For parents, choosing the best childcare facility for their children can be an overwhelming and stressful process. Parents want to know that their children are receiving the best care possible and that the time that their children spend at the facility will be productive. Although location and cost are big determiners for facility selection, the following list contains other specific items that could make or break a parent’s decision to choose your facility:
It is a well-known fact that children thrive under structure and routine. Parents, especially of younger children, want their kids to form a relationship with their childcare teachers, and they want to feel like they know and trust the teachers as well as the admin team. If your facility has a high employee turnover rate, this could make the parents feel as though the environment is unstable and that they do not know or trust the employees. Reduction of turnover is directly related to staff feeling as though management knows who they are and are investing in who they are. Take care of your staff and your staff will take care of your business.
When parents come in to tour the facility, they are going to specifically look to see how the staff are interacting with the children and how the children are interacting with each other as well as how the staff interact with each other. The parents are expecting to see the staff highly engaged by playing with, asking questions, feeding, reading to, rocking, or showing a closeness with the children. A disengaged staff member puts you at quick risk of losing major parent points, even if the moment is atypical. Additionally, if the children are not interacting with one another and are, instead, doing their own thing, this could also be a red flag to some potential parents.
Schedules and Routines
Parents want and expect for their children to be on a set schedule each day, and they expect for this schedule to include time for learning, play, and entertainment that does not include only watching television or playing with electronics. They want to be reassured that there is structure in all aspects of the day so that they also know what to expect from their child’s daily interactions.
One of the easiest and most guaranteed things for a parent to notice is the quality of the facility itself. This can include anything from how the facility smells to how clean it is. Check your floors and window sills around the edges and corners. If they’re dirty, then expect your enrollment rate to be low. How old the toys are, the age range of the toys, what the employees are wearing, and what the quality of the snacks is are also highly important in making the first impression count. Every little detail matters, so it is important that they are all managed successfully.
Safety & Security
In the current age of technology, parents may look for or even expect certain high-tech features to help reassure them that their children are safe. This may include security cameras, pass-code door locks, and webcams. If parents feel that anyone may be able to walk into the facility or if there are security cameras that do not work, these may be deal breakers for many potential clients. Parents may also pull up the facility’s state compliance record to see a detailed list of any violations that facility may have.
For additional thoughts and a roadmap to improve your center, schedule your complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment with IC360.