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For Claire Dancer and her team at Kingwood Childcare, early years is about giving children the opportunity to learn by exploring the world around them. That means plenty of time outside, plenty of fresh air, and plenty of opportunities to learn through creative play.
“We get the children out and about every day.” Claire says. Whether it’s walking to the park and local river, or trips to their vegetable patch to pick some vegetables for lunch, healthy living – and healthy little brains – are at the very heart of what Claire and her team do.
Despite being a large setting, the staff at Kingwood really care about creating a homely feel. “We have small and personal family groups for each age group,” Claire explains, “creating a home from home approach to ensure each child reaches their full potential.”
But they weren’t exactly happy with the software that they were using. They didn’t have the finance and occupancy information they needed, invoices were taking up to three days every month and they weren’t getting the level of support they needed. It was time for a change.
With a capacity of 105, and more than 300 children on roll, switching providers was definitely a gamble. “What could have been a complete nightmare was actually a really straightforward, pleasurable experience,” Claire says, “From the moment we had our demo we were really excited. We have not been disappointed.”
And after what Claire calls a ‘seamless’ setup, it was time to reap the benefits. “It’s easy for parents to interact with,” she explains, “and easy for our staff to communicate with parents and manage our setting effectively.”
“Famly is modern, up to date, and simple to use – it’s integral to everything we do. The customer service and support that we receive is outstanding. Something that has been a massive difference compared to our previous software company.”
Claire Dancer, Manager, Kingwood Childcare and Pre-school
Once they were using Famly every day, the data being collected was starting to have an impact too.
“Now I have information to hand wherever I am and at any time of the day or night,” explains Claire, “and I’m able to use this information much more than I ever used to.”
Now the team at Kingwood can make decisions based on their projected occupancy and get a reliable view of their debt, revenue and other finances whenever they want.
With their old system, invoicing the parents of more than 300 children used to take them three days. Now? “Half a day,” Claire says.
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.