After 28 years of working with children and families I have, through trial and error, figured out a tip for just about everything! I am in hopes that I can share a few useful tips with you! One of the toughest parts of being a child care provider is communicating with parents.
- Do more than give them a contract, create a Parent Policy Handbook. Give the parents what they WANT to know, include information about your program, the types of activities you do, your guidance techniques, your nutrition guidelines, etc. The more you identify before they even enroll, the less there will be to question about later. CCR&R suggested ideas can be found here.
- During cold season parents can accumulate many germs throughout their workday – ask them to wash hands or use hand sanitizer before interacting with the children or any items in the room. Learn more about the importance of handwashing from CCR&R here.
- When you have little babies and toddlers it’s important to keep the floor clean, you don’t want little fingers picking up clumps of mud or other nasty things brought in on people’s shoes. Establish a no shoe policy – ask all parents to remove their shoes at the door.
- When asking parents to bring in something (like more diapers or diaper wipes), and they are not remembering – provide them a physical item to remind them such as a large bin labeled “Diapers” for them to take home and fill, then return.
- Use a dry-erase board to post important messages to parents. Extra tip: keep it short (2-3 words max) for maximum impact!
- Avoid seeming disorganized and searching for children’s hats/gloves at the end of each day. Be sure there is a place for everything to make it easier for parents to get them out the door hassle-free.