We have all heard the phrase “communication is key”, and that phrase most definitely holds true for optimizing your child’s experience at child care. Our Parent Survey showed that when asked about the biggest area of improvement for child care centers, the #1 area was communication.
Your center should be open to communication. According to HiMama’s report, 85% of parents believe that communication from their center helps them understand how to support their child’s development at home. Your child’s educator should be engaging in conversations with you about effective strategies for outside the classroom. Expect that your child care provider will share positive observations about your child and any concerns.
What does good communication look like?
- According to HiMama’s Parent Satisfaction Survey, 77% of parents want more details about their child. In fact, 40% of parents preferred proactive daily communication from their child care centers.
- Communication should be consistent and clear. Concerns, suggestions, and observations should routinely be conveyed to you.
- Daily updates are a necessity. Paper reports often get lost in the parking lot or left behind. Consider using a center that uses digital communication apps like HiMama. Digitally is convenient and fast, not to mention parents prefer digital communication rather than paper.
- Pictures are always a plus! In fact, 94% of parents that had the highest happiness scores in our Parent Satisfaction Survey are receiving photo updates.
So how do you go about ensuring that you get the details you want about your child? You might just have to ask. And when should you ask or at least begin to have the conversation? Pickup and drop off is a great time to begin communication with your child’s teacher.
When at drop-off and pick-up, always observe the situation first. How busy is the classroom and the educator in attending to the children? Don’t be afraid to communicate but be realistic about how much time the teacher may be able to dedicate to you.
Conversations that are appropriate at pick-up and drop-off or anything that affects the day.
- Drop-off: “Johnny had a rough night and may be cranky. I just wanted to give you a heads up!”
- Pick-up: “Johnny had a rough night last night, how was he today?”
- Drop-off: “I have noticed that Nina has been very tired at home, I haven’t seen anything concerning in her report, but is she napping well?”
- Pick-up: “How did Nina nap today?”
Conversations that have to do with your child’s safety are also important to have.
- “I noticed that Hunter had a large scratch on his arm after we brought him home that we don’t remember seeing at drop-off? Do you know if something happened while here? Should we be getting an incident report?”
Conversations that have to do with ongoing goals or routines may be more realistic to start at drop-off or pick-up and continued through email or some other correspondence. If you have chosen a center with a digital app, that would be the easiest place to continue.
- “We have been trying to reinforce the importance of sharing with Riley. We would love to get some feedback on how she has been doing with her peers in class. I know that you are busy and I don’t want to add to your list of things to do. Maybe we can discuss an easy way for this to be communicated to us?”
General concerns or requests that do not require a long conversation can also be addressed at pick-up and drop-off also.
- “My friend’s child goes to a nearby daycare and they receive pictures throughout the day. Is that something our center would be transitioning to soon? I would love to see what my little one is up to!”
Ultimately, you want to be part of a center that understands how important it is for you to be able to ask questions, touch base, and check in with those who are caring for your child. Choosing a center that uses an app like HiMama will enable you to partake in consistent and accessible communication. Many of the concerns listed above could easily be addressed through an app. In fact, teachers updating a daily report that is available to you in real-time will only serve to enhance your conversations at drop-off and pick-up! You would already know whether your child is sharing, napping well, or cranky. The in-person conversation will be more informed and purposeful.
So, don’t be nervous about having conversations that are important to your child’s experience. Your center’s teachers should be more than willing to foster the most effective methods of communication with you. Working together will ensure your child is supported and developing in a healthy environment.
Want even more insights into what matters most to parents? See what our survey of 500 parents found in our Childcare Parent Satisfaction Report!