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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Sooo...Play Dates/Needy Mommies?
Nisaryn 11:09 PM 05-16-2016
Hello everyone! I have two families that are interviewing with me this week. One has already said for sure that she wants to take one of my spaces and is bringing the paperwork and deposit over tomorrow. Then she also asked if she could "hang around for a play date", I said that would be OK if she let her DCB stay for a little while if she wanted to run a quick errand (I've never had anyone ask this before) but then she replied "No I mean to hang around and watch the kids and maybe we could drink some coffee and chat"....I wasn't sure how to respond to this, I don't exactly have time to chat now that I also have some toddlers (I'm officially no longer and 'infant only home' ). She also wanted to know if she could bring DCB over "for a few trial runs next week before he starts" and I haven't responded yet....do any of ya'll do this? Do you charge for this? I feel almost like...well...I hate to say it, like she really just wants to get some extra free childcare or find a new friend, she even sent me a friend request on Facebook and when I didn't accept it she sent me a text letting me know that she "sent a request". I get the feeling this is going to turn sour.....advice?
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childcaremom 02:26 AM 05-17-2016
You could offer to do a short drop in. Charge or not.

I wouldn't do the stay and chat, though. I would explain to her that you are working and need to focus on the children. For safety reasons, you don't allow other adults around the children, etc.

I don't offer 'playdates' for the children or parents. I also don't like doing half days or trial days. I have always found it easiest for everyone if things just start as they are going to continue.

Decide what you are comfortable with. I would charge for trials and half days. Let her know what her options are and then leave it.

I would also tell her that you don't friend clients. (I find that awkward. Maybe it's just me. )
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spedmommy4 02:54 AM 05-17-2016
Originally Posted by childcaremom:
You could offer to do a short drop in. Charge or not.

I wouldn't do the stay and chat, though. I would explain to her that you are working and need to focus on the children. For safety reasons, you don't allow other adults around the children, etc.

I don't offer 'playdates' for the children or parents. I also don't like doing half days or trial days. I have always found it easiest for everyone if things just start as they are going to continue.

Decide what you are comfortable with. I would charge for trials and half days. Let her know what her options are and then leave it.

I would also tell her that you don't friend clients. (I find that awkward. Maybe it's just me. )
This.

And I don't friend clients either. I would let her know that it's important to have that professional boundary. Before I starred my business, I also changed my FB privacy settings. You can only find me if you have the personal email I use or are friends with one of my friends.
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JackandJill 06:22 AM 05-17-2016
I say stick to your boundaries with Facebook, nothing good ever come from it!

As far as "play dates" and drop in days go, I would make them on a very limited basis. I offer one 30 minute drop in day for parents, with the understanding that I am still working, and its not a play date. I always do them while we are out in the yard, and I put it on the schedule (its not an open ended invitation to come when it works for mom). So if its 10 to 10:30, my alarm on my phone goes off at 10:30 and we go inside and the parent leaves. I only do this after I have all their paperwork, deposit and a start date, and it is usually a few days before their first day of care.

Treat it like you would an interview, it has a structure, time limits and its not socializing with mom. Its letting the kids meet each other and ease moms mind a little on the first day of care that her little one will have fun with their new friends. Then that way you have laid the ground work to tell mom times up, we are moving on the the next thing, see you Monday!

Ultimately though, if it makes you uncomfortable, then say no. There are a multitude of reason not to do it either, so don't be afraid to speak up and let mom know the rules from day one! Good luck!!
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Nurse Jackie 08:26 AM 05-17-2016
I normally do my interviews after hours but recently I had to do one during business hours. Doing the interview during business hours I think actually put moms mind at ease because she got to see how comfortable her toddler was in my setting playing with my toys and her new friends. If you're comfortable I would do what jacknjill suggested just one time. As for the Facebook thing once I opened my daycare I changed my settings so that only a friend of a friend can send me a friend request. That way I don't have to explain why I don't feel comfortable having my clients as friends on Facebook.
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Controlled Chaos 08:52 AM 05-17-2016
I do make friends with daycare families occasionally. BUT I wait until we have formed a very respectful professional relationship and even then I wait until we have been real friends for several months before adding them on FB. I imagine I will lot do this once my kids are older, but as my kids are 2,4 and 6 the daycare kids are their friends and classmates so it feels right now. I also have no problem saying no when I don't want to see them in off time when I am burnt out.

I would never do a play date while working - that's ridiculous. I have offered a drop in before starting a contract if parents want. But it's always full day and of course paid at the drop in rate
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Thriftylady 09:07 AM 05-17-2016
Sounds like mom is looking for a friend. That is a boundary I try not to cross. I would let her know I just don't do play dates. I would tell her that you are busy caring fo the children and don't have to for coffee and a chat. This is a boundary I would make in the beginning, or she may be the parent that hangs around for an hour at drop off and pick up each time being "friends".
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Nisaryn 09:11 AM 05-17-2016
Thank you everyone! I don't think I'm going to charge unless she is wanting to come more than once, I do all my interviews during daycare hours so her child was already able to meet and play with the other kids while we toured my home so it isn't as if she has no idea what it will be like. The kids all did fine together I will take JackandJills suggestion and limit it to 30 minutes . I went ahead and created a daycare FB and am going to direct her to that and my website that she had already look at apparently but I guess websites seem old fashioned these days? I started to upload photos from the website onto it this morning before my kids got here. I spoke with her again this morning and I think this will turn out OK, just being a young and new mother.
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rosieteddy 09:58 AM 05-17-2016
I would let a parent come for 1 hour at outside time....The parent usually came Thursday or Friday before start day.When I first started DC I would charge for a day here and there.I never really found a benefit for either the child or myself.So I stopped that.
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Unregistered 10:54 AM 05-17-2016
Originally Posted by Controlled Chaos:
I do make friends with daycare families occasionally. BUT I wait until we have formed a very respectful professional relationship and even then I wait until we have been real friends for several months before adding them on FB. I imagine I will lot do this once my kids are older, but as my kids are 2,4 and 6 the daycare kids are their friends and classmates so it feels right now. I also have no problem saying no when I don't want to see them in off time when I am burnt out.

I would never do a play date while working - that's ridiculous. I have offered a drop in before starting a contract if parents want. But it's always full day and of course paid at the drop in rate
This is me.....I've made some wonderful friends through my child care!
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EntropyControlSpecialist 11:20 AM 05-17-2016
I wouldn't do a play date at all. You already offered her the chance for her child to come and play with other children...during their interview.

I friend my clients on my personal Facebook if they request me. I've yet to have any issues come of it (4 years in business thus far) and I have about 14 Moms on there that are currently enrolled and 2 Dads. However, we don't hang out or have a real friendship outside of here.
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Tags:needy, needy moms, play dates
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