The ABC of parental involvement - Parents involvement

A few years ago, at ABC Childcare we used to spend a lot of time photocopying and printing documentation for 130 children.

We used to print one month’s paperwork per room at a time. We printed sleep sheets, day sheets, food records, nappy changing sheets, observation sheets and planning sheets… I believe many other managers agree with me, this is very time consuming.

On top of all these printing, all these records had to be filed and stored afterwards (we have very little storage space!)

Parental involvement was not as strong as we wanted.

They only saw a snippet of their child’s day upon collection in the evening. Parents would have very little communication throughout the day.

That’s when we decided to adopt an online platform that would allow us to:

  • Improve communication so that parents know more about their child’s day
  • Involve parents in their child’s learning and development
  • Have a record of photographs and activities
  • Cut down on the amount of paper and resources being used

We looked into some options available in the market and finally choose ChildDiary.

It was an simple decision as it is very intuitive and easy-to-use. We implemented it smoothly, without any issues!

The ABC of parental involvement - Parents involvement

How did it benefit ABC Childcare?

After 1 year working with ChildDiary, I can say that we improved our practices and the communication with the families:

  • Takes less time doing the same documentation
  • Much less paperwork
  • All the children records are organized and in the same place
  • Gives a clear picture of all the activities we do
  • Children’s development can be tracked easily

As a manager, I highlight some benefits of working with ChildDiary:

  • Less work for us overall, no printing etc… it was very time consuming!
  • When an inspector comes in, we can bring all the records in the office so there is no need for them to go from room to room
  • I can check up on daily routines (attendance, food intake, …) from the office if a parent has a concern
  • We can send messages to all the parents using a single tool

What do staff and parents say?

When I asked the staff about how did ChildDiary improved their lives, the answer is clear:

  • They have more time with children because it takes less time doing the documentation
  • Communication with parents is improved
  • Observations linked to the curriculum are so much faster
  • Finally, pictures are shared instantly and securely

Now, parents are the ones who tell us every day how much they love this tool.

A parent recently told me that she really missed her child … And you know why? She did not receive any photos as we were having the building wired for Wi-Fi. Parents absolutely love this tool!

Parents love being informed about their child’s routine and learning journey. We often get messages saying a picture has made their day!

For all these reasons, I feel ChildDiary is beneficial to parents, staff, management and inspectors and it’s hard to imagine life in childcare without it now!

Jessica Kenworthy

Manager in ABC Childcare, Cork

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