As a teacher or daycare provider, you likely know that interacting with parents can be one of the most difficult parts of the job. Communicating with the children in your care is normal — you’re trained to speak, play, and encourage them with the lessons and care they need. But parent-teacher communication isn’t always something that comes naturally —especially throughout the pandemic. That’s why it’s important to embrace parent communication technology.
Educators were once limited to face-to-face updates, written notes, and phone calls to manage communication with parents. Whether it was urgent information you need to deliver to parents or an update on a child that’s falling behind in class, trying to balance the discussion between absent parents and the overly involved sometimes seemed impossible.
With so many digital communication tools at our fingertips today, improving parent communication at your childcare center is possible. The parent communication technology on the market today is easy to use, and are rapidly becoming more popular: some incoming parents might even expect that you use them. Here are some of the ways you can use technology to boost the parent-teacher relationships at your daycare.
Build Trust with Parents All Year Long
How can childcare leaders build positive relationships with the parents who enroll their kids in daycare? At the beginning of the school year, schedules are busy. It can be hard to get to know parents. It takes time to build trust and camaraderie, especially when you only see parents for brief moments during drop-off and pick-up.
Parent communication technology helps schools connect with parents from the beginning of the year to end. It also lets staff easily get in contact with parents whenever a message needs to be delivered. You can send class-specific email updates, individual texts, or direct messages via parent communication apps that align with parent preferences.
Consistent updates grow a solid foundation of trust and professionalism between teachers and parents, and help parents to feel closer to their children throughout the day. The last thing parents want is to never hear from the person who’s caring for their child! With the instant notifications that technology allows, nothing should be left unsaid.
Share Event Calendars for More Classroom Interaction
Whenever there’s an event at your daycare like a field trip or special party, it’s important parents stay informed so they send their child to you prepared for the day’s activities. Consider creating a shared online calendar that enables parents to add your events to their own calendar. Your staff can send automated emails whenever there’s an upcoming event. Notify parents months, weeks, and days in advance so they never forget about a special date.
Sharing event calendars is convenient for parents who want to be more involved with their child’s learning. If there are field trips planned, for example, they can sign up to volunteer as a chaperone. Alternatively, if a parent has less time on their plate, they can plan accordingly whenever there’s an upcoming day off of school.
Calendar sharing lets parents see the year, month, and week at a glance. Instead of losing a paper calendar or penciling in changes for special events, being able to access up-to-date calendars online makes it easier for both teachers and parents.
Send Real-Time Updates to Families
If a child gets injured, displays bad behavior, or makes a big accomplishment while at daycare, staff can send live updates to parents through a parent communication technology platform. Instead of waiting until pick-up to hear about how a child’s day is going, parents can know how their child is engaged throughout the day. For many families, getting these types of updates can be hugely important as they decide which childcare center to send their children to.
Here are some examples of important parent-teacher updates made possible through a childcare app:
- Teachers can send videos of a toddler taking their first steps, or saying their first words.
- Parents can receive updated documents and instantly digitally sign necessary waivers.
- If a child has difficulty sleeping, staff can inform parents of their naptime and mood.
- Parents can see how their child is progressing at potty training while at daycare.
- Staff can note milestones and struggles in daily summaries sent to each parent at the end of the day.
There are many ways to keep parents included in their kids’ daycare experience. When parents don’t want to miss out on precious moments while absent from their little ones, live update abilities offer greater involvement and peace of mind.
Deliver Progress Reports and Developmental Assessments
Daycare leaders frequently conduct learning assessments for the classroom and individual students. These progress reports compare expected developmental milestones and educational standards with how each child is learning at daycare.
Teachers monitor, assess, and log student outcomes so adjustments can be made when necessary. If a child is behind, teachers can use technology to keep parents updated and make them aware of what they should work on with their child at home. This helps ensure a more joined-up approach to early childhood development, resulting in better outcomes for children, parents, and childcare providers.
Customized assessments can be delivered to parents using teacher notes and visual graphs. With this information, parents can:
- Focus on helping their child through learning challenges.
- Work with teachers to help guide a child to improve their behavior.
- Encourage open dialogue about their child’s needs.
- Allow parents to see how their child improves throughout the year.
With online childcare management tools, teachers can help parents understand their child’s learning status and offer suggestions for extra developmental activities at home.
Stay on Track with Learning Frameworks
Many parents want to be involved in their child’s learning, but might lack the time or initiative to voice their concerns. A Stanford University study found that parents who opted in to receive ongoing text updates regarding their preschoolers’ program noticed an improvement in learning overall.
Technology not only helps teachers stay on track with learning frameworks, but also encourages parents to join the educational process. Each state has different standards for early childhood education. Instead of relying solely on childcare providers to ensure learning objectives are being fulfilled, parents can play a helping role.
Online learning tools help bridge the gaps in these learning frameworks. Teachers can share state standards and student learning portfolios with parents, letting them see how their child is learning throughout the year.
Make Childcare Billing and Payment Easier
For many childcare centers, talking about money when it comes time for parents to pay tuition can be uncomfortable. If it’s hard to get in touch with parents, crucial payments can go unpaid, and late fees can accumulate on a family’s childcare bill –– something that nobody wants to happen.
With online childcare apps today, parents can access payment portals that let them pay instantly online. Parent billing becomes easier for childcare providers and makes communication instant, direct, and secure.
From payment processing to automated reminders, childcare centers can ensure proper invoicing, billing, and financial tracking, resulting in a better parent experience, and a more sound childcare business.
Daily Connect: A Leading Parent Communication Technology Software
Effective childcare starts with good communication. To keep up with our world’s online pace, parents need new options today. Parents are already online for everything else, from grocery shopping to paying the bills. Why not give parents the digital solutions they need to ensure their children are getting the most out of your childcare center?
Setting up a comprehensive childcare management software for your business can improve communication and bring greater satisfaction to the families you serve. It can save you time, money, and stress, while enabling you to manage your daycare center more effectively.
To see how you can use technology to improve the parent-teacher relationships at your childcare center, sign up for a free trial of Daily Connect today.