5 Simple Ways to Strengthen Parent Relationships in 2023
Strong parental relationships are central in promoting children’s healthy development and wellness, including: social-emotional and behavioural development and preparing children for school. Yet as an early years practitioner, perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of managing a setting is getting parents to actively engage in their child’s education.
Much of this may well be due to the changing demographic of modern parenting where we see working and single parents with little time to attend activities and workshops during ‘school’ hours. In an ideal world, every parent and practitioner would have time to have a chat about their children each day at pick-up time, but as you may already know, this is not always possible.
Today we are going to discuss 5 simple ways to strengthen parent relationships in 2023.
Send Home Activity Packs
Activity packs don’t have to be expensive and can even encourage parents to use materials they will find around the house. You could send home a small activity pack at the end of the week with some materials that fit the theme of the week or month ahead and some information on how the activity may link to the different areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This will help children to have a deeper understanding of the topic in focus but will also encourage parents to consider how they can help their children to reach new development milestones through play based activities.
Sending activities home can even spark new conversations with both children and parents. At the start of the new week your practitioners can ask the parents if they took part in the activity, ask them how it went and ask the children what they enjoyed the most to help influence their in the moment planning
The Ultimate Guide to Parental Engagement
Use Parental Communication Apps
Technology has become a necessity in our everyday lives, both professionally and personally. We rely on it to organise, connect, communicate, schedule, entertain, shop and generally assist us in our daily routines. This is no different for parents.
Apps such as ParentZone can allow parents to:
- Access information about their child’s day at a time that suits them best
- Upload their own observations from their time outside of nursery to give you a more complete view of a child’s learning experiences.
- View their child’s daily activities and wow moments
- Pay their fees, by card, directly from their app
- Request Extra Bookings
By giving parents access to an online learning journey with advice on how their child can meet the next step in the criteria, they can actively help their child to learn and develop at home, enhancing their early years learning journey and giving them the best possible head start for school.
Find the communication tool that works for you and elevate your parent engagement
If you are looking for a new parent communication tool in 2023 but aren’t sure where to start with your research; allow us to help. Let us guide you on what to look out for when researching a parent communication tool in 2023.
Write a Newsletter
Newsletters can be a wonderful way to get parents involved in the goings on at your nursery setting and keep them in the loop with their child’s development. Sharing a child’s activities, learning journeys, and interest with parents in a newsletter format can keep them up to date with their child’s life. A weekly newsletter can also be a good way to announce events such as sports day, stay and plays, or fundraising events at your setting.
When creating an engaging newsletter for parents it is important to remember that parents are busy and will likely not have time to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of text. Keep your newsletter fun, colourful, and add plenty of photographs of the children doing various activities on site.
Nursery management software such as Connect Childcare can be used to send newsletters in bulk via email to parents, allowing you to keep them in the loop with your setting’s activities.
Offer Contactless Payments
One of the ways you can strengthen parent relationships in 2023 is to offer more ways to pay invoices. As technology advances and with the lingering worry of COVID, providing contactless payment options is essential for your childcare setting. Contactless payments such as Connect contactless will allow parents to make payments through ParentZone wherever they are. The payments are made in 5 simple steps and you receive them instantly!
For parents, contactless payments offer a more convenient payment solution as they can view their bill in-app and pay directly in just a few clicks. Contactless payments are also safe and secure giving you and the parent peace of mind when dealing with larger transactions.
Create a Survey
It is very important to remember that not every parent will feel confident enough to share their thoughts and ideas face to face. This is why creating a questionnaire for parents to fill in will allow every parent an opportunity to voice any ideas or concerns they might have without worry.
By creating a selection of closed and open questions for your questionnaire, you’ll be able to get an overview of where you need to improve, and you may also get comments about things you never thought of before! It can be interesting seeing a nursery through the perspective of a parent, and you may find that you have a better understanding of the needs of both parties by taking these comments into consideration.