Working in the child care business means working in a very fast pace environment where information is constantly changing and misconstrued as it goes down the chain of command. This constant change of information makes communicating with your staff quickly get out of control, leaving you and your staff feeling unorganized and left out of the loop.
Efficient and effective communication with your staff is essential to ensure you and your team are running a successful childcare business. Thankfully due to technology, communicating with staff is easier than ever. However, as with all new technology, these new forms of communication come with flaws that sometime outshine their advantages. Email inboxes are constantly overflowing with small day to day issues that need to be addressed between staff.
Here are 5 of the top communication apps you and your team should try today!
This app allows team communication to be done quickly in one place. The admin of the Slack account can create as many different categorized channels and add as many staff members to those as they want. For example, there might be a General Information channel where announcements are made that pertain to all staff members, then there is a Leadership channel that is only used for communication between the owner, directory, assistant direction and ect. Additionally, every staff member has their own individual channel where they can send and receive messages to and from any other team member that has their Slack account set up. This allows for quick communications to happen between staff, such as a teacher being informed of a change of pickup time for Sammy that day.
Slack also is great for sharing documents within chats. It allows for many cloud based document storing integrations to be used and Dropbox, making sharing files quick and easy. Also, if you ever forget which channel a file was shared in you don’t have to worry – there is a search box where you can run a keyword search for what you are looking for. The search box will pull any related files and messages sent within Slack from all channels. Additionally, there is a call feature that allows you to call or video chat any Slack user in your workspace. However, you cannot video conference with more than two users at once unless you have a paid plan.
Cost: Their $0 plan should have everything you are looking for to get started, but their other plans charge $6.67 or $12.50 per active user per month.
This app also works great for setting up meetings with parents who can’t get away from the office to chat in person, online tours, conducting first round interviews with potential employees, and livestreaming webinars. Most people already have a Google account, so Google Hangouts is easily accessible for them, and if not all they have to do is make one to get started.
Cost: There is also no cost for Google Hangouts. The only time a fee is ever associated is when trying to make international phone calls to landlines.
Cost: $0 or $4.50 per licensed user per month (child care businesses probably only need the free version of this app).
Cost: Starting at $5.00 per month and can go up to $12.50 per month depending on your needs (all annual commitments).
Monday is a space where planning, tracking, and collaborating can happen all in one place. Smaller schools might not need an app like this to help them stay organized, but for larger schools this will help everyone to stay updated on projects and understand what everyone is working on. Their application features timelines that are filled in by employees.This creates an overview of who is working on what and when, ensuring that all projects are mapped out within your staff so all projects are completed. Although this is another app that isn’t ideal for quick day to day communications, because it allows each employee to see what the other is working on it does significantly help employees see how their individual efforts come together to accomplish a greater goal and increases team productivity.
Additionally, some features that make Monday stand out from the rest is how customizable it is – every aspect of a project or task created can be customized. It also allows for DropBox and Google Drive integrations and lets you copy and paste from Adobe (very helpful when creating marketing materials and wanting feedback from your staff). Just like the other applications previously mentioned, it is also completely searcharble and able to have tagged conversations between employees.
Cost: Starting at $25.00 per month and can go up to $118 per month (billed annually) depending on your needs, although their $39.00 a month plan is probably the sweet spot for child care businesses.
If your child care business uses any of these team communication apps or any that were not mentioned, comment below and tell us what you think of them!