Case Study: Brook Farm Children’s Nursery
Brook Farm Children’s Nursery in Kelbrook near Barnoldswick, Lancashire, has the distinction of being based on a working farm — complete with 75 acres of countryside as well as lambs, calves, hens, and pigs to see and feed every day, and eggs to collect and take home!
The premises, a converted barn, is filled with toys, pet animals, and activity zones, with doors opening onto outdoor playgrounds, gardens, and vegetable patches. The nursery, which has capacity for 78 children and employs 30 staff, came about when owner, ‘Farmer Richard’, began looking for childcare for his own son, Jack, in 2009.
Before bringing Connect Childcare on board, Richard and his team had mixed experiences with another platform provider that could seem uncommunicative at times.
As some staff had worked with Connect at previous settings, they knew they could do better, and made the switch in the summer of 2022.
The key driver for the change was to streamline systems and move forward on a confident, solid footing. Children’s learning journeys had been paper based — which felt natural for a traditional setting that did not encourage tech on the nursery floor.
However, staff knew that dialogue with families could be better — with record keeping taken care of more efficiently. Making paper records was time consuming for educators who would rather focus more of their attention on play and learning with the children in their care.
Now, important admin tasks can be ticked off more quickly — literally with the click of a button sometimes.
The full suite of Connect software is in place, encompassing reports, financial summaries and forecasting, children’s development, and parental communications. Staff love the smooth simplicity of the interface — and enjoy the satisfaction of moving swiftly through their to-do lists.
Perhaps the biggest and most visible bonus to using Connect Childcare is the daily feedback functionality offered. Parents receive real-time, instant updates — rather than being given a handwritten form at the end of each day.
Messages can be pinged to parents and carers straight away, facilitating real dialogue when it is required or helpful. Families and key workers can see observations as soon as they are recorded, meaning the lines of two-way conversation are always open.
Checking a child’s progress is a real bird’s eye view. Management can see and monitor staff engagement as well as milestones reached — and spot any issues of developmental delays.
Where the need to write reports used to be off-putting for staff who struggled with such tasks, Connect makes it easier and more intuitive.