1. Create a simple layout and be consistent each month
Parents love email newsletters because they make them feel connected to their child’s daily activities. However, they also tend to feel overwhelmed by very long newsletters or busy layouts. Keep the layout simple, organized and consistent. For example, make sure that the lunch menu and classroom activities are the same spot every month. We’ll publish some downloadable child care and preschool newsletter templates soon (in the meantime, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want one!)
2. Brand your preschool newsletter so it has your name and color scheme
Your preschool should have a brand, just like any business. You should have colors, a motto and even a mascot. Make sure your newsletter reflects your preschool’s brand.
3. Be sure to keep your child care newsletter brief – 2 pages maximum
Again, parents get overwhelmed by lengthy child care email newsletters and may stop reading. If they don’t read through the whole thing, they may miss out on important information so keep the newsletter short and only highlight the most important information, updates, etc.
4. Include a calendar of upcoming events so your parents are aware
The types of events that you should list in your preschool email newsletter might be picture day, parents date night, or even show and tell. That depends on your child care center or preschool. A calendar is the easiest way to organize the information and can be hung on the refrigerator at home for quick reference.
5. Include photos (parents like to see their children in action!)
Parents simply can’t get enough pictures of their kids and your email newsletter is a great place to showcase what the kids in your child care program have been up to (bonus if they’re having fun while doing an educational activity!)
6. Include a menu of snacks/meals so parents know what their kids are eating
It’s no mystery that parents want to know what their kids are eating while they’re at your child care center. Give them a rundown of the daily menu and try to include some nutrition tips for home. If you’re a home-based family child care provider (or preschool), let parents know if your meals are home-cooked, they usually love that!
7. Put child care policy reminders on the front page
Child care or preschool policy reminders are very important and should be put on the front page where they cannot be missed.
8. Include highlights from that month
Any news from staff or any accomplishments from the students should be showcased in your newsletter. Let parents know if any of your teachers participated in trainings, for example. Listing the milestones that each child met (if you have a small enrollment) is another great idea. Also, be sure to highlight what the kids have learned in the past month and what they will be learning in the upcoming month.
9. Include a promotion for parent referrals
Your child care newsletters is a great place for promotional information. Let parents know that you are running deals or ask for their help in getting referrals to other parents. Offer them a discount or some other incentive for their help.
10. Encourage parents and staff to be involved in the newsletter
Be open to ideas from the staff. Be sure that they have the opportunity to share news from their classrooms and ask them for feedback on the child care newsletter format and so on. In addition, foster the feeling of family by telling parents that they can feel free to share important information with the rest of the parents through your newsletter.
11. Include interesting facts/tips for parents.
As an early childhood educator, you have learned a lot and might be able to help new parents. Tips could include:
- Ways to stop a tantrum
- Tips for reading with your baby
- Secrets to raising a happy child
- Natural ways to kick a toddler’s cough or cold
- Nutritional tips and tricks that work
- How to get your kids to talk to you about their day at preschool (here’s a link to a post we wrote about that!)
12. Whether you’re doing an email or PDF/printed newsletter, be sure it’s very clean and simple
Don’t overwhelm parents with graphics, links, ads or other extraneous information. The key to any successful preschool newsletter is telling the parents what matters and leaving the fluff out.
13. Always be open to feedback from parents/staff
Be sure to be open and honest with your staff about everything. That should include the way the preschool is run, classroom issues, parent complaints AND the newsletter. Ask them for feedback on every newsletter and tell them to tell you what they really think. Then, listen.
14. Schedule your child care email newsletters for the best opening time
Let’s face it. People don’t always read their e-mail. They may be busy (especially parents), frazzled or have an inbox that is just too full. In order to try and ensure that your newsletter will get opened and read, send them out Tuesday through Thursday mornings or early afternoon, since those times typically have the best open rates (this depends a lot on your families though, so you should test and adjust.)
In short, you need to keep in mind that your preschool email newsletter is an important means of communication between you and your families. If you want your parents to READ the newsletter and retain the information, you need to keep it simple, short, sweet and to the point. Most importantly, make sure the information that they want to read is there. Remember that parents are often very concerned with their child’s diet, daily schedule and what they are learning. It also never hurts to add a few great pictures of the kiddos having fun!