11th March 2019 All Posts

Nursery groups to help shape future of Connect

Large nursery providers have been given the opportunity to help shape the future of the nursery software business Connect Childcare.

35 large providers were invited to an interactive workshop at Connect’s new 9,000 sq ft premises in Nelson, Lancashire, where they learned about the company’s future plans and asked for their valuable opinions.

The event celebrated Connect’s 15 years in business and move to purpose-fit premises which has proved to have a huge moral boost for staff.

Chris Reid opened the event reflecting on how far the business has come since it all began in 2004, following a chance meeting with an old school friend who had developed a database of service users, staff, bookings and billing.

He said:

At the time, the childcare software market looked fragmented and underserved and with a focus from government through the Every Child Matters initiative…We tailored the software and Connect Childcare was born.”

A company which then had just two staff, now has 62, and has gone from serving 20 nurseries to 3015.

A leading innovator, Connect was the first to market with an integrated solution offering management, observation and communication software and today the company sees over £2bn of nursery invoices raised through their systems annually.

Chris said:

When we collected the statistics we were blown away by the figures; it is such a huge responsibility to ensure the smooth running of 3015 nurseries, while at the same time ensuring complete privacy and protection of the data used.”

Chris went on to talk about the future direction of the business, both in terms of internal staff and culture and new products which the company are set to bring to market.

Guests were invited to gain first sight of one of Connect’s key product developments and offer their views, as well as being invited to join an advisory body which will help shape the product through to launch.

Chris concluded:

As our solutions are focussed on the largest nurseries, we’re only reaching a maximum of 25% of the children in childcare in the UK.”

By focussing our development efforts on foundations and making our innovations available to the market as a whole, we have much more chance of achieving our bold vision; to improve outcomes for all children.”

The session ended with industry statistics from Dr Jo Verrill, of Ceeda and an open forum where guests were invited to ask questions of the Connect team.

Babita Saroy, from the Co-op Group, said:

The new offices are really impressive and it was very nice to be invited here for the event. Connect have a lovely team to work with, who always go the extra mile and take our comments on board; as shown by this honest and open event.”

John Trow Smith of LEYF, said:

We have been working with Connect since 2013 and to date our feedback is very positive. To go from a team of two to this purposeful collaborative, yet fun space is incredible.”

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About the Author

Connect Childcare have been developing purpose built nursery management software for the past 12 years. Their missions is: To develop management software that improves the lives of children, globally.