Let's be honest: nobody knows how long Covid-19 will be among us. This uncertainty affects both parents and nurseries.
Parents who have decided to take their children back to a nursery want to be instantly notified of any outbreaks. The problem is that not all nurseries have apps with this function, which causes severe concerns among parents.
Safety isn't the only concern: effective communication between nurseries and parents is crucial. Usually, nurseries contact parents by phone, but phone calls are not entirely reliable these days. It's easy for parents to miss a call if they're busy working or caught up in online meetings. Others won't pick up calls from unknown numbers. But app notifications are always visible and non-intrusive.
The takeaway message is that nurseries that don't adopt the latest communications technology to communicate will miss out on new enrolments. Pre-pandemic ways of communicating don't cut it anymore and aren't enough to keep parents reassured. Only nurseries that offer parents what they want (under reasonable circumstances, of course) can be successful in a post-pandemic world.
A personal story:
My son's nursery uses an app, and I'm confident that I'll be notified straight away if there's ever a problem. I usually don't answer calls when I'm busy working, but I always see instant notifications.
I've spoken with many parents, and they're all saying the exact same thing. We all want more reassurance. We need to know that our kids are safe outside our homes. We want more control over the procedures too. I will only choose to go to work if I know that my child's welfare is the nursery's number one priority and that they will contact me instantly if something happens.
Nurseries have done a great job of keeping things clean and complying with Covid protocols. But if something goes wrong, we want to be contacted immediately in an effective way.
Communication: The importance of context
With Parents not allowed in the setting, they're going to be stressed, especially first time parents dropping off their child after a long lay off or for the first time ever, and they can't even walk in the door!
There's a lot of stress that happens for parents - even if it's their third kid and they've been in school for a while.
Parents always want to know what's going on.
What we would like to do here at Nursery Story is to allow parents to feel like they're involved without having to be in the room. Before Covid, as we know when parents pick up or drop off children, this time is so often used as face to face check-in/debrief session that keeps parents and staff on the same page, and now this is no longer the case, and teachers do not have the time for these debrief sessions.
There are a lot of situations that call for direct communication between parents and staff. Suppose your child falls and scrapes his knee, how do we communicate to parents that he fell, but he's doing all right? On this case you can send a message saying that, the child fell and scraped his knee and then you can also send his parents an image or a video of him puckering up a smile, getting a little tougher and showing he's ok.
Going over that context gives a huge amount of peace of mind to parents, rather than just A PHONE CALL appearing while they're in a work meeting with the caller ID saying it's from your school. Which is liable to give them a heart attack and they might not even be able to answer the phone.
So it's really good to be able to not only communicate quickly but to give important context. So the parents can react appropriately.
Embracing technology to improve communication
Having instant communication with the nursery is the only way parents can make their own decisions if a Covid outbreak happens. And having the Nursery Story app with instant messaging will help reassure parents. Nurseries also benefit from less admin work, so staff have more time to devote to the children's learning process.
The Nursery Story app meet educational, communication, and procedural needs. Using it allows nurseries to do what they do best: providing a safe and stimulating learning environment. Not only that, it delivers what parents want: instant and transparent communication. The result is higher engagement and stable enrolment figures.
Check this article to learn more about the best practices for smooth communication between nurseries and parents in case we have to go back to homeschooling again!