Creating Pathways to Engaged Parents
Here at Educa we have the privilege of working with some truly fantastic preschools. Trinity Lutheran Preschool in Washington is no exception. We are so excited to have them join the Educa family. In this article they share their experiences communicating with families.
Creating Pathways to Engaged Parents at Trinity Lutheran Preschool
“Our literacy rich preschool is a joyful, busy place where children develop relationships, explore, negotiate, and learn through play.”
Trinity Lutheran Preschool - Curriculum Overview
Trinity Lutheran Preschool is a part day preschool program located in Lynnwood, Washington, USA. Full day care is provided by the Child Development Center at the same site.
Daily, the preschool and development center faced three problems all too familiar with early childhood education services.
- A lack of time for sharing information with parents at drop-off and pick-up.
- No way to make sure that important newsletters and memos were making it home for all guardians to see.
- Increasing requests by families for information to be emailed or texted .
Through introducing Educa in 2016 Trinity has overcome its’ communication challenges and educators are now seeing parent engagement growing exponentially.
We asked teacher Kimberly Vail how Educa helps Trinity Lutheran close the communication gap. "Educa provides a secure, user-friendly platform that we find ideal for educators and families. It eliminates the need to send individual emails and text messages. Newsletters and memos are now available on the Educa Dashboard. Parents get alerted and have easy online access to information."
These changes make the lives of early childhood educators easier and communication with families a two-way street. As Kimberly tells us "we think it is wonderful that we can see if parents have checked, so we know who is receiving what we send out. We especially love that we can communicate with families the amazing learning that is happening during their child’s time with us - and receive their feedback."
At Trinity Lutheran Child Development Center and Preschool, we greatly value the families we serve and are always looking for more ways to work alongside families to support and care for children. Educa is an added pathway to partner with parents and guardians.
Online Learning Stories
So far so good! Educa makes communication between educators and families easier - but what, according to Kimberly, is Educa’s best feature?
She also says “giving families a window into their child’s educational experiences while in our care is invaluable. As an educator, being able to document learning as it occurs through photos and videos has been wonderful.”
Using Educa means educators creating learning stories are happy. But what about the feedback from families?
"Parents have shared how much they enjoy the information they receive on their child and their appreciation for our work with their children. They have also commented on the convenience of having information readily available online."
Linking Learning to Curriculum
The curriculum at Trinity Lutheran Preschool and the Trinity Child Development Center is based on developmentally appropriate practice of early learning. It is designed to be experienced based through hands on activities.
Too often early childhood educators feel families don't understand the learning that is happening at preschools. With Educa, that understanding comes as educators link the curriculum to learning stories. As Kimberly explained "the curriculum feature has been a great way for us to show the value of the opportunities the children have while they are with us. Creating learning stories that connect to our curriculum allow me to communicate a child’s educational journey by showing growth, development, and opportunities available.”
Moving preschool communication online
For Kimberly, the move to one easy to use online system from many paper documents has been simple. "Once I started exploring all Educa had to offer, getting started was a painless process. We found the Educa free trial period great value for getting to know the site. We also found Free Educa Training webinars and the help center very helpful whenever a question occurred."
Finally, we asked Kimberly, to sum up in one sentence, what makes Educa invaluable for her: