As you get back into the swing of things with the school year starting, now is a great time to evaluate your childcare center’s communication with parents. Things to look for in your evaluation:
- Ensure communication is clear
- If action is required, reiterate what’s expected at the end of the communication to better ensure the action is taken
- In the case of communication where their child has had an accident, be sure it is honest and open about the child’s wellness status
- Communicate using parents’ preferred contact method
When communicating with parents, remember that they’re generally in a busy business environment. Allow time for them to get back to you before flooding all communication channels.
As we look at communication between a childcare center and the parents that patronize those centers, let’s take a closer look at the variety of tools you can use to communicate with parents and the best ways to use them.
Pick up and drop off communication
You have two face-to-face interactions with parents each day. These are at drop off and pickup. Use this time to discuss behavior problems you’ve experienced or provide praise for a child’s improvements. Either way, this is your chance to have a more personal conversation and build a relationship with parents, making it a crucial form of communication.
An email newsletter can help you stay in touch with parents on a regular basis. Here, you can provide less timely information, like books you added to the classroom, a meet-the-teacher section that lists out some fun facts about the teacher, field trip recaps, and other information that helps parents feel connected and in touch with you. This is your chance to highlight what makes your center great, so take the opportunity to flaunt good reviews or information about your center in the community. An email newsletter can serve as a sort of ongoing marketing tool for your current clients to build loyalty and trust.
Text messages enable you to connect with parents quickly as it sends a notification directly to the home screen of their phones in a way email does not. iCare Ding now enables you to message a parent through the system and they receive the message as a text message. This enables you to seamlessly go from teaching a lesson and logging information in your childcare management software about your student’s learnings to messaging a parent without pulling out a contact sheet.
Parents are paying for you to educate their children and appreciate more formal learning updates from time to time. You should provide a grade or learning report for parents to review. You can provide this printed out and mailed or via digital channels, such as email. How ever you choose to provide it, be sure to open communication channels with parents to ask questions and get more information about the learning report.
Phone calls, when needed
When urgency is needed, call your parents to let them know what’s happening with their child. A phone call can signal that something is wrong though, so be sure to use it when it’s important, like a sick child or to inform a parent of a playground accident before the parent sees skinned knees at pickup.
Childcare software can help Montessori schools, before and after school care, and caregivers of all kinds stay in touch with parents through seamless communication. iCare Software includes journaling, photo sharing, text messaging to avoid paper contact sheets. Learn more about how iCare can make your communication more agile.