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Reaching Out to Parents with Technology

by Karen Stephens
May/June 2004
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/reaching-out-to-parents-with-technology/5015714/

When technology hit my desktop, I knew it would be useful for managing budget numbers. That was a no-brainer. But I had no idea how handy it would be for connecting with our program's families! From fax machines, scanners, digital cameras, and web sites to e-mails and discussion list servs, technology helps directors communicate more quickly and efficiently. (Okay, except during power black-outs and maddening machine melt-downs.)

When you pair up technology, such as posting digital photos onto a web site, you open a whole new window into your program for parents " and in fact, the world. It’s a time-saving service that allows parents to explore your program from the convenience of their home, workplace, or local library computer.

When it works, and the user works it right, communication technology strengthens the bonds of parent-program partnerships. For instance, e-mail makes communication more flexible. Parents can exchange information with staff whenever their schedule allows " whether it’s during program operation hours or not.

Program web sites offer parents with hearing impairments greater accessibility. It gives them easier access to information, thus avoiding the slower pace of TDD telephone calls.

Of course, the backbone of good communication is, and always ...

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