The back-to-school season of 2020 will provide more distractions than ever for parents with school-age kids. Whether your daycare facility serves school age children, or many children with school-age siblings, you'll face more challenges communicating with parents. A new school year always brings about schedule changes, extra tasks, and a deluge of communication from schools and teachers. This year adds to the confusion with schools that have been closed for extended periods of time, vastly different school schedules, and additional precautions brought about by COVID-19.
As daycare centers struggle to safely reopen or continue their efforts to serve essential workers, communication with parents is more important than ever. Your facility is likely following a variety of state regulations to maintain the health of both children and employees. Back and forth communication with parents is an important part of avoiding the spread of germs. Still, when parents are distracted, and little face-to-face communication is permitted, it can be difficult to provide vital information in a way that gets noticed.
Offering a variety of communication techniques can help. Parents are often working, running errands, and struggling to balance the schedules of children through a combination of school and daycare. Here are a few methods you can use to stay on top of parent communication during the busy back-to-school season.
While paper handouts are often the standard in communication to provide important information to parents, they can also carry germs. Email has long been an accepted form of communication between teachers and parents, so it's really not a stretch to think it would be convenient for daycare facilities as well. Emails can also include attached documents and permission slips for parents to sign electronically.
Since smartphones became a staple of communication, most parents are very comfortable communicating through text. It's quick and easy, and perhaps most importantly, immediate. Sending out text messages in conjunction with emails or only for emergencies is a great way to get immediate attention. Additionally, parents can often dash off a quick response right away.
Many businesses provide customers with an online portal to access important information, pay bills, and even receive documents. As many daycare centers limit the amount of visitors allowed inside, certain information gets harder to pass along. A parent portal will allow parents to make no-contact payments, access and sign important documents and permission slips, and stay up to date with relevant information.
A mobile app gives parents a convenient way to access all childcare related information and communications in one convenient place. Busy parents are often en-route to one activity or another and depend heavily on smartphones. Since 81% of American adults own a smartphone, you can expect the majority of parents to be familiar with downloading and using an app. A mobile app can provide you with the ability to offer parents a variety of communication option whenever and wherever they are. Convenience is the number one way to make communication easier for busy parents with a variety of responsibilities.
While most parents appreciate the convenience of technology, there are some parents and grandparents that don't have the option. Parents who don't have internet access or reliable services need alternative options to stay in touch. When you're implementing new contact options, provide a sign up sheet for parents who won't be able to use the new technology. For these parents, set up a convenient phone number and call time for the exchange of information. Additionally, you could offer to set up a weekly face-to-face meeting outdoors to provide important information updates and documents.
A Variety of Communication Methods in One Convenient Place
A variety of ways to communicate with parents is the most effective way to ensure parents get all the information they need. More importantly, multiple techniques provide daycare centers with an open dialogue that allows parents to communicate during the timeframe most convenient for their busy schedules. However, your daycare facility already has a full plate of tasks to accomplish each day and having the funds to hire a full-time administrator to oversee this communication is unlikely. Luckily, there is a way to supply a variety of communication methods without taking on another profession.
Prime Childcare Software provides a variety of software options to empower you to streamline your childcare center management and communication techniques. Instead of personally taking the time to learn about the various communication methods and adapting them to the childcare industry, you can simply choose the solutions you need for your facility.
Prime's parent engagement tools provide you with a variety of communication options that you can personalize to fit your unique daycare center. Our software automates daily communication activities, so you can get the feedback you need. Instead of working through several companies to get the communication tools you need, get all the software you need in one convenient place. Our parent engagement tools include the following options.
- Online Parent Portal: Includes easy billing options, access to documents, calendars, updated information, and more.
- Custom Branded Mobile App: Provides the ability to access all daycare information in one convenient place. The app is even fully customizable to include your facility name and logo.
- Push Notifications: Enables you to send out important information and announcements quickly and efficiently.
- SMS/Text Messaging: Provides a great way to get into immediate contact with most parents and supplies 2-way conversation on the fly.
- Mass and Single Emails: Allows you to send out important information or make direct contact with certain individuals. Emails often coordinate with other forms of communication.
Remote communication is more vital now than ever before. Providing parents with a variety of options is one way to ensure you can communicate with all parents on a timely basis. Instead of trying to adapt retail software to the childcare industry, find the exact programs you need from Prime. To learn more about how we can empower you with great parent communication options, get in touch today. To get started right away, watch our demo and schedule an appointment online.