In today’s increasingly tech-savvy world where almost every industry is turning to mobile, early childhood education will be no exception to the rule. The technology movement is here to stay and, as a child care provider, tools like child care apps are just as beneficial to parents as they are for you.
Parenting in the Digital Age
Millennials are parents to roughly 50% of today’s children, with more than one million new millennial mothers a year. This generation is also on track to make up nearly half of the American workforce, which means the demand for great child care is going to be on the rise among a technologically fluent generation.
Expectations are shifting and people have become used to a certain level of accessibility when it comes to some of their most important information. If parents have constant access to their bank accounts, bills, and more, then they’re going to expect the same when it comes to their children.
Research indicates that parent engagement in early childhood education promotes student achievement and growth. It also helps parents feel confident about their child’s education and the direction in which they are moving. When parents can easily see which areas their child might be behind in, they are more likely to help their child in these subjects at home.
How Child Care Apps Increase Parent Engagement
A solid framework for your daycare helps meet and exceed expectations as well as provide parents with valuable insight into how their child is progressing.
It’s completely normal and expected that parents will be slightly nervous leaving their child; however, child care apps can help ease this anxiety. Features like real-time updates, daily check-ins, pictures, and push notifications not only provide an easy way for child care providers to communicate with parents, but it also gives parents the peace of mind they need.
Child care apps can also be a great way to keep parents in the loop about important or last-minute info such as facility closures, field trips, policy changes, important reminders and more.
Here are several ways that child care apps help increase parent engagement:
What's the number one way to streamline your daycare business, and get parents involved and engaged at the same time? Automation. And, this includes mobile apps.
By using child care apps you can significantly cut down time spent on manual administrative tasks, and instead focus on engaging with parents and children during peak hours like the beginning and end of the day (during pick-up and drop-off).
As previously mentioned, the busiest time of the day for many daycare centers is parent pick-up and drop-off, but this is also your best chance to get face time with the parents. However, instead of being able to focus the conversation on the children, time is often spent repeating reminders or passing out flyers.
Apps allow you to make the drop-off/pick-up process run faster and smoother with a child check-in system.
Give parents access to multiple reports including family and child info, family accounting, meal tracking, attendance tracking, activity management and more. By proactively providing them with the things that they usually have to ask you for, parents are able to take more responsibility for their child by staying on top of any relevant information.
A parent portal can provide many different features that make parents’ lives easier such as online registration and payment. It also gives them the opportunity to see their child’s schedule, time cards/log notes, and reports. Employees can keep the children’s pages up to date throughout the day, while saving time on some of the more mundane tasks.
Tuition Payment Options
Chances are that you have families from various backgrounds, and giving parents different payment options can actually help everyone stay on the same page about their tuition and other necessary payments. When you consider that 80% of millennials use the internet to manage their bills and finances, then an internet-based child care app seems like the obvious way to go.
Keep parents in the loop with daily schedules, so that they can see exactly what their child is doing each day. In addition to building trust with the daycare, this helps parents feel more comfortable and like they are involved in their child’s education and, ultimately, their success.
Assessments and State Standards
Each state board has its own set of developmental milestones that children should be reaching in the first few years of their life. These standards ensure that caregivers are helping children develop healthy social, emotional, language, and cognitive skills, among other things.
Software helps you keep track of how each child is progressing. Developmental reports are another great way to get parents involved in their child’s success.
Simplicity and accessibility are key to increasing parent engagement. And, child care apps provide parents with all of the information necessary to help their child succeed.
When parents feel like they are included in their child’s classroom life and able to get the answers they are seeking through the ease of a child care app, parent engagement increases and they are more likely to want to stay involved in the future.
Learn more about Procare’s child care apps and how they help increase parent engagement and automate your business.