The Co-operative Childcare runs over 40 nurseries nationwide and in keeping with the values of the Co-operative Movement, constantly invests in the people working in its nurseries to ensure they provide the best possible environment for children to grow and develop.
The Co-operative Childcare is part of the Midcounties Co-operative which has sites spanning food retail, healthcare, travel, funerals, post offices, employee benefits and childcare.
Co-operative Childcare is a fast growing childcare provider, with its portfolio increasing from six nursery sites in 2004 to over 40 today. The nursery management software the organisation employed in its early days was quickly becoming unfit for purpose as the business grew.
“Our existing nursery management software was throwing up increasing numbers of inaccuracies in reports and preventing us from looking at the business as a whole,”said Holly Hubbard, Business Improvement Manager at Co-operative Childcare. “The system we were using did not allow us to look at reports globally, instead we had to dip in and out of each individual site to get the data we needed, which was becoming increasingly time-consuming as we added more sites to our portfolio."
“We discovered that a lot of the data included in the reports we ran was inaccurate, so we were not working with the right figures for our current and future business planning. The system also prevented us from running many of the reports we wanted to.”
Following an extensive tender process, Co-operative Childcare felt Connect Childcare’s nursery management software provided them with the solution they needed to help their business continue to innovate and grow.
“We were really impressed with the flexible nature of the Connect Childcare software and the added value it could provide us with. Features such as the communications module included in the software were a real selling point to us, even more so when we visited other nursery chains already using the software and saw first-hand how it was benefiting them."The scale of our childcare business meant we wanted to include some bespoke features in our software package, so we undertook a six-month development period with the technical team at Connect Childcare, making sure we were happy with how the system would work for us before rolling it out to our individual sites."
“During this period of project management we were really impressed with the knowledge and understanding of the team at Connect Childcare, particularly the implementations team. All of our queries were promptly answered and the whole team were committed to getting the software exactly right for our needs.”
Connect Childcare software has now been rolled out across over 40 of The Co-operative Childcare sites.
“We have very quickly seen the benefits of working with Connect Childcare,”added Holly. “We didn’t realise just how long-winded some of our processes, such as debt management, were, but now we have been able to streamline a wide range of our administrative processes and help the business to run more efficiently."
The benefits are also being felt by the 8,000 parents we work in partnership with, as we have been able to offer them a better range of payment options including six monthly direct debits."We are learning new things everyday about how the software can help our business and are looking forward to implementing iConnect and ParentZone software to our nurseries soon to help them become even more efficient and communicate even better with parents." Download PDF
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