Autumn Term 2014 – further information about sparkPRO requested

February 2015 – purchased sparkPRO for the first setting

The proprietor and manager provided details: Firstly, the amount of time they used to complete the following tasks:-

  • To make up Learning Journals
  • To write up observations
  • To plan activities
  • To evaluate the curriculum delivery for groups
  • To formulate Progress Checks
  • To write reports and meet with parents about their child’s progress

Then the salary rates for the variety of positions within the nursery. Staff who worked with the children and those in senior roles. These figures did not include the employer’s national insurance contributions or holiday cover and were before the introduction of the National Living Wage. This nursery operated on an almost full capacity in all age-groups.


  • The average pay across staff at each hierarchical level producing an hourly rate of pay
  • Time each task took;
    • Per child i.e. 20 two-year-olds for the Progress Check, meetings,
    • The total amount of children on the roll for evaluation of outcomes
  • Cost for each component
  • A calculation at 100% occupancy


The staff cost an average of £218.97 per registered place per year.

The calculation was based on the information given by the setting. There was a gut feeling about their nursery team in doing “too much”. Also, spending too much time on completing regular paper-based tasks in their delivery, recordings and proving children’s progress. Just how much time was starting to be appreciated as questions unfolded.

The proprietor said, “as an established experience nursery we are already recognising the benefits. The system can be used in any nursery, but I would have snatched spark’s hand off for this year ago when I was starting up. I would thoroughly recommend to new, inexperienced nurseries”.

April 2015 – Bought sparkPRO for their other two settings.

July 2015 – The survey was re-visited.

With the same salary rates, the nursery manager answered the same questions. A new cost per registered place was generated and now had fallen to £14.13 per registered place.

August 2015 – Ofsted Visit – Regained Outstanding

November 2015 – second setting had an Outstanding Ofsted

February 2016 – Third Outstanding Ofsted


£218.97 multiplied by 54 registered places = £11061.36

£14.13 multiplied by 54 registered places = £763.02

Additionally, there are always savings in paper and ink, as records don’t need to be printed out. Also, the benefits the software brings to the delivery of the EYFS, such as consistent delivery, job satisfaction, immediate data to analyse, instant proof of practice, outcomes and continuous improvement, etc.