8 easy ways nursery software helps to build parent relationships
We are in the age of technology and convenience. Gone are the days of the internet dial-up tone and sending letters home to parents. Nursery software has enabled early years settings to stay current when communicating with parents. But, surely face-to-face interaction is more beneficial for building parent relationships? Not necessarily.
We share eight easy ways nursery management software helps to build effective partnerships – sometimes even more so than in-person communication.
How to make nursery software work for your early years setting
What is nursery management software?
Nursery management software is a program or app that brings together some or all of a nursery’s day-to-day administration. This can include payroll, registration, safeguarding, invoicing and payments, managing enquiries and more. The larger nursery management software providers also include a simpler version for parents to communicate with their child’s nursery.
What is Blossom?
Blossom is one of the UK’s leading nursery management software platforms, and managers and owners love it. Created by early years practitioners, Blossom has no lengthy contracts (no contract at all, in fact) and is easy to use. Practitioners, parents and managers can access multiple features to help improve children’s outcomes, build positive home-nursery relationships and have total visibility of the nursery’s profitability and efficiency.
Want to learn more about Blossom’s features? Contact their UK-based customer support team for more information.
Why are parent relationships important?
Take yourself back to your school days and remember your favourite teacher. Can you remember any of the educational content they taught you? Unlikely. But what you may remember is how they made you feel due to a strong working relationship. The importance of having strong parent-nursery relationships can’t be underestimated.
Some parents might be struggling with mental health and isolation. Nursery settings may be the only adult communication a parent has, it can be a lifeline for networking and support.
A strong working relationship with parents can help nurseries provide the best possible care for the child. When parents and practitioners gel, difficult conversations surrounding potential SEND identification, behaviour and concerns, become trustworthy and without judgment. Retaining your nursery families helps to increase your profitability and boost parent partnerships.
Nursery management software is an excellent and often unused tool to build these relationships. It can be thought that face-to-face interaction is the only way to build parent-practitioner relationships. Although it is always beneficial to have in-person communication, it is not always the most effective way to build relationships with all parents.
How to use nursery software to build strong parent relationships
Knowing the why behind choosing to build relationships through your nursery management software makes the difference between having software for the sake of it, and having intentionality and strategy.
When Ofsted visits, they look for clear intent behind everything you do in your nursery. How has the early years curriculum been chosen? How do you select the CPD journey your practitioners follow? Your nursery software is no different.
Knowing why you have chosen to build relationships with parents through nursery software ensures you choose the correct package and provider to meet your needs.
Give them timely access
Nursery software gives parents more timely access to key workers and other nursery staff. Historically, if parents had a query for the nursery, they would have to catch somebody at drop-off or pick-up, ring through the nursery day or wait.
With the improvement in digital communications (especially post-lockdown), parents can ask questions immediately via a Parent App. This accessibility helps to improve relationships as small queries can be quickly answered, avoiding practitioners having to manage angry or frustrated parents due to a minor issue building over time.
Some parents may never drop off or pick up their child from the nursery, depending on working patterns and routines. They are missing vital interaction with key worker staff. Nursery software helps parents stay in touch with the nursery team, allowing in-app communication to build trust and relationships.
Offer modern communication methods
It’s estimated that 98% of adults in the UK have a smartphone. Accessing media like images and videos of their child via nursery software Parent Apps is now commonplace. Nurseries with high levels of parent engagement help to communicate in methods that suit their families. Visual representation of golden milestones and a window into the nursery day is often preferred by parents rather than a text run-down of their child’s day.
Avoid the ‘parent guilt’
Have you heard the term ‘parent guilt’? The term is used for parents who feel guilty for missing key moments with their children due to life demands. They may feel they don’t spend enough time with their child due to working or have missed key moments as their child was at nursery. If parents can see how much fun, learning and opportunities their child experiences with you in the nursery, the ‘parent guilt’ can be eased.
Allow routines to continue
Many parents have a tracking app for their child to monitor how long they have slept, when they are due their next bottle and when nappies are changed. Sending their child to nursery can alter these routines.
Access to online child diaries through nursery software can help parents maintain their routine, having total transparency on what has been logged during their time in the nursery.
Support all family structures
All families are unique. Some parents may be separated, living apart or even deployed overseas. Online nursery software helps to build those all-important relationships with every family structure. Ensure you choose software that allows multiple family members to access the child’s learning journal.
Having safety as a top priority and only allowing agreed access (which can be removed at any time), it is useful to bring separated families together to celebrate the child’s achievements at nursery.
Give parents confidence
Nursery settings are often the first place where children are trusted to stay (except for immediate family and close friends). Leaving the welfare and care in someone else’s hands naturally creates feelings of fear and anxiety. Giving parents a window into the nursery day helps to build confidence in practitioners’ knowledge and interactions with the child.
Knowing a child’s likes and dislikes is important. Practitioners should keep on top of their favourite toys, programmes and films as this can help to build child-practitioner relationships. How can practitioners be expected to know this important information without having in-depth conversations with each family regularly?
Online child profiles that parents and practitioners can edit help to bridge the communication gap, keeping the child at the forefront of communication. The importance of knowing that Paw Patrol has overtaken Bluey can’t be underestimated.
Encourage active parent involvement
Parents can feel left out when their child embarks on their nursery journey. Encouraging parents and families to stay involved helps to build a feeling of belonging and builds strong relationships. The ability for parents to log home observations helps build a bigger picture of confidence and the application of skills for children – making them feel a part of the child’s success.
How to make nursery software work for your early years setting
There are several factors to consider when choosing or changing your nursery software provider. Here is a list of prompting questions to get you started:
- Does my current system or provider help me to engage with parents easily?
- Do I know why I have chosen my software provider, or is it ‘just because’?
- Are my parents actively involved with nursery life?
- Do working parents get event reminders and calendar invites?
- Are multiple family members encouraged to engage with the child’s progress?
- Can parents feel included and involved in their child’s learning progress?
- Are the children’s files safely secured under GDPR-compliant regulations?
- Where is the data stored?
- For example, with Blossom all data is stored with Amazon Web Services, centred in Ireland
Nursery management software is a valuable tool that can include all parents in the success and excitement of nursery life. For more information about pricing, packages and features that will help your early years setting thrive, contact their UK-based support team for more information.