Going Mobile: Using Technology to Drive Parent Engagement

Parent Engagement Mobile App

Today’s parents are always on-the-go, and anything that fits into how we 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.  Sending kids off to school gets easier with each passing year, but for preschool families, this process can be gut-wrenching, to say the least. 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 device throughout the day. This is a great way to keep your families looped in and increase parent engagement in daily activities.


Establish an Unforgettable Emotional Connection

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.

how to increase parent engagement

Keep parents connected and engaged with these tips!

After all, many children of working parents spend more waking hours of their days with their childcare providers or teachers than they do at home. Keeping parents involved throughout the day, even from afar, does wonders to contribute to meaningful and lasting relationships, whether its a snapshot of children at play or listening attentively in a reading circle, a video of a sing-along or the creation of a masterpiece in art class – all of these things help parents feel connected.

Using mobile technology to provide real-time updates to parents can keep parents from experiencing that FOMO – fear of missing out – and is an excellent way to make the relationship between parents and childcare centers more meaningful.


Communication is Key to Helping Parents Stay Engaged, Organized and Informed

mobile notifications

Your staff needs a way to communicate quickly and effectively with parents about important happenings like potties, napping and eating habits, without spending hours filling out paper forms or having lengthy conversations to fill in parents during a hectic pick-up time.

Transitioning all messaging between your center and parents to a mobile app is an excellent way to make sure parents are consistently updated with basic information like student enrollment times, reminders for holiday activities, field trips, and facility closures, and even changes to important school policies. Mobile technology offers parents and schools the ability to communicate instantly.

Push notifications are what make mobile apps really useful to get parents’ attention instantly. We’re all conditioned now 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. Mobile technology links schools and parents on a much more immediate and instant level, and this increased involvement is beneficial to everyone involved.


Accommodate Diversity with a Parent Engagement App

According to the Pew Research Group, 85% of parents own mobile phones, and 97% of parents live in households where at least one family member has a mobile device. That alone makes electronic communications from your childcare center, preschool or aftercare program a practical, accessible and convenient way to reach parents across a broad spectrum of financial and cultural backgrounds.

While the number of adults with cell phone access may not come as a surprise in this day and age, did you know that reliance on mobile technology for email and internet access is even higher among families in low income neighborhoods? In the Pew study, nearly 20% of adults in the US indicated they do not have broadband access at home and have few options for getting online other than their cell phones, even at work. This means that, in order to receive notifications or invoices from your childcare center or preschool, these parents have to use their mobile phones. A mobile app such as EZSmiles, which is a free download for parents with both Android and iOS devices, gives them instant access to any messages and reminders you send.

Language barriers can provide another hitch in communication between childcare centers and parents. For example, if you aren’t bilingual and you’re trying to communicate potty and snack time updates with a Spanish-speaking parent, an app like EZSmiles that offers English to Spanish translation may be just the ticket to bridging communication gaps and avoiding misunderstandings.

parent payments 

Make it Easy for Parents to Pay with a Mobile App

Parents are busy, and oftentimes, they are also tired. It comes with the job description, between getting everyone up and out the door, working a full day, getting kids to extracurricular activities, helping with homework, making dinner, and the bedtime rituals filled with infinite compromises. At the end of the day, who can remember to log in to a computer, check their childcare tuition balance, and make a payment? In fact, who has the energy?

A mobile app that works with your childcare management software can allow parents to click to view accounts and make payments while standing in line for coffee or idling in the bleachers at basketball practice. This convenience leads to more parents paying on time, and that provides a big boost to your cash flow and your childcare business overall.


Parents love updates. End of story. They love information that helps them feel connected to their little ones and makes it easier to communicate with you and your staff. Let today’s busy parents keep a window into your childcare center at their fingertips – your parents AND your bottom line will thank you for it!

Give parents something to talk about with these shareable memories they’ll love.

Written by: Wendy Young on Sep 19 19

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