When you open up a daycare, you may only think about caring for kids. However, the truth is, you have to run this like a business, and it can be important to focus on small details to help this business grow. You will need to hire employees, find children who need care, and promote your business in multiple ways. Once you find kids through advertising or marketing, you will have families come visit your daycare center.
It is important to have a questionnaire for the parents to fill out. These questions will help you get to know the parents and understand more about the children who will be in your care. Some of the questions to include on your daycare questionnaire are:
- Will you need full-time or part-time daycare?
- Will your child be here all year?
- Is someone else allowed to pick up your child?
- Who is your child’s emergency contact?
There will be tons of questions you may need to ask; these are just some starting questions to think about.
Starting a daycare and becoming an owner can be an exciting venture. Every daycare owner should have a questionnaire for parents to fill out. This will help you get to know them and understand what to expect from each family. It can be essential to have and open up an opportunity for the parents to ask you questions.
What Is a Daycare Questionnaire?
A daycare questionnaire is a go-to list that you can give to parents who are new to the daycare. It helps you understand where the child is living, their personal schedules that affect kids, and how you can expect responses from their parents. It is also a way for parents to get to know you a little bit better.
Every daycare should have some sort of intake form with questions attached. If you do not feel like having a parent write out all of these answers, you can ask in person. Write down a list of the most critical questions and ask them on a walk-through of the daycare facility.
What Questions Are On a Daycare Questionnaire?
There are several questions you can ask a parent, and as you meet more parents, you may come up with more questions to ask. This list is a starting place for every business owner in the daycare industry.
1. Will You Need Full-Time or Part-Time Daycare?
This is an important question to ask every parent that walks through the door. It allows you to understand a schedule and what a child will need. You may be able to take more part-time children or have a minimum number for each.
2. Will The Child Be Here All Year?
Sometimes a family may take long periods off to go on vacation, and other times the kids will stay at the daycare all year. It is crucial to know whether a family plans to be there all year or if there will be open spots in your daycare some months and full other months. You may be able to fill up one child’s absence to remain busy all year.
3. Is Someone Else Allowed To Pick Up Your Child?
Parents often will have their trusted nannies or parents pick up their kids. You need to know exactly who can pick up their child for safety reasons. It is something that should be discussed to keep everyone safe in the facility and ensure the parents are comfortable leaving their kids at your daycare.
4. Who Is Your Child’s Emergency Contact?
You may be surprised to find out not all parents will be there for emergencies or not as accessible as you may think. They may list their own parents or neighbors as other emergency contacts for their children.
5. What Is The Best Way To Communicate With You?
Every parent will prefer texts, calls, or emails. You will have to find multiple forms of communication to keep parents posted on what is happening. You may have news for the whole facility, or you may have news about one specific child. It is essential to keep in mind what communication style each parent likes.
6.What Is Your Child Like?
This question allows you to understand what the child’s personality is like. Based on this information, you will know whether they may or may not fit in with the other kids. Other times you will figure out if you can help a child focus on something to help their personality shine through.
7. What Is Their Favorite Food?
Having snacks on hand may be something a childcare provider has, but it will also be important to find out any restrictions. If a child is allergic to anything, you need to find out how allergic they are and what actions need to be taken if they eat it.
8. What Are Your Child’s Learning Needs?
If you plan on running a daycare that also helps kids learn, you will need to find out how each kid learns. If they can naturally pick up things quickly, it may be much easier to teach them new things. If they are less likely to pick up things quickly, they may need more time with teachers or daycare providers.
Learn how to make a daycare daily schedule!
9. How Does Your Child Interact With Others?
Not all kids will have practice being around other kids. It is vital to get a feel for how kids will react in a group setting. Some kids may be more comfortable on their own and slowly being introduced to others. It is vital to make a plan for each child entering your facility.
10. Are Your Children Vaccinated?
It is important to determine if a child is vaccinated for safety reasons. Some states may require all kids to have certain vaccines before entering daycare or school. You must keep every child and their parents to the same standards and follow your state laws when accepting new kids to your daycare. You should clarify this with every parent who comes in.
11. Tell Me About Your Child’s Sleep Schedule?
If a child is not sleeping through the night, they may have behavior issues or need more naps than other kids. Some kids may sleep through the night but take regular naps. It is essential to cater to each child’s schedule and help ensure they go home and sleep regularly. Finding out this information can be crucial to keeping a child healthy.
These are a few questions you can ask parents when they first come in. Keep in mind that you should be open-minded and non-judgmental. Making parents feel safe and comfortable enough to have an open conversation with you will help them make a decision about your daycare as well. Always end it by asking if the parents have questions for you.
Why Are These Questions Important for Your Daycare?
These questions allow you to determine if a family is a good fit and vice versa. Parents may find that your facility is not the best fit for their kids. It may not have to do with your facility but everything to do with the child’s personality and behavior. If you are a strict daycare or have strict policies, it may not fit the parents either. That is why these questions can be imperative to ask when taking a new child into your daycare.
Should Parents Ask Your Daycare Questions Too?
Most parents will come in with a list of questions of their own and it is important to answer them all openly and honestly. It gives them a chance to understand your views on taking care of the kids and how you would handle their kids. It will help them make a decision on whether your daycare is the best option for them and the kids.
Is family input important for a daycare facility?
As a daycare owner, you should always get kids’ feedback and feedback from parents. This will help you understand what things should change and keep the same. Feedback is critical for all businesses, including daycare owners.
When is the best time to ask parents questions?
If your daycare is very busy, you can send a few questions through email and ask more during a tour. This gives you two chances to ask all of the necessary questions. It also gives the parents time to come up with their own questions.
Is it essential to communicate with all parents?
The more you communicate with parents, the more engaged they will be. This means when you start doing events for parents, you will have more parents willing to help out. By communicating, you give parents a way to engage with the daycare.
Once you have decided to open a daycare, it is time to start finding kids to bring in. You can create a questionnaire to help get to know the parents and kids who walk through your doors. This will help the parents feel comfortable with you and allow you to determine if a child will be a good fit for your facility.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
To learn more on how to start your own daycare checkout my startup course and documents here.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Childcare Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online daycare business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a childcare business owner, I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to retain clients, find good employees and keep the business growing all while trying to stay competitive.
That’s why I created Daycare Business Boss: I want to help childcare business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.