Find out how LittleLives can help you can save time and keep your families informed during COVID-19.

With COVID-19 conditions changing from time to time, it is vital to keep families informed and updated, whether your school is open, in the process of reopening, or choosing not to for risk of future closure.

As children's safety is of utmost importance to families, schools can help ease any concerns by having frequent and transparent communications. This will provide a peace of mind and reassurance to families that their child is well taken care of in your school. As a matter of fact, proactive communication reduces back-and-forth questions and misunderstandings in the future.

Here are some pointers to help you manage your school's communications clearly and professionally with your families.

1. Information that parents need to know

Changes will take place and as a school operator, it is very important to ensure all staff and families are on the same page. This can help to avoid confusion for everyone and run your school smoothly with new regulations.

Below are some examples of the changes in daily procedures that parents need to be aware of:

- Check-in and out process and locations

- Staggered starting and closing hours

- Changes in mealtimes

- Class sizes and learning spaces

- Visitor policies

- Regular sanitisation of materials

- Safety measurements and social distancing rules

Likewise, you can also offer further advice on anything you expect families to do at home or before arriving at school. This could include:

- Physical affection such as hugs and kisses at home

- Prepare and bring homemade meals

- Sanitise all equipment and stationery

- Reminders on practicing healthy habits

Be as transparent as possible, especially with regard to what your school is doing to provide the best care and compliant to the latest regulations. While it may seem repetitive, it will definitely help to maintain a close relationship with families.

2. Include an explanation in your update

Families can be easily overwhelmed when there is too much information and new regulations. Thus, it is best to provide clear and concise context for why you are implementing changes as it directly involves the safety of their children.

By providing an explanation, you show that you have done your due diligence on the latest recommendations and regulations. Due to the ever-changing nature of COVID-19, parents sometimes miss out on new guidelines or may have misunderstandings with changes at the school. The explanation along with the updates will help them better understand where you are coming from and at the same time, establish a healthy and trusting relationship between home and school.

3. Document all updates where families can easily access them

There are various ways you can share updates with your families. From handing out print-outs, pasting notices on noticeboards to sharing online documents, parents have indefinite resources.

If it is physical copy, you can place them into the child's logbook or bag and remind them to inform their parents about it. On the other hand, if it is an online document, ensure that families always have access to view the document so that when you add new information, they can easily read it.

If you are using LittleLives, you can safely store and effortlessly send out Broadcast messages and announcements to parents, with links and downloadable attachments. They will receive them via the Little Family Room app, and can easily access them whenever.

4. Maintain a positive and encouraging tone in your updates

These are odd times and it affects everyone differently. As a school operator, it is important to consider the tone and way you convey messages to families. Whether they are online messages or face-to-face communications, having a positive attitude while prioritising healthy habits will make families more comfortable.

As a suggestion, you can attach a happy-go-lucky video or a funny image in your next update to have a little fun. One way to show that your teachers are working hard to provide a clean and safe environment is to record a behind-the-scenes video and ask them to say a few words.

These additional efforts can convey a genuine emotion and comforting tone that most online messages cannot.

Here are some resources that you can refer to:

  1. Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools by unicef
  2. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tips for Teachers and Childcare Providers by KidsHealth
  3. Welcome Back to School by The Nurturing Heim and LittleLives

LittleLives is a school management software provider for over 1000 preschools across the world in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand and Canada. Our holistic school management system was built to simplify the tedious and complex administrative processes of preschools. The human connection is at the heart of everything we do – it drives our mission to make an impact on every aspect of school.

Find out more about us at www.littlelives.com.