Comms Centre in Office makes it easy to share information and communicate with families through your Office platform.
This communication can be via:
- Home App Post
- HUB device
Managing Comments Preferences
Show Recent Comments
Toggling this on will enable the most recent comment to be visible when viewing all posts in the Comms Centre.
Toggling this on will disable comments from administrators and parents for all posts.
Managing SMS Preferences
Toggling this on will enable all types of messages to be sent to families. See below to see the types of text messages that can be sent. Please note that only provider admins can toggle SMS Booster on or off for your service.
If included as an add-on in your package, you can choose to have SMS sent from one specific number instead of a different number each time a message is sent.
Set the maximum number of text messages sent per month.
Sent and Received
This is where you can view all SMS which has been sent and received to parent/guardians.
Types of SMS
Bad debtor SMS are manually sent by you, by clicking the SMS icon from the “Top Debtors & Creditors” Dashboard widget.
This will notify the parent that they have overdue money owing to the service.
Example SMS Text:
"[Centre Name] has noticed your account statement needs attention. Please login to Home for more info."
This will automatically send an SMS to parents about their statement when Bulk Email Statement tool is used in Parent Accounts.
Allow Booking Requests
Booking request confirmations will automatically be sent when you action a booking notification on from the Dashboard.
Example SMS Text:
"[First Name], your booking request for [Child First Name] was just updated. Please login to Home for more info."
From the Communications homepage, click the New button and select Post
Welcome to the new post page! From here, you can do the following:
Give your post a title
Add content to your message, including images
Add a cover photo (which will show at the top of the message in Home App and Web for parents to see)
Disable and enable comments
Send your post as an email.
You need to add contacts to your post before you send. To do so, click the Add Contacts button underneath your post title.
You can then search for contacts to add to your post or filter by carer type and tags.
Once you have selected which parents and guardians you want to add to a post, click Add Selected
Once you have added your content, contacts and added any optional attachments and a cover photo, you will be ready to hit the Publish button.
Uploading a cover photo
When you upload a cover photo to a post, it will appear at the top of your post in the Home App and Home Web.
On the create post page, click on the Upload button under Cover Photo on the right-hand side of the page
Select an image from your computer that you would like to upload. Please note: the file cannot be larger than 10 megabytes and must have the file type of PNG, JPEG or JPG only.
Once the cover photo has been added, you will see a confirmation message.
Enabling and disabling comments
To turn comments on and off for your post, you can use the toggle found on the right side of the page next to your message content:
If comments are public, any parent added as a contact to your post can comment on it. Other parents will be able to see any comments on the post. If comments are disabled, comments cannot be added to your post.
You can add up to 10 attachments to any Comms Centre post, which will then be visible to the parent in Home. You can add attachments by clicking Attach to the right of the create post screen:
Send post as an email
If you wish to send your post as an email to parents in addition to sending it to them in Home, click the Send Email button found under OPTIONS. Please note: If a parent responds to an email, the response will not be visible in Comms Centre.
Please note: the SMS Booster widget has now been relocated from the Dashboard to the Comms Centre. SMS Booster will need to be enabled in order to send an SMS through Comms Centre.
In Office, click Comms Centre in the sidebar
Select New then select SMS
Add a title and write your message in the dotted rectangle
Note: One text message is 160 characters. Keep track of the characters in the bottom right hand corner. If the message exceeds 160 characters, a new dotted rectangle will be created for you to continue the text message.
Select Add Contacts to add parent/guardians you would like to send the SMS to
Note: the text message will be sent to the number in the “Mobile Number” field in the parent/guardian profile.
If the text message is not yet finalised select Save Draft
Once completed, select Send. You will find the total number of messages and the total costs on the right side.
Hub Messages are short text-only messages that can be sent to parents in your centre to be read from the Hub when they sign their child in and out. This article explains how to create and manage those messages.
Please note: Only one unread message can be sent, and be visible, to a parent at a time.
How to create a new Hub Message
- Log in to Office and click on Comms Centre in the navigation bar on the left side of your screen
- Click the New button and then select Hub Message
- Type in your message. Please note: the message is limited to 120 characters in length and is text-only.
- Click Add Contacts to select which parents you'd like to send the message to.
- Set an expiry date by clicking the Expiry field. This determines how long the message will appear on the Hub for a parent to read. When the message expires, it will no longer be visible to the parent.
- Once you have drafted your message and you’ve added some contacts, you can click Preview to see what the message will look like.
- You can click Save Draft to leave this page and come back and publish it later. Otherwise, click Publish to send your message! The next time one of the contacts from your message signs their child in and out, they will see the message you have sent.
How parents view the Hub message you sent
- If parents use the sign in button on the tablet and log in using their Xplor ID details, they will see the message on the Hub itself.
- If parents scan the QR code on the Home App, the message will appear on their phone for them to read. The content of the message will be the same regardless.
Messages marked as read
- When you send a message to a parent, they will see the message next time they sign their child in or out
- When the parent opens the message, they will need to hit the I’ve read this button before they can proceed to signing in or out.
- The parent will not see the same message again next time they go through the sign-in/out process.
You can see a list of the contacts you have sent your message to by clicking on % seen button, located underneath your Hub message title:
Overwriting messages sent to parents
Only one Hub message can be sent to a contact and remain unread at a time. If you attempt to send a second message to the same contact and the first message still hasn’t been read, a screen will display that allows you to overwrite the original message.
Please note: if you do not select to overwrite the contact when sending a message, they will be removed from the message before you publish it.
If a message is read by the contact, you will then be able to send a second message without the need to overwrite the first message.
Comments can be posted by the admin or parent/guardian on a published post if commenting is enabled for the post.
- In Office, click “Comms Centre” in the sidebar and search for the post you would like to comment on. Note: Any post with existing comments will have the following icon below the title.
- Write a comment, then click the send icon. Once an admin user sends a comment, the parent/guardian will receive a notification. Note: If you are responding to an SMS post, you will be charged the standard SMS fee.
In Office, click “Comms Centre” in the sidebar, then search for the post you would like to duplicate
Select this icon
Select Duplicate Message in the pop-up
You will now be able to edit or publish the duplicated post!
Note: the default title of the duplicated post will update to have “Copy of” at the beginning of the original title.
How to Pin a Post
Pinning a post will priortise the post in both Office and the parent Home platforms.
In Office, click “Comms Centre” in the sidebar then search for the post you would like to pin
Select the 3 vertical dots
Select Pin Message in the pop-up
This post will now be prioritised in your Comms Centre and will have a pin icon next to the title
To un-pin a pinned post, repeat step 1, and select “Unpin Message” instead.
Note: Only one post can be pinned at a time.
How to archive a post
Archiving a published post will remove the post from the parent or guardian’s Home App and Home Web.
- In Office, click “Comms Centre” in the sidebar then search for the post you would like to archive
- Select the 3 vertical circles on the post you would like to archive
- Select Archive.
- Published posts cannot be deleted, only archived. Only ‘Draft' posts can be deleted.
- Find your archived posts by selecting the “Status” filter in the Comms Centre.