Your newsletter doesn't have to be fancy. I simply use Microsoft Word, the text boxes and tools that are available and then add clip art. I use lots of color to make it bright and cheery, and I usually use clip art that matches the theme for that month.
You should come up for a "name" for your newsletter. You can simply use your daycare name or come up with something new. For instance my newsletter is called "Babysteps". If you are drawing a blank ask your family and friends. My newsletter name came from my friend, Nicole. I think it fits and I wouldn't have thought of it myself. Thanks Nicole!
Next, you need to decide what you want to share with your parents. After all, this is a means of communication with them. Your newsletter should contain information that will be helpful and pertain to your daycare parents.
A few ideas would be:
~If you use a curriculum what their children will be learning this month
~Any planned field trips coming up
~Days your child care is closed
~A suggested donation list
~Reminder of your policies
Here's how I have used some of these ideas.
In my April issue I put a list of things that parent's could look for if they go to garage sales. I'm not a big "garage saler" so I'm sure I miss some deals. But there are people that love to find that great sale, by letting them know that I have something specific in mind I give them a chance to help out. I let them know that I will reimburse them and then I keep the list updated throughout the summer months.
I have a specific area in my newsletter called "Peace through Policy". I use this space to go over a policy each month. I can use it to gently remind a family about a policy they aren't following without a face to face confrontation. If my parents are respecting my policies I pick a policy I haven't talked about in a while. This keeps the policies fresh in the minds of the parents and helps me remember that I do have policies that need to be enforced.
When I sign a family as clients one bit of information I ask for is mom and dad's birthdays and anniversary. I then add this to the newsletter in the birthday section where the kiddos birthdays are listed. When I'm really on top of things the kids make birthday cards and anniversary cards for their parents.
One thing I have just started doing is adding articles that I feel are helpful for parents. They can be articles on potty training, 2 year old tantrums, car seat safety. Anything you can find that you feel would be helpful. I truly believe that my "job" isn't just about the child, but about the parent's as well. Who needs more support then a parent?
Once you start to put your newsletter together you will come up with more ideas. You probably already have items you know you want in it. After a couple of months you will probably be surprised at how quickly your newsletter grows.
With all of the information that you could share with your parents it's important to remember not to throw it all at them right away. Our daycare parents lead busy lives, we don't want to add to the stress. Keep your newsletter to the point and filled with information that they can use. They are more likely to read it, which means they will be reading the important information that you want them to see.