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Blossom and Famly are two all-in-one systems which on the surface seem similar, but looking in detail into the features and design, the differences become clear. Before making a decision on which software to choose, find out the key differences in our feature-by-feature breakdown.
Occupancy & Staff Planning
Occupancy is a very important part of nursery software and it is important to pick a software which fits all of your needs. With Blossom, you have the ability to create daily, weekly, monthly and yearly occupancy forecasts with FTE percentages as well as numbers of children. Blossom enables you to always know how many and which children are due to be in your setting, as well as forecast for the future. Blossom’s nursery occupancy report includes real time data for absences, holidays and extra sessions, which means you can optimize the space in your nursery and boost your profits. Blossom also features automatic room moves, based on parameters set by you. Blossom’s overview planner enables you to instantly assess your availability for the future, and give families a clear picture of when spaces will be available. Blossom features many great reports for tracking allergies and accidents and incidents. The accidents and incidents feature gives practitioners the choice of collecting signatures for the report digitally or on paper, and Blossom provides the exportable PDF to cut out any needless administrative work. Blossom also features allergy and dietary preference reports, making it clear which children have specific needs. Famly currently do not have complete medication forms. All reports on Blossom can be exported to PDF format for your device.
Famly also have their own occupancy and reporting features to help with staff planning. Like Blossom, they feature real-time occupancy numbers which account for holidays and sick days. In addition to this, Famly also have automatic room moves, accidents and incidents, allergy reports to help cut time spent on admin tasks. Famly have recently released a staffing module to create staff schedules. Blossom is currently developing and building an extensive HR package. Blossom is committed to bringing out features which work for all nurseries, which is why we run all updates through our pilot scheme of test settings which provide feedback directly back to the Blossom team.
Blossom has a group dashboard feature, for nursery groups who want to see an overview of their settings. Blossom also features group reporting to give an overview of how their nurseries are running and to help encourage the growth of your business, Blossom has made it simple for nursery groups to add new sites in just minutes onto the Group Overview. These features show a simple yet intricate overview allowing business leaders to make important decisions confidently. The specialist Group Feature also provides group reporting such as forecasting and revenue reports. The Group Feature also allows the user to change organisation settings for all of it’s nurseries, these cannot be overridden by the nurseries and ensure each setting has the same processes such as opening times & invoicing structure. Famly recently launched ‘Famly Insights’ which helps groups by reporting on key information, something which is useful for nurseries with multiple settings.
Blossom has recently relaunched a new Parent App with a fresh and fun new look which features News updates, Golden Moment Observations, Reports and exciting activities parents can complete at home with their children. Famly have a direct messaging system allowing communication directly between staff members and parents. Blossom also offers professional two way communication which provides the benefit of easy communication with additional safeguarding. With Blossom’s newsletter feature, you have an automatically updated mailing list, and the ability to send room communications, staff communications, newsletters and activity ideas as well as communications to individual contacts. The Blossom Parent App also features its own EYFS activities curated by our own team of industry members for parents to try at home with their children. Parents are able to login to the same Famly App as the staff of the nursery as the parent side is within the main application. Famly does have mobile payments available, something Blossom is working to provide its customers very soon.
Blossom allows you to send out live or controlled diary updates to the parent app (or via email to those who don’t have access to the App) from the Web App. Blossom’s newly updated diary features all of the activities you would want to see, including nappy changes, activities, meals and more. You can also use the integrated calendar to jump back to any day and see that specific daily diary. The Famly App features a timeline view, which makes it more difficult to go back and view old diary entries. On Blossom’s Web App you are able to add your menus, these then save & then appear on a drop down, on Famly you will need to add these every time your children have a meal. When creating meals on Blossom, there is a slider and a comment box to write more detail about what children have eaten. Famly also has a slider to indicate how much food a child has eaten.
With Blossom, you have the ability to create a bespoke invoicing system to cater to exactly what your nursery requires. Blossom will do the configuration of your finance settings with you as part of your free setup. You can send out invoices individually or in bulk which will include your nursery’s branding. With Blossom, you are able to create booking patterns inclusive of discounts, extras, funding and consumables. You can add costs for nappies, meals or anything which requires an additional cost. Blossom have been working on in-app payments, something which Famly currently has. With Blossom, booking extra sessions is easy and can be done with just a few clicks. When re-raising an invoice on Famly for something like extra sessions, you would need to go & cancel the previous invoice & resend. Sending out invoices to parents on Blossom is easy, with clear invoices and receipts viewable on the Parent App.
