Let’s face it, mornings are chaos.

Caregivers have to soothe tantrums, make sure their classrooms are ready to go, and take multiple requests from multiple parents—all before the caffeine from their morning coffee has even had a chance to kick in.

It’s a lot.

But it doesn’t have to be so crazy. Here are a few simple tips to help your staff, parents, and, of course, kids have a much smoother start to the day.

Make drop-off a breeze

Separation anxiety is a beast. And it’s almost as tough for caregivers as it is for toddlers.

But parents have their own anxieties about leaving their kids in someone else’s care, and being able to share important details (like Olivia’s feeding schedule and Will’s life-or-death need for an afternoon nap) can work wonders to alleviate their stress. Unfortunately, sometimes those details don’t get communicated during the morning rush.

Here are some ideas to help manage the onslaught of daily requests and win back some mental bandwidth for your team:

  • Keep a classroom notebook to jot down important notes and reminders.
  • Make sure staff know how to reassure parents as well as kids (a simple “I’ll take care of it” can make a big difference).
  • Send parents a quick note or email at the end of the day or week to show themyou’re on top of it.

If you’re a MomentPath user, let parents know they can use the Informed Arrival feature to give your team a heads-up about their child’s mood straight from their mobile phone before they even leave their house or car.

Communicate more (with less effort)

A little proactivity can help build the kind of awesome rapport that prompts parents to drop off their kids feeling more confident about their choice of preschool.

And when it comes to managing parent expectations, communication matters.

If there’s not a whole lot of time to chat with parents each morning, make an effort to have a quick face-to-face at pick-up or connect via your center’s communication app.

Here are some other ideas to try:

  • Host frequent family nights and events to foster greater trust between parents and staff.
  • Send each child home with a “Communication Book” that gets updated with feedback at the end of each week.
  • Streamline messages through just one app to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

You could even go the extra mile by taking the time to educate parents on what makes mornings stressful for kids. This article by the Riviera Children’s Center in Indianapolis is a great example of how you and your team can offer practical insights that parents can read when they’ve got time.

Take a hands-off approach

Hands off the paperwork, we mean.

Thanks to some seriously cool new tech, the dream of a hands-free classroom is finally in sight.

Sure, it might sound futuristic, but smart devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are already helping hundreds of caregivers get more time to teach and play.

Mornings are crucial to setting a friendly and focused tone for the day. But too many caregivers are forced to step away from the group in order to record, report, and track what’s happening in the classroom. While we can all agree that the admin work should take a backseat to the kids, the harsh reality is that these tasks tend to take up a massive portion of the day.

Can you imagine how much easier it would be if caregivers could just tell Alexa to make all these notes? It’s possible.

If you want to see what a hands-free morning looks like at your center, you can join our early access program and try it for free.

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