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Magic Software!


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Hello everyone,

 

We're hoping to find some magic software that will help us cut down on the time we spend on administration. Basically we need to manage the children's contact details etc, admissions, staffing, fees (in particular for it to flag automatically when someone needs to pay, and then generate an invoice), communications and probably lots of other things we've not even thought about!

 

And of course, we've not much money to spend!

 

The PLA have recommended EY Essential http://www.ey-essential.com/. Does anyone have any experience of this? does it do the job?

 

If anyone has any recommendations or advice about what's good or what to avoid we'd be v. grateful :)

 

Thanks in advance!

 

TFAC

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Hi TFAC -

Maz recommended one a while back (don't know if she still uses it but no doubt she'll get back to you later) called Preschooler. A good thing is that you can trial it first - find Maz's post and a link to the INM site here.

 

Let us know how you get on if you decide to experiment! :o

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Thanks all! The link to previous discussion is invaluable Steve, thanks. We'll endeavour to do some evaluating v. soon. Will report back :)

 

TFAC

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We bought eyessential and hate to say that we don't use it, that will change when we can have the computer out all the time when we get into the new setting.

 

It didn't come with any info and it is not intuitive or easy to use.

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We use Nursery Net which are a local company to us. I really like this.

 

Thanks Lucy, sounds interesting. What size is your setting? From Sept we'll have around 70 children on the books, would it cope with this?

 

TFAC

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Maz recommended one a while back (don't know if she still uses it but no doubt she'll get back to you later) called Preschooler.

Still using it Steve! And still finding out more stuff that it can do (when I have time to play which isn't very often).

 

Maz

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Following our previous discussion as posted above, I have just ordered the trial version of the Pre-Schooler software and very much look forward to giving it a go, I keep finding things it can do. It was one of my priorities for my new job!

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Still using it Steve! And still finding out more stuff that it can do (when I have time to play which isn't very often).

 

Maz

 

 

And do you recommend it, or could we generate the same kid of info in excel?

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And do you recommend it, or could we generate the same kid of info in excel?

Well I'm sure if you were confident in Excel, you could probably do it all yourself, but I just don't have the time or the ability to do all that. Once I've put in my term dates, closed dates, fee details, and the attendance patterns for each child, you just click on 'termly invoices all children' or whatever and it does it all for you.

 

When you input the cheques as parents pay, the software updates all the balances and you can print off a payments due report so that you can see how much each parent owes, or you can get the software to print out statements for those parents with outstanding balances. I'm fairly sure that if you charge parents for late payments, the software will work that out and add it automatically, too.

 

You can also use the software to store information about allergies, permissions, etc and you can specify who the child's key person is, and what room they are in if you're in full day care. The company customise the software with your logo before they send the disk, so all the invoices, statements and letters have your corporate image on.

 

I'm sure its more powerful than I give it credit for, and I only use the bare minimum compared to what it is capable of doing. Its well worth the price of the trial version, however once you have entered 50 children's details you have to upgrade to the full version which is more costly.

 

Maz

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  • 1 month later...

Have finished loading all the children's data into the pre schooler software and OMG its brilliant, myself and deputy cant believe how much time its saving us. No more keeping a watch for when children turn 3 etc, it also prints out birthday lists, emergency contact list etc, now when I send out a letter I can hit the send to all button and voila all letters present and correct, its the best bit of software we have ever purchased.

 

Claire x

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Claire, would it be too cheeky to ask how much it was?

£495 plus VAT for the full version, have a look at their website here. I can't find any reference to the demo version on the website though - perhaps they've removed it?

 

Maz

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Hi

 

I have used the pre-schooler for a couple of years now and would caution anyone looking at buying a programme to explore other versions before committing. At first it was great - instant invoices instead of me spending hours generating them each month. But it could be better and I am sure there may well be better software out there. I am locked into it now having paid for it but wish I had looked at other versions and researched more with hindsight.

 

Sally

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Hi Sally, thanks for your post :) when you say that there are things that could be better, which things do you mean in particular? is there another package that would suit you better?

 

Thanks!

 

Lisa

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