What is the most effective way of ensuring that parents and carers keep using your Sure Start facilities?

In the simplest of terms, parents and carers can over time drift away. They might like what you do, but there are distractions, family issues, etc. And before you know it Sure Start has slipped out of their consciousness.

Of course, communicating with parents and carers on a regular basis can overcome this, but even so the method of communication you choose can make a huge difference.

Email can help but, as some parents and carers may not have access to the internet, sending emails can be a bit hit and miss as you cannot be sure that they have received the information.

Another option is to telephone them all but obviously this is both time-consuming and costly.

However, what many Children’s Centres are now finding increasingly effective is to contact parents through text messaging.

Text messaging offers an instant, cheap and effective way to communicate whether it is regarding reminders about play sessions or changes of times. It is also a great way to market your centre (workshops, courses, etc).

What’s more, it has been proven to increase the number of parents and carers who attend these sessions and, as funding is partly based on the uptake of such sessions, contacting your target market directly can have a huge impact.

And this is where the TextMine text messaging system can help.

TextMine allows you to send bulk text messages to selected groups of people.

To get started, all you need to do is to log on to the TextMine website, type your message as you would an email, choose your contacts and send. Your message is sent directly to the phones of the people you want, whether they have an ‘old brick’ or the newest Smart Phone.

For more information about the TextMine system please visit www.textmine.co.uk or alternatively email catherine.keeling@textmine.com or telephone 020 8150 6024.