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Old 08-10-2013, 07:14 PM
preschoolteacher's Avatar
preschoolteacher preschoolteacher is offline Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Minnesota
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Default What I Learned From 6 Tours In 6 Days

I just finished a week of back-to-back tours and interviews! I will be opening my daycare very soon so I was interviewing for 5 spots. It was a learning experience to say the least! I thought I would share...

Here is what I learned:

1. The hardest tour is the first tour. It took a lot of work to get all of the paperwork ready and to clean the house to spotless since we are finishing some renovation (daycare-related) and that in itself can be messy. But since I knew I was having 6 tours, I made 6 copies of all the paperwork I wanted to give out (enrollment applications, information sheets about my curriculum, etc.) and put them in folders with each family's name. Once the house was clean, I just made sure I kept it clean so I didn't have to do another deep clean during the week.

2. Back-to-back tours is the way to go. The house never had enough time to get messy in between tours. I really only had to scrub it spotless once and then pick up and clean in small areas the rest of the week.

3. Give families as much information as you can before the tour so that during the tour you can get to know them. I have a really detailed website, and I also emailed my parent handbook to each family before they came over. Once they got here, they pretty much knew everything there was to know about me and my program. No surprises. During the tour/interview, I got to focus more on getting to know the family to see if they were the right fit. They got to focus on me and if I was a good fit for their kid. It was a win-win.

4. Jumping off from #3--make sure they actually read your website and handbook! I could tell from talking to the families that they had. It would have been a red flag for me, however, if they hadn't.

5. Follow the parents' lead. I had everything planned out for my first tour, but when the mom got here, I realized she wasn't interested in the details of the state licensing process or how often I checked the batteries in the smoke detectors or what brand of organic fruit I served for breakfast (just kidding, but I almost was trying to go that in-depth!). After just a few minutes, I could tell she really cared about my personality and how I interacted with her daughter. I changed gears and spent the rest of the time playing with her daughter and being myself. It was so much more relaxed and comfortable. The next family was more detail-oriented, so I combined my approaches and talked more about smoke detectors... but from a comfy spot on the carpet while I "tasted" all of the delicious food their child was bringing me from the toy kitchen.

6. Pay attention to what parents like. I noticed that the mom from one of my first tours was very impressed when I told her that the entire main floor of our home is child-proof. So I made sure I told every family that. When I noticed another parent seemed to really like the way I described my behavior guidance policy, I made sure to describe it that way to the other families.

7. Be prepared!! I was SO glad I had a stocked first aid kit ready to go because one parent got injured (in their car, not in my house). It would have been embarrassing not to have that ready. Be ready for how you will react when the touring daycare kid falls down, gets into a scuffle with your own kid over a toy, or has an accident in your house. All of these things happened to me.

All in all, I'd say that I met some great families, and I have three of them lined up with me already and waiting for when I'm licensed before their kids begin! I only have one spot left to fill. I'm celebrating a little!
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:18 PM
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Familycare71 Familycare71 is offline Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 1,693

Great job!!!
I have decided I want to start sending info to parents prior to the interview. I def think it will weed out the ones who don't like something and give them a better opportunity to ask informed questions. From what you wrote - I also like it will show me if they care enough to even read through the info
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:32 PM
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gracepatiencelove gracepatiencelove is offline Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 163

These are all good to know
I never know if I should be playing more with the kids or talking more to the parents.

Last edited by gracepatiencelove; 08-10-2013 at 07:33 PM. Reason: too long
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:35 PM
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EntropyControlSpecialist EntropyControlSpecialist is offline
Embracing the chaos.
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by Familycare71 View Post
Great job!!!
I have decided I want to start sending info to parents prior to the interview. I def think it will weed out the ones who don't like something and give them a better opportunity to ask informed questions. From what you wrote - I also like it will show me if they care enough to even read through the info
I began e-mailing a copy of my Parent Handbook and told the parents to please read it thoroughly and bring any questions they may have with them to the interviews. After I started doing it this way, I have had far fewer issues.

GREAT interviewing tips!
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:54 AM
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nannyde nannyde is offline
All powerful, all knowing daycare whisperer
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 7,311

I do mine in a series of three interviews. I don't place too much weight on the first one. I just do a get to know you session first. I don't have my child present during any of the interviews and if there child is mobile I don't have the child come either. Too much focus on what the child is doing at the moment and not enough time to visit.

I've tried different versions over the years.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:07 AM
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AcornMama AcornMama is offline Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 285

Helpful ideas! Thanks for sharing!
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interview, interview - checklist

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