Drop off time can be a very busy and somewhat hectic time during a child’s day. The last images a parent may have of their child is them crying while waving goodbye to you from their classroom. These moments are heartbreaking to families who leave their children at child care all day but there are ways to support families and reassure them that their child has calmed down and truly enjoys being at daycare.
As an educator, it’s important to support families in the best way possible while making the drop off transition as quick and painless as possible. Whether returning from holidays, a weekend or the next day, coming back to their classroom can be quite difficult for children. This is especially true if they’re at a new center or returning after a long hiatus. So, how do you reassure families throughout the day that their child is having a great time despite their meltdown a few hours ago? Photos!
In this digital age, we’re very lucky to be able to send photos with a few taps or clicks and in a matter of seconds, families can receive those photos right to their personal device and ease their worried minds.
There are heaps of benefits to sending those shareable moments to families throughout the day besides giving families peace of mind. In the long run, it’ll help open two-way communication, build a solid foundation of trust (keep in mind families are leaving their most valuable thing in your care!!), and can also help track the emotional progress of children.
We’ve rounded up the top 7 most shareable moments for educators to send photos of to families. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!
Top Shareable Moments
1. After Drop Off
Drop off is easily the most challenging time for children and parents. After being home for just the weekend or 5 months, it’s hard to leave your home and family and be with a stranger or someone you haven’t seen in a long time all day. Sending families a photo of their child playing after a rough drop off will make the world of a difference to the parent’s day. Be sure to send these photos in the morning if possible to prevent parents from constantly checking in with you throughout the day.
2. During Solo/Parallel Play
Younger children often only participate in solo play (playing with a toy alone) or parallel play (playing beside a child but not engaging in play together). After a rough drop off children may seek some alone time before merging into groups or with another child. These are great photo opportunities to share with families to show that their child is independent and totally fine without them! This may be the first time the child has played alone without a friend or parent playing with them and is a great moment to capture and share their independence.
3. During Cooperative Play
Older children may participate more in cooperative play meaning they’re playing with other children and interacting with them rather than playing independently beside another child. Moments like these are great to share with families to showcase their children’s social skills and perhaps some new friends they’ve made.
4. One on One Time with their Educators
Building trust with the educators in the room in a crucial part of the child care experience. When children scream at the top of their lungs during drop off, this can leave some parents feeling sad and hesitant to leave. Share the one on one moments of an educator reading a book with their child or playing one on one to show the positive connection between educator and child despite the rough drop off.
5. Nap Time
“My child napped at daycare?! They don’t even nap at home!” Seeing really is believing- send those precious photos of their sleeping child during nap time right to their mobile device with a few taps. Photos like these show families that their child is comfortable enough to fall asleep at the center and also how exhausted they are from playing all morning!
6. Circle time
Another win to show families- circle time. Some parents may be convinced that there is no possible way their child sat nicely for circle time for 15 minutes. Show them the power of group influence with a photo from circle time. Plus, if the child has been struggling to sit for long periods of time during circle time, documenting their progress throughout the year will be something you’ll be able to look back and reflect on all the progress they’ve made!
7. Outdoor play
Take advantage of those rainy, puddle jumping days with some candid photos outside. Photos of their smiling child jumping in puddles and getting messy is sure to bring a smile to any parents face on a gloomy day.
Now that you have an idea of some of the important moments throughout the day to snap a photo to share with families, here’s how you can share them:
How to Share Photos
Using an App
Quite frankly the easiest way to share photos is through an app. Snap the photo, upload it from the tablet to the app, and click “send” to the relevant families. Really with 3 taps on a screen, you can change someone’s day- how powerful is that? No more finding the digital camera, taking a photo, finding a moment to sit at a computer to upload the photo to the computer, then to the email, then finding the parent’s email, then sending it, then constantly checking for a reply. Those days are over and communication apps like HiMama are here to stay, making shareable moments more accessible.
We’ve got the basics covered of when and how to share photos with families. Here’s a few more things to keep in mind before you say lights, camera, action!
Take Candid and Posed Photos
Candid photos show authenticity in the moment but posed photos can be just as valuable. See two children playing dress-up together? Snap a candid photo of their play and ask to take a photo of them posed- equally as adorable and the children will love posing for the camera. Just keep in mind that asking children to pose for photos may interrupt play so be mindful of this to minimize the disruption during their play.
Include a Quote
A picture is worth a thousand words, and adding a quote with the photo- whether adorable, interesting or downright hilarious- adds so much more!
Avoid Photo Fatigue
All this talk about photos may leave parents expecting photos all day every day. As educators, our time should be spent with the children and not creating photo albums. There’s no way around it, taking too many photos takes away from important time with the children.
We know it’s tempting to send families many photos throughout the day (parents may even try to demand it!). But trust us, resist this temptation. Parents will eventually experience photo fatigue; or worse, the novelty of new photos may wear off completely.
If you do plan on taking photos and sending them, let parents know beforehand in case any parent is uncomfortable with their child being photographed.
Share your success stories with us in the comments below on how sharing photos and videos with families has helped you!