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Parenta and Blossom: A Comparison

Parenta has been a long established company in the Early Years industry, focusing not only on their management softwares (Abacus, Dayshare, Fee Collection & Footsteps2) but also LEVEL 3 / Safeguarding / Early Years Management / training services, nursery marketing, and nursery insurance services. They also develop nursery resources.

Blossom Educational is exclusively an all-in-one online nursery management software which has inside knowledge of the industry through ownership of their own Ofsted Outstanding nurseries and Ofsted Good nurseries. With 100s of customers across the UK, their modern nursery software is at the forefront of the industry.

Blossom is an all-in-one fully integrated system, which still enables users to choose the functionality that they would like to use in their nurseries e.g. Finance / Operations/ Parent Communication / Children’s Learning.

Keep reading to see how the two different platforms match up.

Nursery Invoicing, Parent Billing & Funding

Blossom has easy to set up and comprehensive finance features, from invoicing to funding. With an emphasis on a good user experience, Blossom allows nursery administrators to get started in minutes with flexible settings to ensure your bills are spot on and can be sent with the click of a button. Despite having some additional features such as parent payments, invoicing with Parenta can be time-consuming as there are lots of manual processes involved.

Nursery grant funding can be flexibly added on the Blossom platform, with a range of options to make the funding allocation process automaticated, flexible and comprehensive. On Parenta Abacus, public funding can only be applied at the council rate as opposed to the setting’s chosen rate, so it can be difficult to be flexible. Consumable costs and funding deficits have to be manually allocated on Abacus software, and cannot be automatically invoiced for in the same way as Blossom.

Easy and in-depth reporting is a key feature of the Blossom system – all information is available at the click of a button, and loads in seconds. Information can be viewed in graphs and tables and easily exported into Excel and csv files. Parenta has very in depth reporting information. Reports can sometimes be difficult to find, access and analyse.

Online Learning Journal Software - Children’s EYFS Tracking and others

Parenta have a software platform called “Footsteps2” which is an EYFS tracker. This system is similar to Blossom’s Observation feature. Both platforms offer EYFS and CoEL compatible observations to send to parents, be approved and track development across different areas of learning. However, Parenta do feature some more advanced photo editing features such as blurring out faces.

Blossom focused on the user experience and speed of use, with the clear knowledge that EYFS practitioners and Early Years Managers do not have much time on their hands, and need a system that is easy to use, modern and accessible.

Parenta currently only offers the EYFS framework as part of “Footsteps2”. However Blossom Educational has additional Montessori features which you are able to link back to the EYFS. Plan activities from a list of hundreds of different Montessori activities and choose which activities should be tried next to help with a child’s development.

Parent Communication and Parent Engagement

Parenta offers the Parent Portal, the app which allows parents to see different updates, information and account details, however this area of the software hasn’t been recently refreshed and lacks a modern user interface. There is no Apple App Store Parent App and no Google Play Store PArent App.

Early in 2020, Blossom released a brand new Parent App, which has an updated design which is bright and engaging for parents. It not only shows daily diary and financial information, but also news updates shared by the nursery and EYFS activities for parents to try at home.

HR and Staff Planning / Maximising Nursery Occupancy

Parenta offers some HR and reporting features which Blossom currently have yet to release, however, Blossom’s reporting and occupancy features are easier to understand as they have a simple and colour-coordinated layout which makes it easier to find discrepancies. Blossom is shortly due to release staffing, nursery rostering, and staff register features. These will tie into the easy to use occupancy forecasting, and give nursery owners very clear direction on any periods of understaffing and overstaffing.

Children’s Daily Diaries and Daily Sheets

The diary was one of Blossom’s first features and has recently been refreshed to work more efficiently. The diary feature allows you to log meals, nappy changes, bottles, sleeps and activities which can then be sent out via email or directly to the Parent App. As well as a diary feature, nurseries can keep in touch with parents and staff by using our newsletter feature. Parenta’s dairy tool is called “Dayshare” and it is relatively similar to the Blossom system, however it is visually more difficult to understand as the grid layout doesn’t show any profile pictures.

Nursery Group System features and Nursery Chain Software

Blossom does have features to help nursery groups. The group dashboard feature shows an overview of all settings as well as group reporting features to see consolidated nursery income, nursery occupancy and fee forecasts.

Parenta Abacus can be used in a nursery group, however it doesn’t offer the same close support as Blossom to help the continued growth of your business. Parenta abacus login and footsteps login can be a difficult and time consuming process.

Support, Advice and Guidance

Blossom Educational has a monthly cost of between £49 and £138. There are no upfront fees, set up costs, or hidden charges. Blossom operates on a rolling monthly contract, so there is no lock-in period. Blossom’s customer support is free and run by a great team with EYFS practitioner and nursery management knowledge. Initial training costs between £100-£600. Blossom is based in Northwood, Greater London and the team often travel throughout the UK to provide demonstrations and training.

The cost of Parenta costs £69 per month per setting. However their setup costs are upwards of £1,000, meaning it can be more difficult to get started. Like Blossom, their office is also UK based and they can do some onsite training.

Parenta have a wide range of nursery services, currently with a focus on training, meaning some of their software features haven’t been updated in some time.

  • Blossom
  • Parenta
BlossomParenta
£49
Starting at
£69
Starting at
User InterfaceModernTraditional
Cloud Based
Single Login
App StoresApple, GoogleApple, Google
Montessori
Public FundingPartly
In-app PaymentsComing SoonDirect Debit Only
Group Support

Disclaimer

Information accurate at time of publication: 18 June 2020

We have done our best to create an accurate and unbiased comparison between Blossom and Parenta, however the products may have changed since the publication of this article. If you have any comments or suggestions please contact digitalmarketing@blossomeducational.com.

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Our COVID-19 Nursery Risk Assessment form was created by our experienced nursery managers to create a safe and happy nursery environment. Always read advice from your Local Authority for information in your area.