What is your favorite social media platform? My blog will show how social media as the best communication tool to stay connected with families and build partnership at the childcare centre.
- Childcare Centre Websites
Create your own childcare websites to show the childcare centre is an ideal place for your children to learn and grow. It gives information to parents the goals and objectives of the centre upon enrolling your child from class schedules/hours to rates and fees and rules of the childcare centre. Besides, the centre websites can be effective means of communication and encouragement for families to get involve while staying connected at the centre. Keeping parents informed by posting information about incoming seasonal events for example:
- Family Tea Party with live animals show
- Easter Egg Hunt
- Christmas concert by the children
It can be a way of updating the parents of an important dates such as:
- June 9, 2017 – Parent-teacher meeting
- September 16, 2017 Fundraising activities
Photoraphs or video clips of the children can be posted online to communicate to parents on what is happening during the day. Wilson (2014) suggest to obtain parental permission to post pictures and video clips and to ensure security of the site. If posible create a response link on the website so that families can comment on centre happenings or share ideas. Consequently, parents does not require to know teachers’ email addresses.
Teachers are using email to communicate with families more frequently because it is convenient, affordable tool to disseminate important information about the centre or upcoming events. Notes/reminders, messages, newsletters and group photos of the children can be sent to families at the same time. When it comes to emergent need email is a 2nd option after calling the parents. My experienced at one centre, a child had an allergy of cow milk that can threaten his life due to progressing hives all over the body. The mother can’t answer the phone due to her work but she can see the picture of the child having an allergy. By viewing her email she can decide and inform the teachers what would be the next step to do. Of course, email should not be used to communicate sensitive information. Always remember the risks of using social media. Therefore, we also need to remember that emails from child-care centre should be done with e-professionalism.
To post a blog is another way of communicating and staying connected with families at the centre. Blogging with comment capability is one way where teacher and parents/families can interact and collaborate with each other to enhance the learning experiences of children at the centre. Also with the recommendation of being professional in giving comments to blogs posted.
3. Facebook, Twitter, and Instant Messenger
Some centres are using Facebook or Twitter or Instant messenger or both of them as tools for communication. They post pictures of children’s learning activities. Families can interact with other families by posting comments/tweets while staying connected with the teachers. Parent- teacher communication can also use chatting on online forums. Users of these platforms need to know what are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media
In conclusion, the social media as communication tool will help families to stay connected at the centre and build parents-centre partnership in the early learning development of their children. “It is also important to note that a well-designed website is also a marketing tool that will give prospective parents an insight into the workings of the early childhood environment” ( Wilson, 2014)
Do you have any suggestions in addition to the flatforms mention above?
Wilson, L. (2014). Partnerships: Families and Communities in Early Childhood; 5th Edition; Nelson Education Ltd.