Owning a daycare not only helps you feel like you have a satisfying career but gives you a neighborhood and community somewhere to send the kids. You will often continue to grow your business by adding in employees and adding more kids. You will not only want to meet the children in advance, but you will also want to talk to their parents. You can conduct ‘parent interviews’ to get to know them.
How can you interview parents for your daycare? There are a few simple steps to follow to guarantee a smooth parent interview for your daycare.
Setting- Ensure the place is distraction-free.
Time- Schedule enough time to talk to the parents.
Questions- Ask them essential questions about expectations and their children.
Their Questions- Be sure to allow them to ask you questions.
Tours- If they want to see the facility, show them around or schedule a tour.
Conducting interviews can seem nerve-wracking, but after a few tests runs, you will get the hang of it. If you follow these simple steps, you will not only get the most of your interview, the parents will feel reassured that you are the right choice for their kids. When they feel you are competent and love what you do, they will choose you over your competitors.
How To Interview Parents
We listed the basic structure of how to give an interview, but there are some more steps within. It can be challenging to get over your fears of conducting an interview but remember the other side is also nervous. Here are the best steps that will help you remain calm and get through the interview smoothly.
This often goes overlooked, but the setting is everything during an interview. You will want a place away from the kids that are playing. Find a quiet place that feels warm, cozy, comfortable, and showcases who you are as the facility’s owner. Some perfect paces include:
- Unused classroom
- A playground if the weather is good
- Adult breakroom
When the parents walk in for the interview, they will be inspecting everything, which can be intimidating for you. Ensure the space is clean and distraction-free. Tell all of your employees when and in which room you will be conducting the interview.
Many interviews can last over thirty minutes; sometimes, they can last an hour. You should always schedule someone to cover you and your kids for over an hour. It is okay if it ends early, but you need to be sure you have enough time if it runs longer.
Anything under thirty minutes may indicate it is not a good fit. If a parent is interested, they may even want to look around the room their kid would be in.
This is, by far, one of the most critical aspects of an interview. Having a list of questions to ask your parents can be crucial to ensure a good fit. Here are some questions you may want to ask during the interview with the parents.
Does the child have special needs or a learning disability?
For many, this may seem like an uncomfortable question. However, when you are in charge of a child, you will want to know how to help them, teach them, and many times if a child has a learning disability, they will need something drastically different than the other kids. The child will not be able to tell you, so it is vital to have open communication with the parents.
Does the child have any allergies?
If a kid has any allergies, it is essential to know this. If a child is allergic to peanuts, in many cases, it can be severe. Some kids may know, and others may not. This can be something you want to ask the parents. Then you can decide whether to ban the allergy-inducing product in the facility, or you can take a course on what to do in case of an allergy attack.
Does the child have medications?
Some children may need medication at a certain time, and it is essential to understand when, how to handle it, and if you need any training to do so. These are critical questions to ask parents.
What do you look for in the curriculum? Can I teach the child extra activities such as music and art?
Many times parents love it when daycares offer to teach kids things outside of schools. However, depending on what you want to teach, some parents may not be okay with it. You will want to ask what they are willing to allow their kids to learn. This may help the parents decide if you are a good fit or not.
What are your expectations of me, the owner?
Parents go into daycare with expectations, and without asking, you will not know what they are. It is crucial to have open communication. They will want you to perform specific duties, and if you cannot fulfill certain things or expectations, this is the time to say so.
Can we go over the handbook together?
As the owner, you will have a few set rules and should come up with a handbook. This will tell the parents how you expect employees to act with the children. The manual will allow parents to see how their kids need to behave at your daycare and the outcomes if the rules are not followed. During this question, you should also notice parent behaviors to specific rules.
These are only a few basic questions you should add to your interview. The best way to hit all of the crucial questions is by making a list of things to ask that you find are important. In return, you should also ask them to come up with a list of questions. This allows you to get to know each other and keep the communication open and honest. Being transparent about who you are, offers a sense of comfort to the parents.
Hosting an interview not only allows you to ask questions, but it will enable the parents to get to know you too. This should not make you nervous as parents; it is their job to understand who you are if their child will like you. Before having them in, talk to the parents over the phone and tell them to come up with a list of questions.
Holding an interview is for you and them. Both parties should be comfortable answering critical questions to help build a rapport and relationship. This is your business, but this is also their baby in your hands.
Check out common questions HERE!
Touring Your Facility
One of the best ways to introduce a new space is by giving the parents a tour. This can be a great way to start the interview and help relax any nerves on your end. If you have spaces set up, you can show the parents it is a great way to break the ice. Ensure the parents get a small tour, or you can end with the tour.
If the parents do not have enough time or do not have enough time at the end of the interview, you can invite them back and allow their child to come along. This can be a great way to meet the kid for a minute and allow everyone to feel comfortable with space. It is a great feature to add to the interview process.
Interviews get easier after the first few times doing them. As a business owner, you will be hosting and holding a lot of interviews. The best thing you can do is come up with one routine and practice with it. Soon it will become second-nature and won’t frighten you so much. Follow this simple guide to make the most of your interview and become comfortable with the parents. Don’t worry if it does not work out. It is better to find out that it is not a good fit during the interview process rather than later on.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How to attract parents to my daycare?
The best way to attract parents for interviews and get more children at your daycare is to create a website. Promote your business on social media and allow parents to tour your facility. The more interviews you have with parents, the more your business will spread by word of mouth.
What do parents look for during an interview?
Parents tend to look at the layout and aesthetics of a facility. That is why it is essential to give a well thought out tour. Parents also look at staffing, rules, organization structure, security, and cost. Many of these things you will add to your interview or handbook.
How to know if a child is not a good fit?
Not all children will be suitable for your daycare. You will be able to tell this through the interview. If the parents have a problem with any rules, it could be a sign that their morals are not in line with yours. If the child seems overstimulated during a tour, it could be a sign of future problems. If you notice any communication problems at the beginning of the interview, it may not be a good fit.
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.