Most importantly of all, parents like to be able to monitor their child’s development – especially as most mums and dads will only attend your nursery for a short time to drop off and pick up their children. What the child does during the day is a mystery, which most parents long to be able to know more about.
We have put together 7 ideas you can use at your own setting to help keep parents’ engaged:
Putting together a monthly newsletter can be really helpful to let parents know about subjects you will be covering for the new term and any upcoming celebrations like World Book Day. You can save on printing paper by allowing parents to subscribe to a mailing list and email out the newsletter in PDF format.
2. Parents evening
Once per quarter, you could organise an evening for parents to share their ideas/concerns and distribute the meeting notes to all parents afterwards, with details of how you plan to address each point raised. This will encourage communication between parents and nursery staff in an open forum.
3. Social media
Some nurseries are reluctant to embrace social media to keep parents and other followers up to date with daily activities. However, sites like Facebook can work wonders as a way to inform busy parents about what their children are doing with photos and short updates which are accessible from their mobile phone.
Dayshare is a product that we offer as part of our nursery management software. It allows parents to keep track of how much their child has eaten, their toilet habits for the day and to see milestones in their child’s learning and development.
5. Parent portal
This allows users of our Abacus software to have read-only access to their child’s personal information. This means food allergies and medical details for the child can be monitored and kept up to date. It also enables parents to see the upcoming sessions they have booked at your setting too.
6. A website
As the majority of parents now search for nurseries in their local area via the internet, having an online presence not only can increase your occupancy levels but can also be a valuable contact point for you to share photos and information about your setting with existing parents.
7. Bulletin board
A colourful, well positioned bulletin board in the lobby of your setting can act as a useful information point for parents to quickly check as they are picking up their children. Make sure it is updated regularly to give parents a reason to monitor it for the latest information.
Whatever combination of methods you choose to try to engage with parents, your voice can be amplified if you replicate the same message across several different channels. For example, if you are organising a trip to London zoo, you can publish the details in your newsletter, post it to Facebook and put a note on your bulletin board to ensure maximum reach to parents.