Using mobile technology and parent engagement apps to provide real-time updates to parents is an excellent way to make the relationship between parents and childcare centers more meaningful. It can also be a great way to maintain a healthy bottom line and grow your successful childcare business.
Parents Can Make Payments Anytime, from Anywhere
When choosing a parent engagement app, look for one that offers parents the ability to view account balances and make payments while on-the-go. For added convenience, try to find one that is fully integrated with your childcare management software, like EZCare’s companion app EZSmiles.
When you post tuition and email invoices, parents should receive push notifications through EZSmiles that they can open to make a payment on-the-spot. It’s an effortless way to get paid, and it allows parents to pay tuition and childcare expenses the same way they pay the rest of their bills.
With a mobile payment solution, parents can access their accounts and make payments while standing in line for their morning coffee or chatting on the sidelines at soccer practice. This convenience helps you keep more parents paying on time, and that provides more stability to your childcare business.
Parent Engagement and Communication Made Easy
Anything that fits into how parents operate these days will help strengthen your school’s communication. From daily check-ins to funny class pictures to field trip permission slip reminders, we guarantee that your parents want to hear from you as often as possible.
Make sure parents are constantly updated with basic information like student enrollment times, reminders for holiday activities, field trips, and facility closures, and even changes to important school policies. Your staff can use mobile apps for recording and tracking daily events and activities in the classroom, and parents get real-time updates delivered to their mobile devices throughout the day. This is a great way to keep your families looped in and increase parent engagement in daily activities.
Accommodate Diversity Through Mobile Communication
Mobile technology is extremely important to have in place if you’re communicating regularly with families living in low-income neighborhoods. Why? According to a recent Pew Foundation study, nearly 20% of adults in the US do not have broadband access at home and have few options for getting online other than their cell phones – even at work. The majority of that 20% were low income families.
This means that these parents have to use their mobile phones in order to receive any important electronic notifications or invoices from your center. A mobile app like EZSmiles, which is a free download for parents, gives them instant access to any messages and reminders you send – including invoices.
You can also use mobile apps like EZSmiles to help cut through some of the language barriers you may encounter with families that don’t speak English in their homes. Since Spanish-speaking parents can set EZSmiles to translate messages instantly, you’ll be able to keep them in the loop without risking a misunderstanding due to your rusty high school Spanish.
How Parent Engagement Helps You Market Your Program
Sending kids off to school might get easier with each passing year, but for preschool families, this process can be gut-wrenching, to say the least. To add to parents’ anxiety and fear-of-missing-out, infants and toddlers can’t communicate all the little details about their days that parents crave, so it’s up to you and your staff to keep them connected and provide a glimpse of how their little ones spend their days.
That window into your program invites families into what their child is doing and learning, and it makes parents happy. And happy parents love to share stories, photos, videos and more – both by word-of-mouth and on their social media accounts.
Use a parent engagement app that enables parents to easily download or share messages like photos and videos to their social media accounts by clicking the share icon in the corner of the message. When friends, neighbors, coworkers and family see that adorable picture of a happy little one carefully constructing a record-setting block tower, crafting a fabulous noodle necklace, or laughing at a funny story in the reading circle, they’ll be sure to remember your program when looking for childcare or referring friends in the future.
Cut Through the Push Notification Clutter
We get notifications about everything these days – weather, news stories, sports scores, social media – whether we are interested in them or not. We’re becoming conditioned to being automatically notified via “pushed” messages, whether through social media apps like Facebook or your local news stations, and parents are starting to demand this type of connection to childcare centers and schools.
Push notifications are what make mobile apps really useful in getting parents’ attention instantly. They know they are getting a real-time look at what’s happening with their children, whether it’s an update on a picky eater, success on the potty, or a reminder about things like an upcoming school closure or special events.
Parents who are active and engaged in their childrens’ educations can quickly become evangelists for your center – and they also make for great volunteers. Field trip chaperones, classroom volunteers or that extra hand in the spring musical production are just a few clicks away with a mobile app like EZSmiles.
Because parents are busy and overwhelmed with all the other things life throws at them, they can count on parent engagement apps – like EZSmiles – to be the thing that connects them with information they will actually want, every single time. And you can count on a good mobile app to be the game-changer that helps your childcare business leap ahead of the competition.