Nursery Management Software in the UK Compared


woman using a laptop

There are several nursery management software options available, however choosing between them can be a difficult task.

In your role as a nursery practitioner, you have a long list of responsibilities, and investing in software can help to manage your tasks.

Each and every software platform can provide something different, however there are some essential features that you shouldn’t have to compromise on, such as supporting children in their learning, or communicating with parents.

This post will outline the features included in 4 different software options, helping you to compare them and make the choice that suits your nursery best.

What Is Nursery Management Software?

Nursery management software allows you to concentrate on providing an enabling, supportive, environment for children to progress in their learning and development.

Nursery platforms can take care of tasks that you don’t have time for, such as updating personal information, or organising and storing child observations all in one place.

However, it’s important to remember that no two software systems are the same, and some platforms can offer more than others.

For example, some software companies may offer more storage, or home learning features, therefore, it depends on what is most important to you.

Comparison of Nursery Management Software in the UK

All nursery management software options should ultimately focus on the learning and development of every child.

Therefore, in order to accurately compare the different platforms on offer in the UK, it is important to look at 4 main areas:

  • Child observations and updates
  • Parental communication
  • Tracking progress and development
  • Added features

Child observations, progress tracking, and parental communication are the three main pillars for any nursery management software, as these features help to support children and keep all caregivers in the loop.

However, added features are important too as when choosing the platform for your nursery, this can help to make your choice easier.

For example, one software option may offer unlimited storage which may appeal to you more than including staff rotas, or invoicing within the software.

One of the main purposes of using a nursery management software, is to help save you time by streamlining processes. As such, choosing a platform that has a large amount of features may become complicated later down the line.

It can be wise to choose a software that is simple to use, is focused on learning and development, and has features that appeal to the way you run your nursery.

With that said, we will get into 4 platform options below to compare their features, helping you to make a decision which software will work best for you and your nursery.

girl playing at nursery


Blossom is a platform that provides an all-in-one solution for nursery management, including bringing parents closer and managing your staff.

Equally, the focal point of this software is to help take care of tasks so you can focus on growing your nursery business.

This platform can offer parental communication, provide child observations, and track child progress, as well as a few additional extras.

Child Observations and Updates

The ‘Children’s Diary’ section within this software allows you and parents to update details such as dietary requirements, and keep in contact about what each child is doing during the day.

This feature can function as a personal record of meals, naps, and snacks for each child, assuring parents that their child is comfortable, and receiving rest and nourishment when needed.

Equally, this feature allows you to share activities from that day with parents in the moment, you can take photographs, tag children, and send them to parents via the Parent App.

Parental Communication

As mentioned above Blossom allows you to send individual diary updates to parents about their child, directly to their smartphone, however the app can offer:

  • Insight into learning journeys
  • Paperless billing
  • Parent collaboration at home
  • Updated child schedules

This way parents have access to all information about their child, all in one place, via the Parent App.

Through the app parents can also easily send at-home observations to you, in order to keep you updated with their learning progress outside of nursery.

Tracking Progress and Development

With the Blossom platform you can track each child’s development by writing detailed individual, and group observations.

You can link the platform to the curriculum you use within your nursery, whether that is Development Matters, The Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS), or birth to 5 matters.

Added Features

Blossom offers extra features on top of observations, tracking, and communication, particularly in terms of logging staff information.

The software allows you to log staff profiles, control shift allocation and payroll, and organise rotas, sickness, and leave.

Invoicing can also be managed through the platform, as Blossom allows you to manage deposits, generate and send invoices, and collates financial information into a report.


The main drawback to the Blossom platform is the price as you are required to pay more to upgrade from the basic offering.

For example, the price difference from the basic ‘Essentials’ package, to the ‘Custom’ package is around £300 per month. This means in order to access all of the features on offer you have to pay out quite a lot more.

girl holding up her drawing


The Abacus software provides a basic platform that organises invoices, staff management, and stores data securely.

On top of the standard Abacus platform there are 3 supporting apps that can be added onto your plan at an extra cost:

  • Dayshare – Daily Diary
  • Free Parent Portal App
  • Footsteps 2 EYFS Tracker

Each of these supporting applications help to enhance what the Abacus software can provide for you and your nursery, depending on which features are most important for you.

Equally, there is the option to sign-up to the All-in-One Early Years software package which includes all applications available.

Child Observations and Updates

For child observations and updates, you will be required to download the Dayshare application in order to share moments and updates for each child.

This includes marking daily nursery attendance, sharing photos of children engaging in activities, and an overview of what they have eaten throughout the day, as well as any naps taken.

This keeps all child updates and observations in one area, and ensures that when parents collect their children from nursery they have a good idea of exactly what their child has been up to during the day.

Parental Communication

The Parent Portal application helps to facilitate and encourage communication between parents and nursery staff.

With so much happening at once in the nursery setting, it can be difficult to update parents on any issues or achievements at the end of each day.

Therefore, the Parent Portal can help to keep everyone in the loop, whether it is providing daily timelines of nursery activities for parents, or updating medical records.

Tracking Progress and Development

Tracking the progress of children is an important part of your role as a nursery practitioner, and therefore it should be included within your nursery management software.

The Footsteps 2 application can be used to track each child’s development in a space separate to recording daily diaries, and communicating with parents.

This section of the software contains an EYFS tracker that is aligned with Development Matters, that allows you to issue certificates of achievements, and conduct profile assessments to ensure consistent progress.

