Bridging the language gap and supporting dual language families: HiMama at Uni-Vision Childcare

Center Name: Uni-Vision Childcare| Location: Lancaster, PN

THE CHALLENGE

Sharing quality communication with families through a language barrier

Verbally it was quite hard for our educators to communicate with parents, because they do not speak English. So very respectfully on both ends, it was a pretty quick hello and goodbye each day

Champagne Domingo, Center owner and director
Champagne Domingo

Champagne Domingo is the center owner and director of Uni–Vision childcare, a spanish immersion center located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They opened their doors 5 years ago, and for roughly the first 3 years of operation, they did everything on pen and paper. At Uni-Vision all the educators speak Spanish, and most of the parents speak English. Parents bring their children to Champagne and her educators to enhance the development of their Spanish language, even though it might mean a language barrier between themselves and their child’s educators.

For years, as the main point of contact who could speak fluently to both the parents and the educators, almost all communication had to flow through Champagne. Whether it was an email call, text, or face to face, Champagne was who parents felt most comfortable speaking to. The problem, Champagne was not always the main knowledge holder of information about the child, and therefore it required a lot of back and forth communication.

Let’s say there was an incident that happened. That update would have to go from the educators, to me, to the parents. Then let’s say the parent has a question, it would go back to me, to the educators and around again

Champagne

With almost all communication being streamlined through Champagne, that often meant necessary communication would either get missed, or spill into her personal time. If Champagne was not at the center when a child was dropped off or picked up, she would find her phone buzzing late into the night.

Parents were not great with boundaries when our method of communication was text. With them having that much accessibility to me, I had a lot of parents sending messages at 10/11 o’clock at night

Champagne

Without a standardized communication tool, it also meant that if a parent does not message Champagne, they might be messaging the educator directly, and that would keep Champagne out of the conversation entirely.

I found that when staff were communicating with the parents directly, there were sometimes things that would get lost in translation. And because I was not a part of the conversation, I was not able to see what was going on and I never had the full story. I did not want to be in that situation again

Champagne

THE SOLUTION

As a high-quality center, Champagne was looking for a way to bridge the language gap and provide deeper parent communication. She sought out a solution that would make it easier for the educators to not only share daily information about the children, but  allow relationships to grow beyond the boundaries of drop-off and pick-up. Champagne brought HiMama into their center to transition all of their communication from personal text and email, to within a digital communication platform. 

With HiMama, educators no longer have to rely on drop-off and pick-up to communicate with parents. And, parents no longer have to rely on Champagne as their main point of contact for detailed information.

With HiMama, when parents send a message in English the educators can go and translate it on a separate app, and then copy and paste back into HiMama to send it to back to parents

Champagne

HiMama has also opened the door for enhanced non-verbal communication between the educators and parents. Now that educators can share daily updates of what is going on in the classroom, and can send parents photos and videos to see throughout the day, there is so much more communication being shared and deeper connections being formed.

The educators can share so much communication through the app, which really deepens the connection when parents can see what is going on. Even if they are still only seeing the parent for a quick hello or goodbye because of the language barrier, they have still managed to create those deeper relationships through HiMama

Champagne

THE RESULT

Parents used to always feel most comfortable talking to me, but that is no longer the case. Now regardless of which educator is at the center they feel comfortable, thanks to the relationships we have formed through HiMama

No longer does Champagne have to be the main point of contact, or follow up with parents late into the night. She can now trust that her educators will take ownership over direct communication with parents, and parents can message directly through HiMama and trust that everyone at the center has visibility. Now, no matter where Champagne is, she can check in on the communication being shared and ensure important information is getting where it needs to be – even if she is not involved at all.

HiMama has helped me with my work-life balance, and I am so relieved to no longer have to micromanage all the communication

Champagne

Uni-Vision childcare has found a routine with HiMama that enables the educators to provide quality communication to their families, even through a language barrier. It has also supported parents in feeling more safe and secure now that they can share in their child’s day, and view the learning and development that is happening.

HiMama has given our parents and educators much more of a personal relationship, even when they don’t see each other. It has changed the dynamics of our center and made us more of a community

Champagne

Learn more about how to empower dual language learners in the classroom on our blog here!

Uni-Vision Childcare is one of many HiMama customers who have improved their center communication and enhanced relationships with HiMama! Fill out the form below to learn more about how HiMama can help you save time and improve documentation!

Maddie Hutchison

Maddie is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a Master's in Early Childhood Studies. Her specialty is in Children's Rights and she is currently a Customer Advocacy Specialist for HiMama!

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