Parent/Child Caregiver Communication- Daily Reports

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Your daycare parents are away from their child all day long.  At pick-up time they are eager to hear about their child’s adventures.  They want to know the important information that will help them make decisions in the evening.  How was their child’s appetite during the day?  How long was their nap?  What was their overall mood? Did they get outside to run around?  Parents also want to know about the little things.  Did they finger paint today? Who did they play with? What book did you read to them? What song are they learning? What craft did they make?

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In my experience, most parents would be thrilled with a play-by-play review of the whole day.  They would love to be a fly on the wall and be able to watch their child play and learn all day long. Caregivers have to juggle to find an effective way to meet the needs of the parents and the children without burning themselves out.  Long hours are a common recipe for caregiver burnout.  Child care providers already work long hours to accommodate parent’s work schedules.  If you then add-on extra hours at the end of the day for lengthy reporting/parent communication it really starts to add up.

Some caregivers choose to spend time at nap time sending emails and photos to their daycare parents.  This can get stressful after a few months because it leaves no time for the caregiver to recharge.  I’ve tried to bundle my time with reporting by doing a short daily report and then a lengthy monthly report.

At the beginning of the month, I send out the newsletter, calendar and program schedule for the month. During the month on a daily basis, I give an end of the day verbal report to the parents. At the end of the month, I send out a huge collage slide show of pictures of the children.  I also have thirty minute ‘check in’ interviews with the parents every few months where we sit down and have a chance to engage in a conversation without the child present.

All of these communication tools have helped keep my daycare parents informed and involved with their child’s daycare day.  Yet, the parents still yearn for more.  They want to be more involved in their child’s day.  They want to feel like they are at daycare, without of course, being at daycare.  Quite by accident, I stumbled upon a solution that I am very excited to share with other caregivers.  It is an on-line parent/child caregiver app for your computer or mobile device.  It is a secure and fast way to send photos and quick text posts.

It’s called Kinderloop and we’ve been using it for a while now in my home daycare.  I’m delighted at how easy it is to use and how much my daycare parents love getting photos every day.  Well, I knew they would love getting photos every day throughout the day but I wasn’t willing to make that type of time commitment.  I have caregiver friends who currently send texts and photos every day to their daycare parents and it is very time-consuming.  Plus, I have a personal rule, of not being on my phone when I am with the children.

Kinderloop app has worked well because everything is set up to make the process quick and easy for me, the caregiver.  I am happy to announce, I will be setting up a giveaway contest for Kinderloop memberships (6 months free-$100 value) for FIVE of my readers!  Tune in to my next blog post on Friday, May 24, 2013 to enter the contest and learn more about Kinderloop.   You can sign up for my newsletter on the home page to receive new blog posts as soon as they go live.  This is a great way to make sure you don’t miss any free stuff!

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Daily parent communication is a big part of being a child care provider.  Parent’s love to chat with their child’s daycare provider, who else in the world knows their child as well you do?  You have valuable insight into their child’s interests and opinions.  What a gift to be able to share a child’s new accomplishments daily.

I’d love to hear how you handle daily communication reports in your home daycare.  Please leave a comment if you would like to share!

 

Comments

  1. Great post – I’m looking forward to the one on Friday with more info on the ap. I use a daily communication binder where I jot down notes on routines and activities. I keep the binders open on my dining room table and making quick notes has become second nature. I also take pics on my phone during the week and send an email at the end of the week with 3-4 pics and brief text for each family.
    These 2 strategies limit the length of conversation & congestion at the door at pick-up, but also balances my desire to share photos with the family in a manageable way (I only use my phone as a ‘camera’ during the work day too.)
    Carol.

    • HowToDaycare says:

      Carol, that’s a great idea to use a communication binder that just stays at your house. Sort of like a communication board but more private. Since it stays at your house, it never goes missing in transit. Thanks for sharing your technique. I’m sure many new providers or experienced ones, looking to refine their current parent communication method, will find it helpful.

  2. That is awesome! I didn’t think this post was going to be about an app. Great tip for daycare. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!

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