The COVID-19 pandemic has made businesses around the world question their current strategies, especially childcare centres.It's important to not lose touch of your families at this time, but rather to maintain strong and consistent communication with those who are both coming to your centre and staying at home.
What to communicate to families:
Keep families updated as much as you can. There are a lot of moving pieces during COVID-19 with changing fees, restrictions, and processes, but families want to hear from you first. Your centre is the source of truth that they trust. Make sure to send regularly scheduled update emails to families and include your contact information at the bottom in the event they have questions or concerns. Although it may seem like extra work, offering sympathy and attention to your enrolled families now will create long-lasting loyalty and benefit your centre in the long run. Your centre is a second home to them – don't forget that!
Although your centre might be restricted to a certain number of children or families at a time, it’s still open and running. Families love to hear children are still learning and progressing in their development. Send out a monthly newsletter and include any news that can support the centre’s local community. For example, maybe the fruit store down the road is giving away bags of apples during the lockdown or the doctor’s clinic is offering later opening hours. This is the perfect way to let your families know – you are still there and encourage higher engagement by delivering real value as a community support resource.
Learning at Home
Even some families aren’t coming into your centre, children are still eager to learn and experience new things. Provide resources and activities families can be doing at home to encourage the continuation of learning and development. When families and children come back to the centre, they will be able to keep up with the other children that have been coming to the centre in terms of education.
Words of encouragement
Encouraging words may seem small, but they can go a long way. During this time, families might not be able to see an end to the restrictions and lockdowns. This can be very discouraging and concerning for new families or first-time parents, in particular. Any words of encouragement, through text, email, or even a short phone call will help ease concerns they may have about coming back to the centre.
Don’t leave communicating with families on the bottom of your to-do list. Make sure you are letting them know you are here to support them and be a guiding hand if they need one. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of communication this all requires, take advantage of ChildcareCRM’s email and text templates to make automating communications even easier for you and your team members!
Pikka Turangan is an experienced marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the childcare industry. She is highly skilled in communications, copywriting, marketing strategy, campaign management, and event management. Pikka received her Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) with a focus in Marketing from Queensland University of Technology. She serves as the Marketing Manager for ChildcareCRM's Australian market.