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Old 09-16-2013, 01:10 PM
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iluvlearning iluvlearning is offline
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Default Overflowing Email

I need advice. My parents seem to flood my email box all day long asking questions about their children. While I don't mind answering emails, I am obviously busy with the children! My question to everyone is...1) when you do find time answer emails and 2) how do you let parents know (in a nice way) that you are not ignoring them but are just busy? I always take time at the end of the day to talk with parents and I even do a daily note (for infants/toddlers) and a weekly written update for all of the others. Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by iluvlearning View Post
I need advice. My parents seem to flood my email box all day long asking questions about their children. While I don't mind answering emails, I am obviously busy with the children! My question to everyone is...1) when you do find time answer emails and 2) how do you let parents know (in a nice way) that you are not ignoring them but are just busy? I always take time at the end of the day to talk with parents and I even do a daily note (for infants/toddlers) and a weekly written update for all of the others. Thanks in advance for your advice!
In my parent handbook, I point out that i only answer emails during nap time. And that unless it's a schedule change or something of that nature, I will speak to em at pick up. My parents rarely email me. They text occasionally but rarely. Really they both text schedules every week. They text when they hit the exit up town at drop off and pick up.

I've had a few parents in the past who texted and emailed frequently. I gently reminded them that my days are busy and while I understood their need to check in, it took away from their child's care. I reminded them if anything important happened, I would let them know. Other than that, I give them a run down at pick up.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:41 PM
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I don't do e mails or text only quick calls or in person
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:10 PM
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My parents don't email me either. If anything comes up on either end we text. I only have four kids so it's not a big deal to take a second to send a message. I also send home daily sheets for the infants and toddlers and I make any comments on there that I need to.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:26 PM
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Send an email to all parents:
Dear Parents,
As you know my day is very busy caring for the children. I will set aside 20 minutes during nap time and another 20 minutes after closing each evening to answer emails. If you have a need that is truly urgent, please call or text during business hours.
Thanks,
Provider
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:00 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your input. I've been doing this for a long time (so I'm not "young and hip") so I am a little behind in the technology area. Even joining this message board was a big step. I think I am going to need to put something in my handbook when I revise it the next time.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:06 PM
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Some emails have an option to set up a vacation/out of the office message. Gmail does this I know. With just a couple of clicks, you can fix it so that when you get an email, they are sent a return email that says whatever you want it to say. Another couple of clicks will turn it off at the end of the day so you get regular email. Maybe: "I am sending this automated response in place of an actual reply since the kids need me right now. I will get back to you as soon as possible, but it may be late. If it is an emergency, please call or text.
Signed,
Your very busy playing and having fun DCP

Ok, maybe not that one, but something like it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunchimes View Post
Some emails have an option to set up a vacation/out of the office message. Gmail does this I know. With just a couple of clicks, you can fix it so that when you get an email, they are sent a return email that says whatever you want it to say. Another couple of clicks will turn it off at the end of the day so you get regular email. Maybe: "I am sending this automated response in place of an actual reply since the kids need me right now. I will get back to you as soon as possible, but it may be late. If it is an emergency, please call or text.
Signed,
Your very busy playing and having fun DCP

Ok, maybe not that one, but something like it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:09 PM
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I let parents know right at sign up that they're welcome to e-mail me but I only do mail at nap time or after work...they don't seem to have a problem with that
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunchimes View Post
Some emails have an option to set up a vacation/out of the office message. Gmail does this I know. With just a couple of clicks, you can fix it so that when you get an email, they are sent a return email that says whatever you want it to say. Another couple of clicks will turn it off at the end of the day so you get regular email. Maybe: "I am sending this automated response in place of an actual reply since the kids need me right now. I will get back to you as soon as possible, but it may be late. If it is an emergency, please call or text.
Signed,
Your very busy playing and having fun DCP

Ok, maybe not that one, but something like it.
That's what I'd suggest too
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:34 AM
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so how soon do you answer them ? my guess fairly soon if they keep sending them. check at nap and only answer emergency ones. Then if you want answer the rest in the evening Bet it will stop.
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It will wait
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:42 AM
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I have an iPhone so I can see who is emailing or texting- I have a small dc group during the day so I answer- for me it isn't a big deal... I also send a few pics each day usually.
If I had to go on a computer I would def only be able to check it a few times per day-
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunchimes View Post
Some emails have an option to set up a vacation/out of the office message. Gmail does this I know. With just a couple of clicks, you can fix it so that when you get an email, they are sent a return email that says whatever you want it to say. Another couple of clicks will turn it off at the end of the day so you get regular email. Maybe: "I am sending this automated response in place of an actual reply since the kids need me right now. I will get back to you as soon as possible, but it may be late. If it is an emergency, please call or text.
Signed,
Your very busy playing and having fun DCP

Ok, maybe not that one, but something like it.
Yup, I have an 'out of the office' message for my email as well.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvlearning View Post
I need advice. My parents seem to flood my email box all day long asking questions about their children. While I don't mind answering emails, I am obviously busy with the children! My question to everyone is...1) when you do find time answer emails and 2) how do you let parents know (in a nice way) that you are not ignoring them but are just busy? I always take time at the end of the day to talk with parents and I even do a daily note (for infants/toddlers) and a weekly written update for all of the others. Thanks in advance for your advice!
You can try setting up provider-parent meetings or phone calls during your lunch or after hours (though I know some providers that don't like to do anything daycare related [other than shopping] after hours). If you are willing to do face-to-face provider-parent meetings you can have them 2x or 3x (one "midterm" meeting) during the school year (and possibly charge $5 for additional face-to-face meetings).
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:42 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the great ideas. Yes...I was checking email too often because I was worried I would miss something important if I did not. I told my parents today that I will only be checking during nap time and in the evenings. They seemed OK with that. We will see if they actually remember, though!
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