Successful communication between parents and my team is vitally important because it also has an effect on your child's development.
This is why I encourage a culture of cooperation and continuous communiation exchange between childminder and parent through various means.
I communicate with parents in numerous ways, including diaries, learning journals, emails, texts, parents whatsapp group, telephone calls and person to person chats. Parents also have play dates amongst themselves when the children aren't here, which adds to or strong sense of community and frendships. I try to accommodate everyone, using whichever medium they prefer.
I am happy for parents to call me at home, but I do offer calls in the evenings if they have any pressing issues. The settling in process can mean there may be few more phone calls, but this is normal and it passes once things settle down.
I use email to make any changes clear. I ask parents to email any differences in their routines or any holiday dates to me so I can make sure we don’t miss anything. This helps to make sure I am flexible, as I can rearrange my diary and get back to people quickly. I also use email to send monthly invoices from our babyday's software.
- Learning Journals
We create a folder on Baby's Day's that all parents can login to, for children aged 0 months - 5 years which follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) structure in the child's development. We look closey at their starting points with a brief outline of their experiences so far, so that we can all see consistent progression and we can discuss all the children have done whilst in our care, which reinforces all we do with them. We print a hard copy of a summmary every 2 months showing their progression and highlighting any issues.
- Parents whatsapp group
We use this for quick breif messages to all parents, if there is snow on the roads, we are having a picnic in the park and parents need to pick up from there and any holidays and reminders. We also create a seprate parents whatsapp group for any private messages regarding the children. whatsapp is more relaibe as the signal is so bad in Little Gaddesden.
We Love Instagram!!
We take pictures all day long of all the children doing all sorts of things. They are not meant to be portraits but more to give you an idea of all the fun we have. All our parents log on daily and adore the pictures. I follow no one and we only accept parents and family to follow us. It's a great way to share with extended family what we are up to. It also really helps with the settling in process which you can share with your children and talk about "Sarah's house" creating firmer bonds. You also get to know their friends and who they are playing with.