nursery management software
nursery management software
by: beckyl - 25-10-09 20:14
Hi all, i'm currently in the process with my business partner of expanding our existing childcare business into a setting. We are considering investing in some nursery management software and wondered if anyone can recommend any in particular ones as there are so many, or if we'd be better sticking to our existing mixture of paper and computer ! Any opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks.
RE: nursery management software - 26-10-09 13:14
I currently use Nursery-net but have had a few problems with the system so am looking to use First Steps which is a bit more expensive but seems much easier to utilise.
RE: nursery management software - 26-10-09 19:01
Thanks Matt I have looked into Nursery-net but it looked more complex than some other systems I have trialed so will keep looking I think!
RE: nursery management software - 27-10-09 10:20
Matt and I were having this conversation the other day! :D
I use the Parenta system and I find it SO easy to use. You get loads of support from their help desk and as much free training as you need incase you're like me and forget a lot, often.
We looked at the First Steps but you have to pay for all the training and support on top of the system. Also, when Parenta upated their system, everyone gets the upgrade for free but with First Steps you have to pay for the updates.
For me, the Parenta system is the only one to use. Its quality.
RE: nursery management software - 27-10-09 10:28
The best one I have ever used is Coldharbour - expensive but woth every penny
RE: nursery management software - 27-10-09 13:31
Thanks everyone i'll look into those too! Our county council have now asked to provide an out of school provision just to make things more complex so i'm presuming you can buy add-ons for the software in these cases.
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 12:30
Alongside runnning my nursery, i also provide both a breakfast club and an after-school club. The Parenta system handles this for me and it works a treat for what i need it to do. I dealt with someone called Celeste at Parenta, she was really helpful and i'm sure she wouldnt mind showing you how it all works. Her mobile number is 07760-751-590. Call her.
All the best!x
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 13:00
Are you on commission with Parenta?? lol
I am just calling them now to get prices etc.
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 13:08
Haha! No. But its so difficult to find something that genuinely works in this industry so now that i have i think more people should know!x
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 13:13
Just spoke to Celeste there so you may be getting a present if we sign up!!
when someone replies to a thread you have posted on in Nursery World do you get an alert by email or something?
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 14:19
oooh, lucky me! i dont get alerts or anything, i just have nursery world forum set as my homepage! is that sad? probably.! hahaha. Matt, i really hope it goes well!
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 15:05
Hi Becky, I also use Parenta. Previously used a mixture of spreadhseets etc. It is a very good system although I would advise to think careefully about how you set it up. They linked me up with someone in my local area so I could go and see it in action. That was a big help and the support team are great.
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 18:07
Thanks everyone I have spoken to parenta and celeste is going to give me an online demo tomorrow morning, they were very helpful on the initial call also which is a good first impression and can handle the before and after school club also! Kelly, do you have children over the age of 8 years at your nursery at all?
RE: nursery management software - 28-10-09 18:12
by: red sun
I have to disagree with Kellie, we use Parenta and find it atrocious and completely unreliable. In fact we are moving to another system; I've spent all day in presentations from 2 other companies; neither if whom knew we use Parenta and whilst maintaining a professional stance, they did let slip that lots of people are having problems with Parenta and are moving. I have also had colleagues on my Uni course saying how unreliable Parenta is! Matt I really would steer clear of Parenta!!!
RE: RE: nursery management software - 29-10-09 11:53
Please could I have your number or appreciate if you can call me on 0116 2498125 to discuss the above.
RE: nursery management software - 29-10-09 12:31
by: red sun
Hi Matt, I'd happily call you but I dont think I can add anything to what I've already said. I am sure the system works for some people (like Kellie) but for us (and there's 6 nurseries using it) we have found it to be unreliable; we can't all be making the same mistakes!!!!
RE: nursery management software - 06-11-09 16:08
Hi Becky, I run an out of school club and nursery/holiday club etc. and we use a system called ConnectSoftware. The support's always been fantastic, we get regular upgrades and its really easy to use. I first got it on just one computer in the nursery for under £500 and ive recently had it upgraded so I can work on it from home.
RE: nursery management software - 09-11-09 15:28
by: Elizabeth Pengelly
Hello Becky, I am the deputy manager for a 96 place nursery in the north west. We currently use Connect Software for all our admin needs and have been for the past 18months. We are very pleased with Connect both as a package and for their approach to support/customer service. No issue is ever to trivial and their support team is always friendly and willing to go the extra mile.
would definitely recommend Connect to any childcare organisation requiring a management system.