Both systems offer funding features. With flexible funding bespoke to your nursery, Blossom caters to exactly what your business needs. Getting set up can sometimes be complicated, however our staff with early years background have been in your shoes and will show you through how the funding features work in your personal set up!
Blossom has a full suite of financial reports which display all the information you need in an easy to understand way. The system provides reports for individual settings as well as for groups of settings. These exportable reports are quick to generate and easy to understand with just a glance. Blossom offers forecasting and retrospective reporting: revenue reports, funding reports, credit note reports, debt reports and financial forecasting.
Learning journeys and tracking children’s learning and development, as well as sharing this with parents, are one of Blossom’s strongest features. Clear and simple whilst maintaining all the features you need, nurseries who use Blossom often praise it’s easy to use nature. Blossom was created by Early Years professionals who have years of knowledge and experience, something which is reflected in the software’s flexible nature. Built with simplicity in mind, Blossom is capable of delivering a wide array of features without overwhelming the user. Famly is similar to Blossom in this aspect, they focus on a clear interface for its users. Observations can be created easily & quickly to allow staff to put their attention on the children.
Both Blossom and Famly feature the EYFS as one of their available frameworks:
Blossom allows you to easily create observations for children in the nursery, and send these out to parents. The observation Review feature gives Room Leaders and Nursery Managers using either Blossom or Famly the ability to approve observations before they are sent to parents or choose to send them back to the practitioner with feedback. With Blossom’s observation tool, you have the freedom to create observations for groups of children but are still able to give individual notes and links to the EYFS platform, something not currently available on Famly. Coming from an Early Years background, Blossom’s learning platforms are more appropriate for the sector, with a user-friendly interface which can be picked up regardless of technological capabilities. With nurseries who are coming from paper, this can make the switch to beginning to use software a smoother process.
Blossom’s Montessori platform is a great tool for those settings which follow the Montessori school teaching philosophy.. The Montessori platform is particularly powerful as it allows users to link observations to either the Montessori framework or the EYFS. The system provides hundreds of activity suggestions for practitioners, something which can help greatly when training staff on which Montessori activities are used for certain developmental areas. When planning next steps, there is the choice between Montessori and EYFS, with suggested activities as well as suggesting that activities should be repeated once a child has reached a certain progress level. Despite supporting a number of UK frameworks such as EYFS & CoEL, the Famly platform currently does not support the Montessori framework.
Cohort Tracking on Blossom provides all of the information required in an easy to understand format. The Cohort Tracking on Blossom is not live, keeping your past data, meaning you are able to search back to certain dates to check how a child’s progress has changed. Blossom has incredibly easy to generate reports with easy to understand parameters. The layout of the reports clearly flag abnormalities, improving early intervention and staff CPD. Similarly with Famly, you can look at progress from a certain date, or between a particular time and there are a range of different options including refinement-based tracking and tallies. Any report can be generated using Blossom’s Cohort Tracking, 2 Year Checks, Comparison Reports, and Transition Reports.This coupled with an ‘Observation Feedback’ tool means that ‘on the job’ CPD can be easily provided. Ofsted have mentioned this to be a strong positive of the Blossom system.
Cohort tracking features in Famly and Blossom Educational’s systems.
At Blossom, we provide as many different channels of support as possible. As we are based on the outskirts of London, it is easy for our expert team to reach you in person. Our company is built by Early Years professionals as well as tech experts, which gives us an understanding of what the sector needs and where it is headed. The monthly cost of Blossom ranges between £49 and £138. The customer support is inclusive in this price and includes a dedicated Account Manager, unlimited telephone support, and in-depth help videos and articles. Blossom also offers further training for a bespoke fee – this can be either in person, or online.
With growing software companies like Blossom and Famly, customer feedback is highly important. Blossom has a network of nurseries which provide feedback and constantly reaches out to its customers to make the software better. Famly created the service Famly Community, a forum to take feedback from customers which allows customers to see what is being developed and make suggestions of their own.
Famly costs anywhere from £69 – £149 per month, and is based in Copenhagen. Despite this they are regularly seen at different events across the UK. They also offer telephone, email and chat support. Customers have reported that telephone support for Famly needs to be ‘booked in’ so you cannot simply call someone for help like you can at Blossom. In Early Years, time is always of the essence…
Information accurate at time of publication: 09 September 2020
We have done our best to create an accurate and unbiased comparison between Blossom and Famly, however the products may have changed since the publication of this article. If you have any comments or suggestions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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