Like so many nurseries and schools, Little Oaks Nursery in Spalding was looking for an easy way to communicate quickly and effectively with families. They were all too familiar with an endless ream of letters being sent home and emails to parents that went unopened!
Jen Holmes, manager at Little Oaks, was looking for a simple solution to improve communications with parents, save on staff admin time and cut down on printing costs. ConnectUs’ School App for Parents looked as if it could be the answer but, for self-confessed technophobe Jen, using an app seemed a bit daunting at first. After a short walkthrough with ConnectUs trainer, Robin, Jen saw how easy it would be to use and took out a subscription.
Vital information, sent in an instant
Since launching the app at their nursery, Little Oak has used it to send important information out to all parents, quickly and easily.
‘The app was essential a few years ago when we had heavy snow and needed to close the building unexpectedly. We had to get all the little ones sent home safely before they got snowed in! It’s also been excellent for sending out reminders for things such as 30-hour code validations and returning funding declarations.’
Staff can also post key dates such as charity events, fundraisers, trips out and the all-important term dates which has saved them from being bombarded with calls asking, ‘When’s the last day of nursery again?!’
Clear communication during COVID-19 closures
Since March, the constant review of COVID-19 guidance has meant that the ever-changing arrangements have needed to be disseminated quickly and clearly to families.
Jen says: ‘I really don’t know how we would have been able to do this without the app! We do have a public Facebook page, but sometimes we haven’t wanted things that weren’t specific to our families, being seen by everybody.‘
Little Oak Nursery has not only used the app to communicate key changes but also to deliver content during closures. They published activity plans, pictures and ideas for the different age groups in-line with what would have been in their curriculum so that families could still support children with learning new skills and mastering existing ones. They even shared videos of staff telling stories and singing songs and rhymes to keep things familiar for the children. ‘We’ve received so many lovely emails back from parents,’ said Jen, ‘with photos or videos from the children. It has been a really amazing way to keep in touch with everyone.’
Jen Holmes says she would recommend the ConnectUs School App for Parents to any educational establishment where high-level parent engagement is necessary. ‘It’s easy to use, the support team are always accessible by phone or live chat, and it has contributed to our professionalism as well as cutting costs on admin and office supplies. The biggest bonus by far has been for parents to receive important information and updates as swiftly as possible and to have them to refer to by having them on their phone. I’m not quite sure how we could’ve got through the last few months without it!’
If you would like to see how the ConnectUs School App for Parents can transform your parent communications, simply request a free demo here.