RE: nursery management software - 13-11-09 18:43
my wife and I are in the planning stage of starting a nursery, and I have the task to review and select backoffice systems i.e. nursery software.
I have tested connect software and came to the conclusion that it is not yet a finished product. Try in the foundations section to add a record, save itr and than delete it. The system crashes with a database error.
However connect software is one of the few that is running on a prober SQL database, this means that you can have multiple persons accessign the database simultanious over a network.
Has anyone experience with Solution One Business Systems and their Nursery manager software. It is also based on an SQL database.
RE: nursery management software - 13-11-09 18:45
Please forgive the typing errors on my port above
RE: nursery management software - 13-11-09 19:03
I have looked at it, but it is a subscription hosted/web based application. This is a show stopper for me for the following business reasons:
1. never ending subscriptions (I believe in buying the software and pay as you go support/upgrades)
2. difficult if you want to get rid of them (where is the data stored UK of some foreign country that does the hosting, I haven't asked them but I'm wondering it's very easy and tempting to outsource), can you get a copy of your database so you can inport it in another package?
3. if they stop trading for whatever reason you're on your own and have only time to the end of that month to get things sorted to be able to pay your staff and get those all important parent invoices out.
I haven't found the right software yet, but I have a list of minimum must have's.
RE: nursery management software - 18-11-10 19:57
by: Karen Bradbury
I am currently researching all the management systems available. My current favourite is Kindersoft. Has anyone used this or got any other advice?
RE: RE: nursery management software - 18-11-10 22:03
OH NO !!!!!!!!!
Please spend a bit more money to get a decent system.
Kindersoft is good for registers and thats about it, it does not do enough financially, and if you have 2 rooms of the same age group its a nightmare, you cannot pre plan on it, you have to manually hold children back or move them through when you need to, as it has so many limitations on managing age groups.
My advice is don't go there, we used it for 3 years before giving it up as a bad job !! I ended up doing most of my planning for the future on paper !!!!
RE: nursery management software - 18-11-10 22:28
Im pretty sure I'm missing out of something here, I use a pen, paper, calculator when needed and my head (when needed). Does the job fine. Works accross three nurseries too!
A saleswoman for somewhere rang the other day trying to sell me some sort of system and I said I use a good old fashioned pen and paper. She was gobsmacked, and couldn't get over it, told me I lived in the 1970's and asked if I wanted to update. I said no thanks my current system is quite cheap at 13p for a Biro. She said I had made her day, wished me well and hung up. Best sales call I ever took!
RE: nursery management software - 18-11-10 22:31
by: kaz (the first one!)
I've been trying out the purple childcare system (by parenta!) as a beta tester and although most of the principle is there, I totally agree with Maestro that old fashioned pen and paper (or a bit of word processing and excel!) are by far quicker, easier and cheaper!
RE: nursery management software - 23-01-12 12:19
by: Pamela Gordon-Smith
Has anyone used the EY-Essential software package from Pre school learning alliance?? I would like to have some feed back please.
Or if someone can recomend a good one.
I am also looking for a software for payroll, anyone using a really good one??
RE: nursery management software - 23-01-12 17:17
by: kaz (the first one!)
for invoicing we are looking at this:
RE: nursery management software - 23-01-12 20:01
by: 'Old' Louise
Pamela, I have used EY essential in the past and found it simple to use but fairly basic. However, it has been a while and it may have been improved. Ultimately it depends on how complex your needs are - I wouldn't rule it out, can you get a demo copy
I use IRIS payroll software which again is simple and allows for many more members of staff than Sage instant payroll. Have used it for years and found it excellent with excellent support available.
RE: nursery management software - 13-03-12 19:51
by: ~ Mark ~
I have read through this post 3 times now whilst opening tabs and looking at screen shots of the different systems.
I have been set the task of finding a system to manage staff rotas and in the future billing, the only system I have had a demo on so far is Kindersoft, and that just seemed far too complicated for me to teach my staff how to use. Is there a easy one that everyone seems to like yet?
RE: nursery management software - 13-03-12 22:06
by: Pink & Purple
I'm just starting to use the babys days system for our planning and learning journals it also does registers invoices and accounts and they are always updating it. I currently use parenta for our invoicing etc I dont think it's flexible children move rooms when they shouldn't and they forget to take payment or the incorrect amount I can't wait to get rid of it!
RE: nursery management software - 15-03-12 21:39
I'm like Maestro - pen and paper! Does the job, doesn't crash and keeps the costs down!
