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Customer success story - Spring Group by Action for Children

June 29, 2022

How Famly helped one charity grow from running 3 to 41 new settings, almost overnight

How Famly helped one charity grow from running 3 to 41 new settings, almost overnight
Nursery Spring and Famly logo
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Day nurseries & out-of-school clubs

All over the UK

2, 3, & 4-year-old funded places

37 day nurseries & 30 out-of-school clubs

setting

s

1,100

children

Famly customer since

1 June 2017

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Who are Spring Group by Action for Children?

It was the summer of 2016, and the children’s charity Action for Children had just taken over the running of one of the country’s largest nursery groups.

“Action for Children went from operating 3 nurseries to 41 almost overnight,” Interim Director of Childcare Ruth Pimentel explains, “with settings in Northumberland, Stockton, Gateshead, and Derby to name just a few. It’s a big group of nurseries and they’re dotted all over the country.”

Action for Children work with disadvantaged children throughout the UK, so taking over these settings was a natural step for them. 

“It’s very much about being in communities where other businesses might not go,” Ruth goes on, “running this rather large group of nurseries presented a new and exciting challenge for the charity.”‍

Toddler walking

The big ideas

Why Famly?

  • How does Famly support Spring to empower their managers with data?
    Rather than all the finances being handled centrally, Famly allowed Ruth to put the control back in the hands of her managers, saving time and money.

How does Famly support Spring to empower their managers with data?

As the charity’s Interim Director of Childcare, Ruth’s number one priority was getting the settings into shape financially. 

“With the systems that were in place it was difficult to get a handle on where the nurseries were. How do you even know where to start if you don’t know what the financial performance is?”

Ruth and the team were keen to put the day-to-day invoicing, reporting and financial management in the hands of local managers, who needed to understand more about how their own setting was performing. 

“Previously, all of the financial legwork was being done centrally and that was inefficient and expensive,” Ruth points out.

Instead, they wanted to introduce a system that would redress this balance without losing the bigger picture of what was going on across the group.

 “When you’re managing such a huge number of nurseries, you need to be able to empower your managers to take control of their business, but with the confidence that very little can go wrong. That is very important.”

“Famly has been incredibly well received by our parents, and they love the easy communication it’s given them with the nursery. We’ve had really good feedback. On the management side, many of the other systems available can be tricky to get your head around. Famly is not.”

Ruth Pimentel, Director of Childcare, Spring Group

Girl blowing white dandelion

“The invoicing, reporting, the occupancy – it wasn’t easy to just get a clear picture of this overnight,” Ruth explains, “and that’s why we brought Famly in to help.”

The team at Spring Group couldn’t afford a steep learning curve if they wanted to engage their managers with the system from day one. 

“The setup was extraordinarily quick,” Ruth recalls, “partly because the managers just picked it up straight away.”

It was this simplicity and intuitiveness that really appealed to the team at Spring Group to begin with. 

“It’s clean, bold, and very intuitive to use” Ruth explains, “other software is not as slick and can feel clunky to the managers who hadn’t used software or managed these processes before.”

The personalised onboarding Famly offers made a difference to the speed of the process too. 

“The managers could access personal online training when it suited them, and the support staff had endless patience,” Ruth says, “They always get back to me straight away if there’s anything I need.”

With a tool that they could get to grips with so quickly, the managers could take on many of the day-to-day responsibilities themselves. 

“They can manage room numbers, income, and look into the future of the setting as well,” Ruth explains, “more importantly, they can do this independently, giving the central office overall control without taking up time and resources.”

Whether it’s spotting opportunities to improve the way things are being run, or getting a handle on each nursery’s future with their projected income, Ruth could now focus her team’s time and energy where it was needed most.

iPad showing Famly software

And the best bit…

“At the end of the day, the beauty of Famly is how effective it can be despite its simplicity,” Ruth finishes, “We have saved a significant amount of money simply by putting Famly at the heart of our manager’s toolkit.”

Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

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

Picture of a Guidance document
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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Want to give Famly a try?

Get access to the Famly platform free for 14 days, and explore how it can make a difference to you and your setting.

Sign up now

Want to give Famly a try?

Get access to the Famly platform free for 14 days, and explore how it can make a difference to you and your setting.

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