Connect Childcare announces sustainability push to help futureproof UK childcare sector

Nursery management software specialist Connect Childcare has announced a sustainability drive – seeing the firm commit to planting 250 trees – to help futureproof the early years learning natural world for upcoming generations. Having signed up to THG’s (more:trees) scheme, the technology firm will plant a tree in Madagascar for every Connect Childcare software demo booked, and is aiming to have a ‘Connect Forest’ by July 2022.

To launch the new pledge, Connect Childcare has already donated 57 trees, offsetting its carbon footprint for a full year and more, by removing over 17 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere – the equivalent of over 42,000 miles driven by the average UK passenger car or the amount of energy it takes to charge 1,702,997 smartphones.

“While empowering nurseries to operate efficiently and successfully is at the heart of everything we do, the natural world sustainability is also a core value for us,” explained Chris Reid, CEO and founder of Connect Childcare.

Our technology has already helped thousands of nurseries across the UK to ditch their paper-based systems and take a greener approach with digital processes, but we want to go one step further and help to safeguard the physical learning natural world for centuries to come.”

Once Connect reaches the 250-tree milestone, the company will have offset the CO2 emission for its HQ in Lancashire for the next five years. The firm also aims to start offsetting the carbon footprint of its employees too.

Cheryl Hadland, founder of the Green Early Years Choices Champion (GECCO) and MD of the Hadland Care Group – comprising Tops Day Nurseries – added: “Investing in the education of our children is the most effective way to provide a sustainable environment well into the future.

The Hadland Care Group conducted a survey of parents and asked whether the nursery being eco-friendly was important to them or not – 86% said ‘yes’.

Cheryl continued: “It’s vital that we leave our world fit for the next generations to enjoy a healthy life, and sustainability should be embedded into every element of the early years natural world where possible – from segregating waste and upcycling resources to growing produce in the gardens – to help make this happen. This commitment from Connect Childcare is just one of the ways organisations within the sector can help to support and prioritise child development – not only in the short-term but for many years to come.

Summing up the sustainability in early years conversation, June O’Sullivan, CEO of LEYF, also said: “Teaching about the Sustainable Development Goals makes us realise that sustainability addresses huge issues – from poverty to climate breakdown – that impact children. To make the world a better place for children, we must put the right foundations in place now and the early years is the best place to begin.”

As part of its green commitments, Connect Childcare has also revealed it’s looking to partner with sustainable early years suppliers – throughout the festive period – to launch a competition to furnish a nursery with eco-friendly equipment. In a bid to help make sustainability and eco-conscious practice a reachable reality for more childcare settings throughout the country. The firm will also be collaborating with wider industry experts to create resources and webinars to help nurseries on their journey to becoming more sustainable.

The pledge was announced during the COP26 climate breakdown summit, which started on 31st October and will run until 12th November.