Added Features

The Abacus software alone contains basic features, such as:

  • Speedy invoicing through the childcare billing software
  • Storage and protection of personal and confidential data
  • Simple staff management
  • Business performance reports

Therefore, without the additional applications, Abacus can only offer baseline features which does not include communication with parents, or tracking the development of children.


As we have mentioned Abacus is split into a variety of different applications meaning the software can be linked but remains separate.

This can be viewed as a drawback of the platform as rather than having everything in one place with access for staff and parents, there are separate logins and apps required for each aspect of development and tracking.

Therefore you are required to sign up and pay for more applications and software in order to get full use of the platform.

children at nursery playing dress up


The Famly software is the early years sidekick that can make it easier to run your setting smoothly.

At the heart of this platform is parent communication and involvement, as well as ensuring there are a wide range of features to suit a variety of nurseries.

Child Observations and Updates

This platform allows you to capture on-the-go observations so you can stay with the children, where you are needed most.

Equally, before observations are sent to parents, they can be reviewed and amended to ensure they are up to date and ready to view.

This helps to create a smooth experience for parents as every observation is valued and easily accessible, ensuring they feel involved with the development of their child.

Parental Communication

On the Famly software, parents have free access at all times, meaning they can interact with daily updates or communicate with you via instant messaging.

This can help you build better parent-practitioner partnerships as the platform provides a touchpoint between home and nursery, meaning any queries and questions can be easily answered or resolved via the mobile app.

Tracking Progress and Development

This system can do some of the hard work for you, as when observations are uploaded this information will automatically be updated within the reporting section.

Equally, you are able to source material from a variety of different frameworks depending on which curriculum your nursery uses.

This platform provides flexible progress reporting which means you can plan your time and activities according to the gaps in each child’s progress reports.

Added Features

The Famly management software also includes added extras that may benefit your nursery, mainly involving organisational features.

For example, with this platform you are able to keep track of invoices and direct debits, meaning you can keep on top of which parents have paid for childcare and communicate this with them.

The software equally offers a feature to keep track of children individually through child plans, that contain information such as availability, public funding, and scheduled attendance.


Due to the vast range of features on the Famly platform, it is possible that this causes confusion within the nursery setting.
For example, including invoicing, budgets, and revenue projections within the software, doesn’t always make for a smoother user experience.

Although added features can be beneficial, too many features can create a messy platform and steer staff and parents away from using it.

Learning Journals

The Learning Journals platform doesn’t overcomplicate things, as we are focused on the progress and development of each and every child.

One of the main benefits of this platform is that we are childcare professionals too, so we understand that by spending time away from children, they’re missing out on important educational opportunities.

This is where using a nursery management software like Learning Journals can help to take the pressure off, and take care of tasks for you.

Child Observations and Updates

This platform allows you and your staff to capture individual, and group observations, if children are working together on the same task or activity.

For example, children may be involved in circle time as a class singing nursery rhymes or playing a game, or it may be that a child is taking part in an activity alone such as independent drawing or painting.

This feature not only saves you time, but also allows you to ensure each child has observations to refer back to or send to parents.

Learning Journals equally highlights children within the platform who have had no observations that day, allowing you to focus your time onto those children to ensure equal support within your learning environment.

Parental Communication

Whilst capturing observations is incredibly important, being able to share them among staff and with parents is essential to ensure everyone is involved and won’t miss out on viewing milestones.

With this platform parents can become more invested and engaged with the activities and learning their children are experiencing at nursery, by viewing observations on their own time.

With the dedicated parent app and unlimited access, parents can send and view observations as much or as little as they wish, and can use the system to communicate with you and your staff.

Tracking Progress and Development

Learning Journals can equally provide tracking of children’s progress both in the present and the past.

Not only can you keep track of children’s current progress individually or as a group, but this software allows you to historically track progress in order to compare development.

For example, it may be that you wish to see how your group of children have progressed in numeracy skills over the last 6 months, this will be shown on the Learning Tracker pages.

This allows you to monitor evidence of progress against the framework your curriculum is based upon, as our platform can be customised to fit your content.

Added Features

One of the major benefits of using this platform is the unlimited storage feature, as this means you are free to take as many observations as you like.

In addition to this, Learning Journals can help to encourage and facilitate home learning with easy communication between nursery staff and parents.

Ad-hoc reports are also available with this platform, meaning whether you need an end of term summary, or a transition report, you can create exactly what you need and share them with parents to provide learning updates.

Although the platform is simple to use, Learning Journals offers free support and training as well as providing video walkthroughs of different sections of the software, meaning both parents and your team have access to guidance whenever needed.

Nursery Management Software in the UK Compared

Nursery management software can be useful in helping to reduce the amount of time you spend on paperwork, thus increasing the amount of time you spend with the children in your care.

It may be that your priority is creating child observations to share with parents, or processing payments efficiently, so it is essential to compare a range of software options, and choose the right platform for you.

The Learning Journals platform can help to keep things simple and organised meaning you spend less time recording observations, or writing in individual diaries, and more time in the moment.

With our software there is no requirement to compromise on the features you need to help your processes become as smooth as possible, and work as a team with parents to provide the best quality care for children,

If you are looking for a nursery management software, or are in the process of comparing options, request a free trial or demo today, to get an idea of what the platform can offer!

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