using Blossom now, we don’t get any messages other than: ‘Thank you so much for these updates!’ and ‘We love this App!’” Jessica Davies, Operations Manager at Wonder Years Nursery.
Concern: Disengagement from staff with new technology
Managing change can be challenging for managers and owners; new software should positively impact your setting’s productivity and efficiency across your nursery team. If staff show reluctance to engage with the new system, it can prove potentially problematic and poses risks to the possible success.
Blossom offers a comprehensive training process, organised to fit around your teams’ busy working day. We provide these informative and inspiring sessions to ensure all staff members are confident and competent with the use of the new software- so that they may reap the full benefits Blossom has to offer.
“The onboarding process with Blossom is so thorough and straightforward that every staff member, regardless of their level of technological confidence, can find their way around the software instantly. We provide the option of additional training- although we’ve found this feature is rarely used or needed, it’s that easy to use!” George Stern, Blossom Accounts Executive.
Concern: Risk of losing data in the migration
Your customer data, financial information and staff contact details are extremely important, and you have a duty of care to keep your customer information safe and within GDPR compliance. An understandable concern with moving to a new nursery software provider can be the increased risk of lost data. Blossom uses the highest level of online security to move your data over to our software, having the data transferred within a 72-hour window. Plus you will have one of our reliable and patient team members with you throughout this process.
“Our customer care team is made up of EYFS professionals, based within the UK. All with industry experience who understand the challenges associated with the hustle and bustle of a busy nursery.” George Stern, Blossom Accounts Executive.
Concern: Associated costs of switching to a new nursery software provider
Your nursery software is a long-term investment for your setting; helping to reduce administrative hours and allowing you to spend more time with the children and their families. It should be saving you and your team time, and in turn, it should be the tool that helps save your setting money in the long run.
If it’s becoming more of a hassle for staff and parents alike, it’s time to switch to a provider that reduces all forms of cost. It’s important to assess how much money (working hours for staff) your current processes cost. These numbers are just one part of the ‘costs’ that you and your team pay using your current methods. And getting frustrated over your current software provider’s lack of customer support is a draining and de-motivating cost for your team.
How Blossom can maximise your nursery profitability
Blossom is award-winning nursery software created by early years experts for practitioners and nursery staff. With thought and personal experience motivating each feature. This intelligent software is designed and regularly updated to make your working life as enjoyable as possible, by freeing you up to spend more time doing the parts of the job you love.
Created by early years experts to meet your nursery’s needs
Blossom has been created by current early years experts and practitioners who know the daily challenges of running both growing and established nurseries. Educational experience and expertise are essential threads across all of Blossom’s departments. You’ll speak with past deputy managers in our customer care team, and we have senior school leaders in our development team as well.
Tailor packages to suit your nursery
Blossom keeps it simple, by offering four carefully thought-out packages: Essentials, Learning, Business, and Custom. These packages cover all the essential learning and tracking needed to monitor child development and progression.
Some of the packages take your nursery’s management that extra step forward, like the Business package, which assists with invoices, HR tasks, and financial support. Helping to reduce the number of administration tasks managers and owners find take up a significant amount of their time. It all depends on your individual nursery’s needs, when choosing the right Blossom package for your nursery setting.
Increase parental engagement
Blossom’s Parent App is a firm favourite with all of our Blossom customers, with parent set-up guides helping your parents to make the transition seamless. Parental engagement with the Blossom Parent App is regularly high due to the simple display format and the familiar feel of a social media platform.
Parents are engaged in the process from the very beginning, thanks to the child’s online profile that they will complete. This boosts confidence that the nursery is aware of all important information, including likes and dislikes (which can be edited at any time as the child grows) and allergies as well.
With the parents taking ownership of filling in child profile information, early years practitioners are free to engage with the children, building relationships rather than inputting and repeating information about the child’s interests. And that is just the beginning of how switching to Blossom helps parents, children and your nursery connect more. There are countless ways our software helps to boost relationships across your nursery.
Never miss enquiries again
Choose a nursery software that helps you keep on top of all your enquiries. Converting more parents starts by them having an outstanding enquiry experience with your setting. And our new notification feature allows nursery managers, owners and practitioners to receive immediate notifications to help you keep in the know of everything that’s happening at your setting.
For example, if a nursery owner is offsite attending training or working remotely, they are still notified of parental enquiries and walkaround bookings. So when you do catch up face-to-face with your nursery team you are able to say: “How did that walkaround go last Tuesday with Mr X?”