As daycare owners, we know that we are doing our best. The trick is in making parents see the same.
Putting your trust in other people when it comes to your children is a big step, so it shouldn’t be surprising that parents have a lot of questions. From absence policies to food, there is a lot of ground to cover before enrollment.
This article will help you get your answers ready. And when it comes to absences and getting money back, HoppingIn will even show you how to generate extra revenue without sacrificing satisfaction.
Question #1: What sort of daycare are you running exactly?
A common question which you probably answered a million times, and will answer a million more.
However, it’s the most important one. It is so generalized that you are able to state the most important things that separate you from other daycare centers. Keep licenses at hand, and make sure to provide additional accreditation whenever possible.
Parents won’t always outright ask for them but they will certainly appreciate it if you provide them with as much information as possible.
Question #2: How professional are you?
Parents like it when their children are in capable but affectionate hands. Toeing the line between the two can be challenging, which is why you should talk about your experience and your feelings.
Talking to parents considering different daycare options is similar to job interviews – credentials matter, but the personal touch is what makes the decision. There’s one tiny difference, though: the clients are more prone to shenanigans.
When it comes to staff, be prepared to explain your caregiver-to-child ratio. In this case, safety matters, so it’s a nice opportunity to mention exactly what you are doing to keep the kids out of the harm’s way.
Question #3: Can you do working hours yoga for us?
Different people, different work hours. It takes flexibility.
Parents are usually aware of the standard daycare working hours but be prepared to talk about how much you can or can’t stretch the limit for them.
Should the parents be on the dot or are there loose drop-off and pickup times? In parents’ vocabulary, it’s loosely translated as: how much should I stress?
If you can make their life easier, mention it. Especially if you use HoppingIn software that allows them to split the profits with you in case of sudden absences on an already paid-for day.
Question #4: What happens if my child gets sick?
While the most important things to mention here are your sick child policy and whether or not they have to be vaccinated before enrollment, there’s a few more things you should touch on.
First, hygiene. As a daycare provider, it’s almost intuitive to teach children about washing their hands, and keeping everything sanitized. Parents, however, don’t know that but hearing it will be one worry less for them.
Another bonus is if you give them the option of a refund in case of a sudden absence.
HoppingIn displays absent spots on a booking calendar so parents who need daycare part-time or just that day can use the vacant spot.
This allows the parents who would have previously lost money to get some of it back, and you as an owner earn more revenue.
It’s a neat way to show parents that you don’t just stick to basics, but go above and beyond to provide them a service that will make their lives easier.
Question #5: What about food, naps and visits?
You may not run a hotel, but with all the food options it may start resembling one.
If your daycare offers in-house meals, parents will appreciate hearing more about adjusting the menu to suit the needs of their child.
If it’s strictly BYOF (bring your own food), explain how you store it and what your meal times are. Every child has different needs and while you’re already a pro at handling that, parents first timers may not necessarily know it.
Naps are another important aspect of choosing a daycare provider. Some children stay in the center longer or just part time, in which case you can direct the parents to sell the unused part of their slots.
In general, it’s good to acquaint parents with your visiting policies. Some may even ask to visit unannounced, just to see how your usual day with kids goes.
While that can be distracting for the staff, it means a lot to parents who will be sure in their decision to choose you as the daycare that fits their child’s needs perfectly.
All About Communication
There are a lot of questions you might have to be prepared to answer but the good news is that both parties come from a place of care.
The more information you are able to give the parents, the better. Not only does that show how professional you are, but it also shows that you understand their concerns and value their family’s trust.
Good intentions supported by good actions go a long way. Address the concerns early on, explain the options and the rules, and if you can go a step farther by allowing them to split the profits with you in case of absences, their satisfaction is guaranteed.
After all, running a daycare isn’t just about making the kids smile. It’s also about allowing the parents to breathe a sigh of relief.
Author: Hopping In Blog
Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org