Millennial parents are said to be more involved than generations before and what they need most is instant communication. They want to know what their child is learning at school, what they ate for snack, who they played with, when they slept, and most of all, that their child was loved. It is important to share verbally at drop off and pick up, but the fastest way to communicate is electronically or visually.
At our centers, we use a program called HiMama to communicate and share information electronically. Parents can check in via their smart phone or computer to see updates throughout the day. We can share photos, and input everything about their day, and that report will get emailed directly to the parents each evening. We can also use HiMama to share information about upcoming events, classroom needs, etc. It is a very useful tool!
In addition to HiMama, we love all the ways that Mother Goose Time provides for instant visual communication with parents. There are pieces that are sent home daily explaining our work, things that are hung in the classroom and hallways… Let us count the ways!
- Theme Web and Skills Chart Each month in our curriculum kit, there is a Concept Map and Skills Chart to show what we will be learning and what Early Childhood Standards we will be meeting throughout the month.
- Activity Calendar We hang the Activity Calendar at the Sign-In Desk so Parents can see the plan for the day.
- Family Newsletter
Each month, we receive a copy of the family newsletter for each child. There is information about what we will be learning during the month, a child development topic, a copy of the Theme Web, and some fun song/rhyme and book recommendations to support what we are learning. Having this resource communicates to parents about what is happening at school and the value of their continued support from home. It also saves our staff from having to take the time to prepare such comprehensive materials.
- Daily NotesWe love this new addition to the curriculum kit! Everyone who has been around small children has received a lovely piece of artwork and had no idea what it was, or why/how it was made. These cards communicate to parents what the work was all about and provide a prompt for parents to engage with their child about the work. These go home daily with the child’s work and are such an amazing tool!
- Daily Topic Poster and the Circle Time BoardThis display is such a helpful and engaging tool in the classroom, but it also communicates to parents how much learning is really taking place each day. There is space for the Theme Poster and the things we practice daily, such as the calendar, letter, numbers, days of the week, weather, shapes and colors. The calendar follows a different pattern each month, so even the calendar work itself is academic. One of the best pieces, however, is the Daily Topic Poster. This shows parents and children what our focus is for that particular day. It helps begin our discussion at circle time, assess what the children already know or wonder, and the pictures are always wonderful. Some of our teachers have been cutting apart the Topic posters and making a large wall collage of the pictures throughout the month. Once again, having these comprehensive materials prepared saves so much time and is invaluable to the teachers.