August and September, the busiest months of the year for child care centers. New students, new educators, and often, policy changes that need to be communicated and executed before the first day of class. It’s a lot and can be overwhelming for everyone involved.
We’ve come up with five tips to help with your registration, so you can feel confident that your school year will be off to a great start!
1.Send and accept registration forms digitally
Gone are the days of paper documents. Instead, parents want digital forms that allow them to quickly provide information and signatures without printing, scanning, or making an extra dropoff at the center.
There are plenty of tools that can create forms parents can submit digitally, and even an online PDF that you can make available in your childcare app can be an improvement for your center and your parents.
Not only will parents appreciate the added convenience, but your center will save time too. Having documents available digitally will make it easier to organize forms and keep track of each family’s registration status.
2. Create a parent handbook you can share with parents (if applicable)
Every center will have a different approach to registration documents and initial visits. It is important to communicate to parents at your center what your practices are and what you expect starting on the first day of childcare.
Creating a parent handbook that outlines your philosophy, team, program, fees, and other important information is a great way to ensure parents are informed of your center’s way of operating.
By encouraging parents to read through a short but thorough handbook, you can ensure they have the information they need to complete registration and feel more comfortable on the first day of leaving their child at the center.
3. Send out an email inviting parents to download the HiMama App and create a free HiMama account
Once you add children to the app, their families will automatically receive a Welcome email from HiMama with instructions to create their HiMama account. Parents will be prompted to create an account with an email address and a secure password through this email.
Don’t take for granted that parents will do what they need to start receiving information on day one. In fact, it’s helpful for directors to send an additional communication explaining that your center will be using the HiMama app to help with parent communication, administrative responsibilities, and even billing, so parents know what to expect. We’ve created a welcome email template that your center can use to send out this email. Just copy the text here, edit it as you see fit and send the email to parents.
4. Let parents know that your center uses HiMama to help with all things billing and payments
It is important to let parents know how your center collects payments from the get-go. The start of a new school year is an excellent opportunity to communicate a clear payment policy and encourage parents to fill out their payment information so that they are set up to pay tuition online in the new school year
Through the HiMama App, parents can easily view invoices and make payments on time. Parents will also have the option to enable auto pay which allows them to schedule payments in advance so that they never miss when it is due.
Consider making payment through HiMama the standard way to pay for your center and communicating this clearly to parents. Not only will they find it convenient, but your center will save loads of administrative time by streamlining the way you collect payments.
5. Continue to use HiMama to communicate throughout the year!
Once parents have started to use HiMama, centers should utilize the app to communicate important operational information, in addition to day-to-day communication about the children. For example, the message center can become a convenient and safe place within the app where parents can look for announcements, updates, and any necessary documents.
Not only will this help parents stay connected, but it will also help staff have a record of families’ responses and questions.
Today’s parents are looking for digital ways to communicate and be kept in the loop. By handling all kinds of communication with parents through the app, center directors can be confident parents will read announcements and take action when required.