RE: nursery management software - 02-04-12 21:12
We use childsplay and have done since 1998. Does everything you need but the accounts package lacks flexibility.
Never had any problems with it and its easy to use but its not developing fast enough. Want to find something to record learning journals and enable parents to log in and add observations and comments. Also need diary, month to view so all the staff can access it and see whats going on. A communication log would also be brilliant as have job sharing managers who can check up on developments at home. So if anyone knows of a system that covers all these things let me know.
RE: nursery management software - 06-03-13 20:55
by: Scots Tots
I think I've mentioned it before on here but for the type of thing that Blueberry is looking for there is a system called Learning Journals that does all you want (I think!)
It certainly allows parent access and commenting and is great for evidence of parent involvement. I think they have just opened it up to EYFS having been only available for the curriculum for excellence. www.learningjournals.co.uk
RE: nursery management software - 12-03-13 17:57
by: Little Red
Ignoring the comments from KelliePriestly which I am confident are coming direct from Parenta HQ, I agree with everyone else's comments that Parenta/Abacus is a well marketed, pretty looking piece of cr*p.
We've been using it for a few years, and have been in a permanent state of searching for an alternative. Were it not for the hassle and cost of the switch, and the risk of jumping out of the fire and into the frying pan, we would have moved away ages ago. Just as soon as we have dealt with all the other priorities in the business, we will be excitedly deserting Parenta.
Technically, the software is full of glitches, fundamental flaws get reported and never fixed. The reporting function is limited and clumsy, information gets arbritarily deleted or added.
We reluctantly use it for invoicing but carry out all other tasks (staff/rotas/children's dietary etc etc) on excel, which at least allows us some control over our own data.
If you are someone who currently uses pen and paper, then you will be in awe of the magic of parenta. In fact all you will be appreciating is the power of using a computer - apart from a pretty face, all Parenta does is limit and corrupt the magic of your computer.
I have no specifc gripe, or personal bugbear (the support staff are universally very friendly, and say all the right things), but I cannot stress enough how disapointing Parenta is to use. I would hate for others to experience the same frustrations that we have had over the years by investing in such a poorly conceived piece of software.
It offers some excellent functions that in theory are wonderful, but they rarely deliver what they promise.
I have yet to find the time to test out any demos of alternative providers so unfortunately cannot offer any recommendations (though it is my intention to look at both baby's days and connect childcare). All I can recommend is that you do not get won over by the Parenta PR. Abacus is pure style over substance.
RE: nursery management software - 19-03-13 11:32
by: Maureen Askew
I think Connect software is definately worth a look, they are constantly updating the system to reflect business needs.
RE: nursery management software - 20-03-13 21:11
by: Scots Tots
For day to day management we use Instant Nursery Manager.
It's a bit clunky but it gets the job done. All your data is stored locally. They do have a cloud version but we tried it out and it wasn't very useable so went back to the local version.
I think the problem with nursery software is that in the main they have either been designed by nurseries who don't have the knowledge of how to make it useable or intuitive, or they have been designed by developers and coders who can't appreciate exactly what it is that nureries want to achieve.
One day we might get the perfect mix!
RE: nursery management software - 28-03-13 14:23
by: Ben Mason
I'm a freelance web developer with a 10 week old baby, I've started to build a new online web app to manage nurseries.
I'd really appreciate if anyone would like to get this off the ground. I've based what I've built so far on a little understanding of nurseries and some on the packages I've found.
Please reply or drop me a message if you're interested.
RE: RE: nursery management software - 30-04-13 18:09
by: Claire Morrell
very interested in getting this off the ground. We have a basic paper system at the moment and looking for an alternative and currently not found what were after. We can give you a full insight of what is needed if you can work your magic in making this a reality you could, make a lot of money from it especially one that can also work on a tablet etc. email me firstname.lastname@example.org and exchange details and let's get the ball rolling!
RE: nursery management software - 28-03-13 14:46
by: Tim Hopkins
I would be very interested in hearing your plans and what you may be able to offer. You can e-mail me at email@example.com
RE: nursery management software - 22-04-13 14:06
Has anyone tried nurserywise? Saw this advertised and wondered if anyone has any info about it?
RE: nursery management software - 30-04-13 21:05
Has anyone tried childsplay? Off all the trials ive had this seems tge easiest to work.
RE: nursery management software - 01-05-13 17:41
by: Maureen Askew
has anyone tried Babiesdays sofware? its designed for nurseries and childminders, the demo looks good and at £9.99 a month seems like a good deal.
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