Now more than ever parents need to stay up-to-date with your daycare center. Getting them the information is easy. Getting them to actually read it, though, tends to be much more difficult. Busy parents might grab the latest flyer from your entrance but forget about it by the time they get home. Staff can remind them, but with all the demands on their attention they can’t track which parent is reading the info and who still hasn’t.
So how do you make sure important information is getting to parents? The key is to increase parent engagement and know the best ways to reach them. Here are three strategies you can put into action right away to help ensure parents are reading important information sent by your daycare center.
How to Reach Parents So They Actually Read Your Notices
Ditch the Paper and Put Technology to Work
Paper is inconvenient. It’s also expensive. Printing notices costs your center paper and toner, and over time that can take a big bite out of your operating budget. It’s also not great for the eco-footprint of your childcare center. After all the effort of printing them, it’s very likely that more of your paper notices are getting lost than getting read. So eliminate the problem by replacing your paper newsletters with digital ones.
Digital newsletters, notices, and announcements are a much better way to communicate with parents and guardians. When you move to a digital platform, you make it easy to access, to share, and to update the newsletter at any time. You’ll also see a much higher engagement rate when it comes to parents actually getting the information.
The Best Part of Going Digital
- Digital information is easy to update on a minute-by-minute basis if necessary. When illnesses break out, the local government calls for quarantine restrictions, or a natural disaster is happening, you need to keep parents informed. A digital format is a perfect way to do this so everyone has the latest information instantly.
Meet Parents Where They Are At (Hint: It’s Their Smartphones)
Parents are busy. Really busy. So you need to give them information in the place they are most likely to see it. That’s on their smartphones. 81% of American adults now own a smartphone, a rise of nearly 50% in a decade. They’re spending more time on them, too, with the average adult spending about three and a half hours a day on their phones. If you are going to get information in front of a parent’s eyes, their smartphone is the place to do it.
Thankfully, that’s easier than ever. You can post your health notices and policy changes on social media, send it in an email, or even do a text blast. Consider using push notifications through an app to the parent’s phone, too. Push notifications can give parents the necessary information or direct them where to go for more info right on the lock screen of their phone. So they don’t even have to open their phone to get vital information.
Branded apps for your daycare center can do a lot more, too, but simplifying parent communication is one of the big ones.
The Best Part of Using Smartphones
- Parents are looking at them anyway, so there is a much higher chance they’ll actually read your message. Encourage parents to follow you on your social media accounts and look at branded apps as a way to increase parent engagement. It’s often cheaper, easier, and more effective than other means of communication.
Make It Easy to Access Anywhere
Parents are on the go, so they need to be able to access your communication anywhere. That’s easily done thanks to the internet. But you also need to make sure parents can easily find and read older notices they may have missed. Keeping a centralized library of notices online can be really helpful for both you and your parent community. This increases the chances that parents will read the information because they’ll know where to find it and can reference back to it if needed. When it’s convenient and easy, it’s more likely parents will have a look.
The Best Part of Using a Central Place for Information
- A central place for information means there is no confusion about where to find it and no one misses out. For instance, if you are relying on social media, you might forget to make a post for your Instagram followers. They miss out on vital information while your Facebook fans are in the know. But if you require each parent to have your daycare’s app on their phone, the info is always there and accessible to everyone.
Other Top Tips to Get Your Daycare’s Notices Read
- Get straight to the necessary information. Parents don’t have the time (or energy) to read lengthy notices. Give them the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the information in the first paragraph. That way they get the meat of the information right at the beginning, then you can go into detail for those who want to know more.
- Don’t spam parents with info. While it’s good to maintain consistent communication, you don’t want to overwhelm them. They are busy enough (and interrupted enough) as it is. If they feel like your updates aren’t important, they will start to dismiss them without reading them. That results in giving you the opposite effect of your final goal of increasing engagement.
- Follow up. While using tech to communicate with your parents is great, nothing beats an in-person follow-up. Chat with them at pick up and drop off times to make sure they’ve seen the important news. If they haven’t, you can gently direct them to the appropriate channels to get all the latest news.
Fostering parent engagement is key in many areas, including getting them to read the information you need them to have. A personalized daycare center app is a great way to reach parents and encourage them to stay up-to-date on policies and health notices. These apps can also make transfers more secure, your billing easier to manage, and records quicker to update. Learn more by scheduling a free consultation call with the Prime Child Care Software team today.