So the Spring has sprung. The flowers are starting to bloom, unnecessary wearing of shorts is on the increase, and we’ve had our biggest batch of product updates yet.
You don’t need me to tell you which of those we’re most excited about (hint: it’s not the shorts).
This month we’ve released our brand spanking new automated public funding feature, which you can set up and apply to each child’s profile in minutes. We think it’s a pretty big deal.
We’ve also got a ton of ways that we’ve made invoicing more intuitive, and changes to how you can manage your staff each day.
Automated Public Funding
We know that organising public funding is one of the biggest headaches for nursery managers up and down the country. It’s complicated, it’s hugely time consuming, and it makes it increasingly difficult to maximise revenue at your nursery.
Step up, automated public funding.
To get started, all we need is a few key details:
• Each term type and the period of time it lasts for
• The headcount date
• Funding rates for each type of funding
And that’s it. Then, when you set up a new plan for a child, you enter which funding they’re eligible for and you will be given a breakdown of how many hours they will receive, what you get from the local authority, and how much will appear on the invoice each month.
The funding will then be applied to each child’s plan automatically. If they’re not old enough yet, the funding will be automatically applied when they reach the right age. Not too shabby.
Making it easier to Invoice
Wouldn’t it be nice if every month you just sent one invoice per child? Ahhhh.
But we know that’s all a bit of a pipedream. Whether it’s voucher companies paying the first £80, a parent’s employers paying 50%, or the twins in the blue room causing all kinds of financial havoc, it gets complicated rather quickly.
Luckily we’ve got a solution. Now, instead of the balance belonging to a child, it belongs to a bill payer. That could be mum and dad, an employer or anyone else who is contributing to the invoice.
Simply enter each bill payer, and the percentage or total share that they contribute, and we’ll do the rest. This all means that when you invoice siblings, the parents just get one invoice too. Just hit that ‘send invoice’ button it’ll all be done for you.
Can’t track down that one bill from seven and a half months ago? Think it was a Tuesday. Remember it raining.
Well, now there’s no need to check the forecast. Just pop into the ‘invoicing activity’ tab, select a month and you’ll get a quick overview of that month’s invoices and payments. There’s a search function now too, which you can use to apply payments to invoices by number, child name or parent.
Mid Month Plan Changes
OK. You’re gonna need a deep breath for this one.
Some nurseries like to invoice parents based on the actual sessions attended, while others like to calculate an average monthly fee based on the sessions booked in for the whole year. In reality, most use something in between.
Well, many of our customers have asked for more flexibility when these plans change mid-month, so that if they charge an average monthly fee, they can charge the rest of the month on actual sessions, before switching back to the original method once the month is over.
So we did just that. Even if it is a bit of a mouthful to say, it’s pretty easy to do.
In the settings menu you now simply choose which way you’d like to apply mid-month changes to what we call ‘annualised’ plans. Either charge the rest of the month on the remaining proportion of the annualised plan, or charge them for the actual sessions the children will be attending.
We’ve added a new tab in each child’s profile where you can search for and assign their key worker.
It’s not rocket science, but it’ll help your staff keep track of the children who they are responsible for, and is the first step in Famly working towards the summer release of our EYFS tracking platform. I’ve heard it’s going to be snazzy.
We’ve found that many nurseries need to prevent their staff from being able to access sensitive information outside of school hours.
If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. If you choose this option, staff will have to be signed in at the nursery in order to log onto the platform. Once they’ve been signed out, they’ll only be able to see the newsfeed and their calendar, but can’t like or comment, and won’t be able to see any other part of the platform.
If you forget to sign out a specific member of staff, don’t worry. They will be locked down just the same within an hour of your nursery set closing time.