Communication is the lifeline of daycares, schools, and afterschool programs. School administrators and teachers must be able to stay in touch with parents at all times, especially when it comes to weather-related closures and schedules for holiday breaks. The last thing educational venues need is recurring communication issues due to dropped calls or other digital obstacles.
This is why childcare management software is so valuable for any childcare program. Our childcare software features a comprehensive suite of tools to make communication between parents and schools smoother and more efficient. The interactive portals engage parents with school directors, program teams, and staff members to ensure their children are always safe and sound.
Essential Tools for Holiday Communication
Parent involvement in their children's educational activities is of paramount importance. Online software covers all bases from a single centralized location. So whether you're a parent, site coordinator, teacher, or administrator, here are some of the benefits of using our apps and programs throughout the school year and holiday breaks.
The Parent Portal
The EZChildTrack Parent Portal has a user-friendly interface for parents on the go that need quick access to information. The platform can be configured – as required – to meet your childcare program needs. Childcare providers can even decide the access points they want to give to parents. In addition, the software makes it easy for parents to manage their account essentials, allowing staff members to focus on providing better childcare.
With the portal, parents can:
- Download necessary registration forms and other documents
- Enroll in autopay (automatic payments via bank account or credit card)
- Manage all online payments or change payment preferences
- Manage information on their kids, including emergency contacts, numbers, etc.
- Manage their children's schedules by enrolling them into activities online
- Register their kids for various programs (afterschool activities, summer camp, school field trips, etc.)
- Monitor and track all account transactions
- Print invoices, payment reports, and tax statements
- View bulletins and calendars – especially helpful for school closures due to inclement weather or holiday breaks
EZChildTrack's communications tools also make it easier for parents to send messages to multiple recipients. Administrators can quickly answer questions about school holiday schedules, activity cancellations, and modified drop-off and pick-up times.
With this feature, administrators can:
- Add new bulletins that display important messages
- Apply filters that narrow down recipients based on various selection criteria (teachers, administrators, staff, etc.)
- Attach essential documents with messages
- Check the status of all messages sent from the system (confirmations, unread, etc.)
- Create and manage forms linked to the childcare program
- Download necessary documents from the childcare program portal
- Send bulk correspondence to active or inactive accounts within the program
- Send bulk text messages to check their status in the system
Improving Communication With Parents
As they say, communication is a two-way street. While school officials need to stay in touch with parents, not everyone communicates the same. However, there are ways to minimize miscommunications for school administrators, teachers, and staff.
Here are some tips for schools and parents.
Ask for preferences when communicating
EZChildTrack software offers customizable options for both parents and schools. To optimize communication, it is best to gather feedback from correspondences within preferred channels. For example, some parents may opt for communications via text as opposed to phone calls.
Some parents may prefer email, while others would like face-to-face interaction. While it's impossible to please everyone, finding common ground is a great way to prevent stress and ensure group-wide updates do not miss anyone. Some ways to communicate include:
- Asking recipients if they want to receive updates over school breaks
- Determining the best communication channels for parents and staff
- Setting a schedule for essential or up-to-the-minute updates (back-to-school dates, holiday break schedules, annual events, etc.)
Determine the best channels or communications methods
Many school children and parents look forward to the holidays each year. The festive lights, activities, and family dinners usually take preference over communication with schools. Therefore, it is best to determine the channels and communications methods that will not disrupt the holiday.
As a school administrator, you may opt to avoid traditional communications like phone calls. The same can be said for email and snail mail (letters). Instead, digital newsletters, blogs, and social media posts for live school announcements may be the best ways to keep parents informed – without overwhelming them with communications this holiday season.
Here are some tips for communicating during a break:
- Be consistent but not overbearing. For example, repetitive reminders via text may fall on deaf ears, so be mindful when sending out important announcements.
- Email notifications may still be the best method of ensuring delivery to parents. However, you can also optimize these communications as desired for maximum engagement.
- Utilize the customization options in the EZChildTrack software to send and receive communications with parents. However, these should be based on their preferences – so there are no surprises or frustration during the holiday break.
- Please speak to one of our helpful childcare management software team members for additional tips and suggestions this holiday season.
Enjoy the Holidays!
Remember, the holidays are a season where parents spend quality time with their children and loved ones. As mentioned above, constant communication may irritate parents and family members. As a school administrator or teacher, you too can relax and enjoy some much-needed time off.
These are some suggestions for effectively communicating with parents during the holidays. For more information, contact us today, and we can discuss the many benefits of using EZChildTrack for your childcare center or school.