If the parents are happy, your childcare business will succeed. It really is that simple. For a childcare business or program, there are many ways to delight parents as you engage, entertain, and educate their children.
An unhappy parent is one who may do anything from taking their child out of your care situation to writing a bad review. However, keeping most parents happy most of the time is easily done.
From using an open-door policy to frequent communication, here are six tips for making your children’s parents and caregivers so happy they will recommend you to all their friends and family.
Open Door Policies
Parents want to know they are welcome where their children spend their days. They need to know their child is receiving appropriate enrichment and enjoys time with you. If you make them feel unwelcome, parents become uncomfortable.
Encourages parents to visit and let them know it’s OK to look in once in a while. Let them visit their children for lunch or have them read to their child’s class.
Also, provide transition zones for pickup and drop-off where parents can speak with other parents and your staff. Transition zones are the gateway into the wonderland their children inhabit and can help them feel more connected to your daycare or preschool.
Let parents know there are things they can do that let them see their children interacting with classmates and teachers. Don’t pressure anyone to participate, but ensure everyone understands you have a standing open invitation to be part of the proceedings.
Hold annual events during evening or weekend hours, so parents have the time to wander through your facility, watch their child play, perform, or show off artwork, and have a little fun themselves.
Class parties and book and gift exchanges are excellent ways for parents to pitch in to provide a fun time for everyone. Ask them to volunteer as helpers and chaperones if possible. You can always use extra hands and eyes on field trips, and parents get just as much out of the experience as their children.
Maybe you have parents who are willing to share a skill with everyone. Ask for simple activities that teach and engage. For example, if you have a parent who teaches science at the local school, they could give a brief lesson on butterfly gardens.
If a parent cannot be there physically, ask for donations of craft materials, like toilet paper or paper towel tubes, old clothes, or yarn.
Simplify Your Processes
The easier it is for parents to do something, the more likely they will be satisfied with their experience.
Put as many administrative processes online as possible:
- Calendar-based enrollment
- Tuition payment
Let parents take care of business when it’s convenient for them. As a benefit, streamlining and digitizing these processes makes good business sense for you.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The more you can pass on information and interact with parents, the better.
Verbal interaction is invaluable for making parents feel included. Always greet them with a warm smile and look them in the eye while you talk. Show interest in their lives beyond the classroom and their children.
Electronic communication is vital for parents' peace of mind and convenience. It also lets you prepare future communications, send targeted messages, and keep the lines open for everyone to communicate.
Using a childcare management solution with a secure parent portal makes registration, payment, and communications easy for all. It also helps you send email and text messages while showing off artwork, videos, and photos of the children at school and encouraging interaction and engagement with teachers and staff.
The parent-teacher conference is another avenue where parents can learn everything about their child's progress and attitude at daycare. You can share milestones, problem behaviors, and other important information in an interactive setting.
Newsletters and a monthly calendar keep parents in the loop about future activities and what their child will do today.
Finally, be respectful of privacy. Don’t gossip about children or students among the staff or other parents.
Be Self-Aware and Look at the Child’s Point of View
When speaking to children and parents, use "I" statements to sound less critical when delivering bad news and prouder when delivering good news. Consider how a child might feel about the time they spend at your program or school and then ask parents for their perspective. Get a 360-degree view of each child's situation, so you know the best way to provide care.
Always keep up your relationship with parents, especially the quiet ones who may not speak up when they’re bothered. Continue to check in even with parents who seem happy with your business, asking them if there is anything they would like to see their child experience or if you can change a process to make things easier.
You are dealing with people who leave their most precious things with you as they go to work. Keep them happy, and they will continue to bring their children who, with your help, can succeed at anything.
Make All Processes Easier with EZChildTrack
Childcare management software can automate many of your administration processes, which can help increase the time you spend with parents and kids. Set up a parent portal, use calendar-based enrollment, send invoices electronically, and accept almost any form of payment. Contact us to learn more.