Do you run a preschool or daycare and want to start a newsletter for parents? If YES, here are 20 ideas to help you make a successful preschool newsletter.
Newsletters especially in schools are meant to provide crucial information to parents and can also create a unique connection between the classroom and home. They can be distributed on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the type of information being reported.
Neatly formatted, concise, easy-to-read articles are best for school newsletters. There are a lot of reasons to consider making a newsletter for your preschool and there are factors to put in place also. For your newsletter to be effective, it should be designed to inform parents of special school activities such as field trips, meetings and volunteer opportunities.
Include dates of upcoming events so families can plan accordingly. It can also act as a reminder to parents. As the date of an activity or field trip draws closer, a newsletter can gently remind families to plan for the event. Newsletters are also a great way to remind families when special items are needed for an activity.
Have it in mind that a short note from each classroom about a recent activity or lesson helps parents connect to their child’s classroom. Such updates also allow parents to see what is going on in other classrooms.
Although a newsletter should be your way of distributing information, it’s necessary you ask and welcome feedback from parents regarding what they would like to see in the newsletter. Giving parents a say in what information is presented will build trust between the school and families and further strengthen parental involvement in school programs.
8 Tips to Make a Newsletter for Preschool Parents
Keeping clear and reliable communication with the families you serve at your preschool is very important to the success of your educational facility. Follow these steps to write an awesome newsletter that keeps your preschool parents informed.
1. Consider and select a viable medium
First and foremost, there is no specific way to send out a school newsletter. Some preschools hand out updates to parents as kids are picked up.
Some also mail paper newsletters directly to your families’ home addresses. But one modern newsletter medium growing in popularity is email. An email is a great way to reach busy parents who are already checking their inboxes regularly.
When looking to start making newsletters, it’s very necessary you create a plan in place for distribution as this will help you reach as many people as possible. It can also be helpful to think about the size of the school and how many people do you need to reach. It’s important to remember that not everyone might be able to receive digital newsletters.
You will likely want to print out physical copies as well. These physical copies will either need to be delivered or placed in a public space that allows parents to easily pick up a copy. But note that digital copies will likely be the most cost-effective option and will allow you to reach a large number of readers.
2. Determine newsletter frequency and get some publishing software
This is one of the first crucial decisions you will have to make concerning your preschool newsletter. You have to ensure you’re sending them out often enough so parents can get the information they need. Don’t commit to sending too often, or you’ll struggle to fill all the spaces in your newsletter.
For older kids, once a month is probably plenty to keep parents updated. You can always send a special email with especially timely information between regular updates. Note that once you decide how often you’ll be sending your preschool newsletter to parents, stick with it. Note that in this modern era most school newspapers are created digitally.
One of the reasons why you will need to download and install some publishing software. There are many different options available when looking for desktop publishing software. Check out some of these examples of desktop publishing software to help get you started:
- Adobe InDesign, Corel Draw, and QuarkXpress are all professional publishing software.
- Scribus is open-source desktop publishing software.
- You can make a newsletter using Microsoft Word or OpenOffice
- Some people find Google Docs to be a good solution, as it allows many people to collaborate online.
3. Build a newsletter template
Have it in mind that a good template will allow you to quickly create the first edition of your newsletter. A good template will also help you create new editions and give your newsletter a sense of cohesiveness. You can either start with a pre-made template or create one of your own.
Some publishing software tend to include a number of templates for you to choose from. You can also try searching online for free school newsletter templates. They are important because they allow you to easily add your own information or update old information. A good template will have spaces for both your articles and photos to go with them.
You might want to make templates for specific months. For example, you might have a template for February that has a heart theme because of Valentine’s day. For text areas, it’s a good idea to have predefined spaces for your title, headings, and the main body of text.
4. Customize your newsletter
After you must have built or found a template, you will want to customize it. Customizing a template will let you add elements that you want to continue across all editions of your school newsletter. Properly listed below are some of the things you might want to add to your template:
- Place the school name at the top of the front page.
- Add in a footer with page number, date, edition, or other information you might want to include.
- Putting your school logo somewhere on the front page can be a good idea.
- Include clip-art to give your newsletter an appealing and interesting look.
- You might want to have dedicated pages for certain content. For example, you could put contact information for school staff on the last page of your newsletter.
