You want to be able to communicate to parents that they can trust you and your centre with their child. Even so, parents will always have questions about your centre, staff, and values before deciding to enroll their child. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for these questions, such as those below.
1. Why kind of centre are you running?
Probably the most important question, this will give parents a general idea of the type of centre you run. Key information is usually discussed, as well as other key features that separate you from other childcare centres. Make sure to keep any licenses with you that will let parents know that your centre is professional and legally allowed to operate as well as reiterate to parents the credibility of your staff. This is also the type of question that will have many follow-up questions so be prepared for those. These questions could include:
- Are food and drink provided? If so, what?
- What are the expectations around toilet training?
- Where will my child sleep?
- How do you discipline the children?
- What is your curriculum?
- What are your teacher-to-child ratios?
2. What are your costs?
Every centre has different rates so parents will most likely ask about the costs you charge. You may charge weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or may have specific rates based on the child’s age. Or, you may have extra fees based on specific situations, such as being late or a parent cancelling a spot last minute. Parents may also bring up questions regarding payment: can they pay online, when do you need the payment by? These are all questions that you need to be prepared for.
3. Are you flexible?
Many parents drop their child off at centres because they are working and are unable to care for them. With this situation, there may also be instances when a parent may be late in dropping off or picking up their child from the centre. There may be some centres that have a specific drop-off and pick-up window. If a parent is late, then they may get charged a late fee, such as $1/minute late. Thus, it is important to be prepared to talk about how flexible you can be with your hours.
4. If my child gets sick, what will happen?
Having a policy in place when a child gets sick communicates to parents how prepared you are and how seriously you take the situation. There may be a process of having you call the parents to pick their child up as soon as possible to minimize the spread of germs. If the child is unable to come into the centre, then you may have certain policies regarding refunds.
5. How do I communicate with you?
Parents want to make sure that they can get in touch with you as soon as possible if the need arises. They may be worried about how their child is doing and may want to quickly check up with you. Or you may need to communicate to the parents that their child is sick and they need to be picked up. In this case, not only do you need to have a way for parents to communicate with you, but you need to be able to communicate with parents. So, making sure to communicate the importance of an emergency contact number is crucial. Overall, letting parents know the reliable means of communication you offer will give them peace of mind.
6. What are your values and beliefs?
Parents may have certain expectations and beliefs that they want a childcare centre to have so it is important for you to communicate your values and beliefs clearly in order to see if your centre, the parents, and the child will be a good fit.
Parents may ask even more questions than above, but all for good reason. They want to make sure that they can trust you with their child’s care so being able to communicate all this information will provide parents with a better idea of if you will be able to meet their expectations.