With school closures throughout the country, Early Learning and Childcare is no exception to the new normal of social distancing in the wake of COVID-19. This can leave us feeling isolated, lonely and overwhelmed, which is why it is important to stay connected to your families and staff, perhaps now more than ever.
With our routine face-to-face interactions currently on pause, we are all turning to other modes of communication to stay connected. Smartcare’s messaging functionality can help by making it easy to reach your families and staff via mass email and text messaging.
Here are some suggested topics to stay connected with parents and teachers:
- Confirmed cases / exposure to coronavirus
- Closure notifications
- Closure extensions
- Planned re-opening dates
- Availability of emergency care for essential workers
- Billing impact for families
- Payroll impact for employees
- Accessing meals for those who qualify for free & reduced
- Facility sanitizing efforts
- Accessing activities to help keep children engaged at home
Outside of all the critical details and updates, your families and staff will undoubtedly appreciate you checking in, saying hello and letting them know you miss them and that you can’t wait to welcome them back when it is deemed safe to do so. Whether you are distributing critical information or simply sharing a virtual smile or hug, it’s only a few clicks away with Smartcare.
You may find yourself asking “should I use email, text or both?”. To some degree, this is a matter of personal preference, or what you’ve found to be the preference of your clients (if you’ve been fortunate enough to identify the majority population).
Here are some things to consider and guide you:
- Text messaging tends to be delivered and opened / read faster than email. If your message is both urgent and brief, text is sure to be effective; a good example is a school closure notification.
- If your message is less urgent in nature &/or requires providing a greater amount of detail, email is more efficient; an example might be changes to billing and payment policies and procedures.
- With both functionalities easily accessible in Smartcare, it never hurts to utilize both; is there such a thing as over communicating, especially in times of crisis?
Here are some tips to help you maximize the benefits of messaging in Smartcare:
- Identify and reach your target audience. Use of filters, such as classroom or tuition plan, allows you to deliver each message to the intended population (and eliminates cluttering the inbox of others).
- Need to drill down deeper? No problem! Smartcare allows you the flexibility to create and assign ‘custom fields’ or ‘tags’ to identify and reach any audience you need to. Some relevant examples include:
- Children enrolled for “emergency care”
- Children who receive free or reduced meals
- Create and utilize templates in Smartcare to help you save time for frequent communications, such as weekly newsletters.
Staying connected with your clients is ever more critical during these challenging and changing times; Smartcare is here to help you get the job done with ease and efficiency.