Life at Connect with John Pickup
Here at Connect Childcare, each and every one of us is passionate about the Early Years (EY) sector and about developing management software that improves the lives of children, globally.
In order to shine the spotlight on our wonderful team, we’ve created an employee Q&A series, enabling our readers to better get to know the people behind the scenes – finding out more about their role, the Connect technology, and what it’s like to work here.
Next up, we have our head of new business, John Pickup.
- Tell us about your role at Connect Childcare in one paragraph:
I look after all new business and prospects and head up the Connect team. We deal with everything from customers’ initial enquiries right through to the start of the implementation process – this includes demos, discovery and follow-up calls, and attending exhibitions.
- And what do you enjoy most about your job?
I’m very much a people person, so meeting customers and making a difference to the way they run their business – by giving them more time in their day to dedicate to child development – is really rewarding.
- Describe the company culture and values at Connect in three words:
Open, trusting, and productive.
- Which emoji would your colleagues use to sum you up?
😎 – I chatted this through with the team and they suggested the sunglasses emoji. I’ll take that – I must be cooler than I thought…
- What’s been your favourite team event to date (physical or virtual)?
Connect is known for throwing a great Christmas party, so any one of them – it’s the perfect chance to let your hair down and celebrate achievements from the past 12 months.
- How would you describe Connect as a workplace to a non-employee?
It’s a great place to work, as you’re trusted to operate with autonomy. Also, the early years sector is really passionate about what it does, and we provide the tools that support and help to create positive difference to sector – what could be better?
- What’s your favourite thing about working at Connect?
There are so many things, but the fact that we’re empowered to make decisions and our judgment is trusted to be the right one shows that our knowledge and expertise is really respected.
- What’s your favourite feature in Connect’s software suite?
For me, it’s ParentZone. I love the fact that families can get involved with their child’s learning and development journey and communicate with practitioners to help foster this inside the home.
- What role does technology play in the future of the EY sector?
A major one. Tech can be found in every part of our lives now, and the early years sector is no different. Gone are the days where childcare businesses operate on rafts of paperwork. Digital solutions are the way forward for streamlining businesses processes and operations, not only to help create administrative efficiency but to ensure data is more secure too.
- Share an interesting fact about yourself that many people may not know:
I’m running the London marathon this year, and raising money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, so if you have a spare pound or two you’d like to donate, please visit my JustGiving page.
- When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I flip-flopped between lots of professions – from a lifeguard and firefighter to an accountant and a footballer.
- And as a youngster, what was your favourite children’s book?
I used to love ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, and there are now so many that I read with my own kids, which are great – ‘Hairy Maclary’ is a firm favourite all round!
- Investing in nursery management software is a big decision for childcare providers – why do you think they choose Connect?
We offer flexibility. If a nursery requires the full package – financial reporting, observations, and parental communications – we can deliver that, but if they want to pick and choose elements, we can break it down for them too. We also offer support that customers can rely on – the team has great sector knowledge and they’re genuinely really nice people.
- Finally, what is one of your hopes for Connect over the coming year?
To continue to grow and develop our suite of software tools, which helps the sector and allows staff to focus more of their time on child development.