- You’ll likely want to decide the basic layout for articles and pages. A simple two column layout can be a good way to start.
5. Create content and keep it informative
Once you’ve created and customized a newsletter template, you can begin to create content for it. Note that the content you create should strive to meet the goals of your newsletter and be appealing to your audience. It is a good idea to add fun things to your newsletter, such as puzzles or games.
However, the majority of your newsletter should be informative content. Have it in mind that if a piece doesn’t seem to convey any information to the reader, you may want to consider rewriting it or removing it. It’s important that you try to deliver the most information possible to your readers when publishing your school newsletter.
- An opinion piece on the quality of cafeteria food might be nice. However, it’s probably a better idea to include a lunch schedule instead.
- Detailing the repair process of a restroom might be too much information. It might be better to focus on things like how long the renovation took or how much it cost.
- Updates on school policies should always be included.
- You might want to highlight student achievements in your newsletter.
- It can be a good idea to have small articles that introduce new staff members.
6. Make a personal connection
Always start your newsletters with a personal note from the person running the service. Even if you don’t see every parent across a week (especially if a director of a large centre) it’s important to reach out and connect when you can.
Parents and carers are more likely to come to you to discuss an issue, become involved in the service or offer positive feedback if they feel you are interested and not just the person running the show. Try to reach out to parents with the way that you share your information, help them to feel involved and part of the service.
7. Make sure it is easy to read and proofread your newsletter
You can consider using photos to convey what’s been happening in the last month. Photos are easier for busy readers to scan quickly and you can also add a small amount of text explaining what the photo show. Use large headings, bullet points and highlighted text to appeal to the readers who like to skim and pick out important points.
If possible, take a few hours and write out your entire newsletter in one sitting. In the long run, it will take less time to do it this way. Then, come back to it and proofread the entire newsletter. Parents are trusting you to educate their kids, so put your best foot forward.
8. Always involve others
Note that you don’t have to create an entire school newsletter yourself. Carrying others along can be a lot of fun for everyone. With more people working on the newsletter, both the content and the quality can be improved. You should also consider asking students, staff or others to help create content or design the layout of your school newsletter.
- Asking students to write articles can be a good way to let them express a student’s viewpoint and get in some writing practice.
- Having staff write articles can result in more detailed or informative pieces. For example, asking a math teacher to write about the new high-level math course would be a good idea.
- You might have students form a club around creating and publishing the newsletter.
- Asking for help with printing, publishing, or distributing might be necessary. You can check with local school staff, send a request for volunteers, or check with local businesses.
Best Preschool Newsletter ideas You Can Try Today
There are different kinds of newsletters, but for school, the common type is the monthly newsletter. It compiles news and information about events, students, classrooms and even about the community. There are feature articles, club details, forums, artwork and fundraising events.
Note that aside from informing, another purpose is to bring the student population together, fostering a feeling of “family” to something important and special. Below are newsletter ideas for your preschool;
Include Quotes or Notable Captions
Agreeably, the basic layout of a newsletter should include photographs, content, ideas and news. But Instead of the usual format of having a huge news headline, it is always an amazing idea to start the front page with a collection of events with captions or quotes from different students or classrooms.
The use of quotes often inspires or causes thought. Parents or even students can either remember the quote or may tear it out for use later.
To make your newsletter successful, it’s necessary you keep the editorials alive and current. Always discuss serious issues about the school and students without offending anyone. The purpose of the editorial in a school newsletter is to generate interest in relevant issues, including those that affect the school and students, but not necessarily happening inside the school premises.
You should consider mentioning current news locally, state-wide or nationally. Always keep the current news age-appropriate as well, as parents often enjoy reading newsletters with the younger children. Creating awareness of the world outside school walls can teach students how to think about real-life situations.
Post Opportunities and top picks
You can use your newsletter to tie the school and students to the rest of the community by posting job or scholarship opportunities. It’s one way of helping others without being obvious about it. Note that parents and mostly students enjoy not only just reading the list but enjoy seeing their names on the lists.
Have different kinds of lists for top achievers, top jokers, top music, top plays, top teachers; the lists can go on and on. This will be one feature that may be a favourite of all students.
