August 22, 2017
As a child care and early education provider, you are a small part of a larger community with a multitude of activities and resources available to you. Using and sharing these community resources can help connect staff, families, and children to the wide array of services and opportunities available, as well as help them make connections to their culture and community.
Keeping a current list of community agencies that provide support, education, and services is a way to provide access to information and experiences that may benefit the families, children, and staff in your program. Some of those resources you may want to have available include early intervention or special education resources, job training opportunities, pediatric services, medical offices and local family support organizations. Other resources might be educational or recreational such as libraries, playgrounds, museums, fire stations, etc.
How are you sharing community resources with your families? Are you engaged on social media? Do you have an email newsletter that you send out on a regular basis? What ways have you found are the best ones to communicate with families?
One easy way to start sharing resources with your families is to start an email newsletter, using free online services such as MailChimp. You can use these services to send copy to your full email list all at once and they allow users to drag and drop text and images into a professional template without too much fuss.
These tools often times allow you to track how many readers opened your newsletter, how many people clicked on links you included, if any email addresses bounced, and if anyone unsubscribed. This helpful reporting feedback will let you know what information is most interesting to your families.
Of course, you can always create a traditional newsletter or flyer to send home with children, if you prefer, or if you have families who may not have ready access to the internet.
If you have a website, you can also share links to resources there. A calendar that includes local events and important dates is also a great way to remind families about what’s going on in the community. Your website is also a place where you can share current and past newsletters and links to social media.
We’d love to know how you are communicating with your families! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story for a chance to be featured on the Maryland EXCELS social media pages!
These tips relate to the Administrative Policies and Practices content area in the Maryland EXCELS Standards.