The North West’s most exciting companies
The 30 most exciting companies in the North West have been revealed and we are among them!
Connect Childcare, an SME was formed in 2004 when the in-house development team first built Connect’s Nursery Management Software. Over the years as the team has grown and technology has advanced, we have continually added new functionality and additional products to improve the nursery management processes and child development even further.
In 2014, Connect Childcare were the first to market with a fully integrated management, observation and communication system which combined the original desktop software with tablet and mobile phone apps.
Today over 84,000 practitioners use our software on tablets in their nursery rooms without taking any time away from the children – which increases efficiency dramatically. Over 340,000 parents have also been given access to information about their own child’s activities and achievements through their own secure smartphone app ParentZone.
More recently, Connect Childcare has tripled its workspace with a £260K office move set to create 30 new jobs.
Private investment of £2.5m has enabled Connect Childcare to invest in the premises, people and products required to forge ahead with ambitious growth in UK and international childcare markets.
The move to a 9,000sq ft open plan office on the Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, Nelson, has already proved to have a positive impact on staff and the company is to expand its 60-strong workforce to 90 in the next three years.
Founder and CEO, Chris Reid, says: “Our former home was just over 3,000 sq ft and we really were working on top of each other, which wasn’t good for staff morale and we couldn’t wait to move. For us, the important thing was to bring the team together as one and encourage collaborative working, yet in a fun, modern, fit-for-purpose environment.
There was also a secondary need to attract new talent through our doors and to bring them to Nelson, Lancashire, we knew we need that little something more.”
“The key to this, is the move to new premises enabling us to create the best possible working environment and get everyone involved in fostering the future culture of the business, encouraging autonomy and empowerment.”
We have set up a Culture Club, a group made up of staff from various departments to ensure that being a great place to work is instrumental to its overall objectives. There is an office gym to encourage health and wellbeing, a social club organising internal and external events as well as daily downtime facilities such as pool table and games consoles.
Chris said: “The change within the team, even within the first few weeks, was incredible. It’s so important for people to enjoy coming to work and to have a good work/life balance and that is exactly the kind of forward-thinking, staff centric business we are building right here in Nelson.”
The company, which offers software solutions for private nursery and childcare providers around the UK, is now in the process of developing its existing platforms to ensure future-proofed technology for existing customers and to expand its reach within the sector in coming years.
“We have four positions available within the business right now and are looking to recruit 10 more every year for the next three years, so making it the best possible place to work is vital if we want to attract and retain the very best talent available in the North West.”