It’s very important to state that mini-interviews are one-line answers to the same question that is asked of students and teachers, maintenance and kitchen staff. The questions could range from “What is your favourite meal?” to “Who is the greatest American president?”
You could focus on current events or school events, and hone in on the serious, wacky and cute replies. Always match the answers with photos, and you will build superstar students who will open the eyes of the rest of the student body to relevant issues that affect them personally.
Indeed schools have a variety of activities monthly. Although those notices may be posted on the school’s website or sent separately in the form of notes or fliers, it is also a good idea to include a monthly calendar in the newsletter. This way students and parents are able to have easy access to it.
Share crucial details
Preschool newsletters are first and foremost a way to share important information with parents about what their kids are up to. Consider adding these details to your template so they can be included each month in your preschool newsletters:
- Learning objectives and lesson plans for the month
- Reminders for parents
- A menu for lunch or snacks
- A quick review of your business’ policies
- The link to your online payment portal
Build a community
Have it in mind that the families at your preschool are a part of your larger community. They also make up a smaller community that will continue to interact as their kids become friends and go to school together. You can help foster this community with resources in your newsletter.
- Welcome new families to your preschool
- Share relevant community events
- Include links to your social media profiles
- Ask parents to review your business
- Advertise upcoming tours and ask parents to share with friends
Link Children and Parents
As an early childhood educator, you may spend more time with parents’ kids than the parents themselves do. That is why you should consider sharing resources to keep kids and parents connected in the time they do have together!
- Include photos of kids doing projects at preschool
- Suggest activities to do at home
- Link to your website’s latest blog posts
- Offer resources from industry experts
Provide links to further reading and resources
If you email your newsletters then it is easy to add some links for parents to follow for further reading and information when they have the time. It is also a good way of involving staff in your newsletter if you are working at a large centre.
You should consider asking each staff member to do some internet research about a topic of interest, they can then come back with a relevant and useful link and explain why they feel it would be beneficial for parents to click through.
But if you still print hard copy, then please be wary of adding too many ‘factsheets’ for parents to read…if it looks like hard work to get through then it probably won’t be read anyway. It would be a better use of your time to summarise the factsheet and provide relevant footnotes.
Share what the children have learnt through play
As an educator working with children every day it is easy to forget that not everyone understands that play is a child’s ‘work’ and actually forms the very basis of their learning. Always have this in mind when writing for parents. You can help them to understand how the play their children have been engaging in throughout the past month has been contributing to their individual learning journeys.
You don’t need to cover everything obviously, just pick a few of the standouts and aim to explain simply the possibilities that evolved from the play. If parents better understand the play and learning their child is involved in, they are more likely to be able to extend and incorporate interests and play into their everyday living at home.
Give parents/carers a reason to be involved with your service
You should consider including a section in your newsletter that highlights opportunities for parents to be involved with your service. You might ask them to bring recycled materials in for craft, some photos from family weekends, bags to take home scraps if they have chickens, materials from their workplaces for outdoor/dramatic play, invitations to family events…you get the idea.
Although they won’t always have time to chat at drop-off and pick-up times but if it is written down for them to read and consider when they do have the time, you are likely to get a much better response and participation rate.
Note that email newsletters not only saves a whole lot of paper and ink but you can also go nuts with the inclusion of photos, fonts and colour highlights to really make your newsletter look professional and stand out. Email newsletter also saves a lot of time that might have been wasted on printing, collating and delivering.
Simply put together an email list of all parents attending your service and ask if they would prefer to receive their newsletter electronically. Using word, publisher or a similar program of your choice to simply create a blank template you can save to reuse over and over again. Drop your content in each month, convert to a pdf format and then hit send.
It can be tempting when sharing your activities and learning with parents to use educator terminology to ensure they understand the importance of what you have been offering to their children. But always have it in mind that parents are busy people but they love to know what their child has been doing, so share it in terms they can easily understand and identify with.
You might incorporate some language of the EYLF if you feel it appropriate but steer clear of listing a whole lot of outcome numbers and educator jargon. Also try and keep a rhythm and purpose to your newsletters without being over zealous.
If you run a large service it is also helpful for staff to know a date each month when they are required to submit their room wrap ups or news. Find out what works best for the service you work in but then try to stick with it so parents are aware of what and when to expect.