The advanced technology of our digital age is reshaping entire industries, and the childcare industry is no different. Apps and software programs built for daycare providers and early childhood educators have arrived on the scene. As a busy daycare owner, you may be wondering if it’s worth the time, effort, and investment required to implement some of these digital tools to connect with your students’ busy, on-the-go parents. We affirm that, yes, it can definitely be a wise move on your part to take advantage of industry-leading technology to improve communication with parents. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of using digital parent communication tools and offer a brief overview of some of the most popular options.
Benefits of Digital Parent Communication Tools
While there is nothing wrong with opting for traditional methods of communication to keep in touch with parents, more and more daycare providers are choosing to take advantage of the convenient and handy capabilities afforded by today’s apps and software programs. Where once paper-heavy forms of communication were the only option, nowadays your community bulletin board, paper newsletters, flyers, and other hard-copy parent communications may benefit greatly from the latest technology advances. Consider the following benefits to using parent communication software and apps:
- Reach out to busy, on-the-go parents who may not take the time to read a paper bulletin or newsletter, but who may be more likely to read updates sent directly to their phone as a text message, email, or in-app message.
- Share a variety of important information pertaining to a child’s participation in your daycare program, including safety and medical updates, classroom policies, invoices and billing statements, updates about the child’s development, behavior, and accomplishments, and more. All of this can be accomplished without printing a single document or wondering if a parent ever read your latest flyer.
- Connect with parents in a way that is meaningful to them. Studies show that more and more parents (especially millennials) prefer to be updated about their child’s daycare, preschool, or primary school activities via modern technology, as opposed to the more traditional face-to-face meeting or paper communications. A 2014 study conducted by Stanford University found that parents who received text message prompts with practical tips to engage in literacy activities with their children took an active participation in their child’s learning and had a positive impact on literacy.
- Find new ways to break down language barriers and other cultural or socioeconomic challenges that parents of your daycare students may face. Many of the parent communication tools offered today have the capability to translate communications from you into the family’s native language, making it that much easier to engage parents from different cultural backgrounds.
- Save yourself a lot of time and frustration by taking advantage of the built-in conveniences afforded by parent communication apps and software programs. Save on printing costs, cut down on the time you spend sending out individual mailings or email messages to all the parents on your list, and reduce the time you spend on administrative tasks related to parent communication by a significant amount. Digital tools make it easy to send class-wide messages to all the parents on your contact list and provide real-time classroom updates that are consistent across the board.
Industry-Recognized Parent Communication Apps and Software Programs
Now that you know some of the benefits of implementing digital parent communication tools, let’s take a look at some of the most popular programs in the childcare industry today:
HiMama App – With a 4.8 star rating from more than 20,000 reviews, the HiMama App presents as an all-in-one childcare app that makes it easy to foster open and ongoing communication with parents. Daycare providers can share special moments and send classroom updates on the fly, send digital reports for activities, meals, naps, and more, and make beautiful portfolios to showcase children’s development over time.
Procare Software and App– A cloud-based childcare management system that makes parent communications easy by keeping parents in the loop with photos, meal reports, daily activity sheets, and newsletters from your daycare center which you can share directly through the app. Procare also includes features that allow you to track student registration and enrollment, invoicing, billing, and payments, and attendance tracking. You can check out our detailed review of the Procare software program here (https://honestbuck.com/procare-software-reviews-and-pricing/)
Brightwheel App – Helps you engage and delight parents by easily sending photos, videos, and newsletters. The app allows you to digitize daily sheets and alert parents to important classroom news all at once. Brightwheel allows daycare providers to manage attendance, billing, enrollment, and parent communications all in one place. You can request a demo to see how the app could work for you.
Tadpoles – With this app, childcare providers can connect with families in the moment by sharing photos, videos, and notes in real-time or later on as a daily report. Tadpoles updates are accessible to family members via email, text, or the family app. Keep parents in-the-loop with important updates on their child’s care, including meals, diapers, naps, activities, and much more.
ClassDojo – An immensely popular program in schools across North America, ClassDojo helps you build an amazing classroom community and engage parents in their child’s daycare experience. The app allows you to instantly share photos, videos, or classroom announcements, as well as privately message any parent. Parents can join your class using any device. The app can translate messages into more than 30 languages, customize feedback, and create goals for students so parents can reinforce classroom learning at home.
The apps and software programs listed in this article are just a few of many options for daycare providers and early childhood educators in the way of digital tools that can help you engage with parents more easily and effectively.
What are some of your favorite digital tools for connecting with parents and encouraging open communication at your childcare program? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line in the comment section below!
Honest Buck Accounting is here to help you manage and optimize the financial side of your business, so you can focus on what you love most about your childcare business! Schedule a call with us today to learn how outsourcing your accounting to the experts can save you time, frustration, and money in the long run.