Customer Success Story - Honey’s Nest

Working in partnership with parents means better outcomes for children
Honey's Nest logo and Famly logo with an iPad
January 5, 2022
Reading time:
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Pack-away preschool

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96% fully funded children

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With Famly since

March 2019

When every penny counts, what makes an additional outlay of £69 per month for Famly worth it? 

Honey’s Nest, a 24 place, pack-away setting in Watford runs almost exclusively on funding. In fact, owner Rob estimates only around 4% of their income actually comes from fees paid by parents. Like most of the Early Years sector, and especially other independent settings, margins are extremely tight.

Rob says it always comes back to what’s best for the children and the families at Honey’s Nest. Famly is a good investment because for Rob, it supports his core philosophies for the setting — strong parental partnerships and spending time with the children instead of on paperwork.

“It’s not about what it costs”, says Rob, “it’s about how you can give children the best start. It’s about giving back.”

The big ideas

Why Famly?

  • Sharing with parents:
    Famly allows Rob to share children’s best moments with parents every day, right to their pocket.
  • No more cumbersome paperwork:
    Going digital with Famly means Rob’s team aren’t drowning in piles of paperwork, or spending hours cutting out and sticking photos and handwriting observations.
  • Customisable:
    Rob’s uses Famly’s customisable assessments to really make the children’s reports bespoke for Honey’s Nest, so they have exactly the child development information they need.

Happy parents

Working in partnership with parents means better outcomes for children, but for Rob it’s about driving up expectations too. 

“I believe in investing in the best for the families that come to Honey’s Nest. The children have quality resources, food, and experiences. We could just have paper journals, but just because parents don’t pay much (if anything) to come here, why should they expect less?”

For Rob, paying for Famly means a great experience for parents, so it’s a worthy expense. And it’s immediate. Almost every parent has a smartphone, allowing them to share in their child’s time at Honey’s Nest every day.

“Parents don’t have to wait for a consultation three times a year to see what their child is learning at nursery. Parents can log in and see straight away that their child has achieved something.”

What’s more, by helping Honey’s Nest keep parents informed and happy, Famly supports Rob to increase his revenue. Nearly all his enquiries come from word-of-mouth, so parental satisfaction is key to Rob’s business. Happy parents means a good reputation and more recommendations. And that means more families through the door at Honey’s Nest.

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Happy staff

Rob remembers the hours spent hand-writing observations, as well as cutting out pages of printed photos and glueing them into scrapbooks.

“Even with time out of ratio, you could still get behind on paperwork”, remembers Rob, “And of course, that time spent cutting and sticking meant time away from the children. Ofsted recognise the importance of interacting with the children over paperwork, and Famly allows us to do that - quickly observe and get back to being with the children.”

But it’s not just the time saved for staff - it’s a safety net.

“Now my team can snap a picture, quickly write up the observation, and just send it straight over to me to approve. I can tweak the spelling, or ask for a small change before those observations go to the parents.”

For Rob, the value in ensuring his team isn’t agonising over the administration of observations, or stressing about making them perfect the first time, means happier staff and high-quality observations for parents.  Rob also says that practitioners are freer to enthusiastically take photos and make observations when they’re not having to factor in the time-cost of physically printing and mounting each one. 

“Everything’s online”, explains Rob, “So practitioners can take as many photos or observations as they like without having to worry. And parents love that too, as it means they see more of their child.”

At a time when the sector is facing a staffing crisis, keeping your team enthusiastic, happy, and supported could be the key to retaining them. 

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Happy manager

After the 2021 change to the EYFS, the Honey’s Nest team has been shaping their own curriculum and planning. The flexibility of Famly’s Child Development app means Rob has been able to create bespoke assessments for Honey’s Nest.

“We’ve made it our own”, says Rob, “We created our own assessment and our own baseline report, so we know exactly where the children start and how they’re getting on.”

As well as running the business side of Honey’s Nest, Rob also has key children himself, so his role as manager is very much blended with that of a practitioner. To put it mildly, he’s a busy man. That means he needs to be time-efficient and know what’s going on.

In previous roles, Rob’s worked with other software but says “Famly just works. I’ve never had a problem with it. It does everything I want it to do and it’s good value.”

download pdf
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Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

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UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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