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  #1  
Old 03-26-2012, 01:53 PM
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Default Potential Client Wants To Observe?

I have a new family that is interested in enrolling with me. Dcm wants to come over this week in the middle of the day and "observe" I guess you could call it.

At first I didn't think to much of it. I like to get to know my families for the most part, but it can get pretty hectic at times and I don't know if it's a good idea now.

I want them to feel welcome. They can always show up anytime dcg is in care, but to just come and sit... I don't know??

Has this ever happened to you guys before? What did you do or say?

They are a really nice family and I think they would be a great fit btw!
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2012, 01:59 PM
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Here are a couple of great threads about observations.

http://daycare.com/forum/showthread....t=observations

http://daycare.com/forum/showthread....t=observations
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2012, 01:59 PM
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While a lot of providers would not allow this, as a parent I would not choose a provider that didn't allow me to come and observe.

I would keep it short --offer maybe a 30 minute time period for them to come (preferably you choose the time, then you can choose a time that suits you and your group).

I would also let the parent know that kids sometimes go crazy when an adult is around, it's just how it is.

Let the parent know that you most likely will not be able to do much talking during this time as your focus will be with the children.

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:00 PM
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Well, for me...I won't allow anyone into my home when i am watching kids no matter whether it's a potential client or not. I do 2 interviews first one is a phone interview, then the next is a "meet the family" and also go over contract and rules. If they are insistent in wanting to observe then I would ask my parents a head of time if they feel comfortable and then I would have my husband come in as my assistant to help me bc even if a parent is there to observe they like to ask questions and that takes me away from watching the kids. If I get the ok from each parent then I ashually will make the observation time frame 30 mins and it will be close to when parents are there to pick up so that they can also meet this parent and child. And they will stop and chat with them and these parents make these parents comfortable and welcome. My parents don't stay long so they will say a quick hello and greeting and welcome them and then they leave. I like that my parents can also meet the new parents and child bc we are all kind of a big family.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:04 PM
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I have done it before and I hate it....BUT as a parent, I think that I would want to see the same as well.

Some of the ones that did come to observe, didn't sign up. They said either I was too structured or too advance for their child because they only see about 5% or less of our day.

So now I ask the parent, what is it that you would like to see while you are here for an observation? The reason I ask is because you really won't get a true feel of my program. The kids are much more difficult to control with a stranger in the house. So when you come, it's going to be crazy and for this reason, I will only be able to allow you to join us for about 20-30 minutes..

I have gotten parents to accept references in lieu of observation. They call and talk to present or past DC clients.

They also will not see how their child will interact, becuse their child will behave differently when they are around..


I hate doing observations
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:15 PM
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She's a very nice lady and the family interview went really well! They fell in love instantly and by the end were sold! It was my best interview yet

Luckily I have all small kids. None really go too crazy around other people. I did tell her the time that works best for me. I chose mid morning because most of my babies are sleeping.

My toddlers will be playing, but they are very nice together. I'm hoping she will just get the homey feel and sense of peace that usually surrounds our home!

I just don't want to come across rude because I'm busy watching and correcting the toddlers... I also don't want her to see the toddlers and think they're too rough or anything. I always protect my infants from stumbling todds and flying toys, but you know s#%t happens and always at the worst moments!
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:39 PM
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I'm on the fence.

One side, I act totally different if I'm watched. My friend came over when I was nanny'ing a little girl, and I had to tell her to do SOMETHING, being watched made me so anxious. I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong, thats just how I am. With my luck i'd have dropped the babe and looked horrible, all because my nerves.

On the other side, i'd want to see what my childs' daycare providers did, and how they worked. Then again, i'm not a crunchy person who'd turn a provider away 'cause they looked at their phone, or sat down for two minutes to catch their breath.. I just want to see how they handle the kids who decide to act up.

Maybe offer her a coffee at your home while the kids nap, and she can stay for 10 minutes after they wake up. It's also a privacy thing, if she isn't 'enrolled' in your care, it's a privacy thing. I wouldn't want a stranger around my child that I don't know, and the provider doesn't know.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soupyszoo View Post
She's a very nice lady and the family interview went really well! They fell in love instantly and by the end were sold! It was my best interview yet

Luckily I have all small kids. None really go too crazy around other people. I did tell her the time that works best for me. I chose mid morning because most of my babies are sleeping.

My toddlers will be playing, but they are very nice together. I'm hoping she will just get the homey feel and sense of peace that usually surrounds our home!

I just don't want to come across rude because I'm busy watching and correcting the toddlers... I also don't want her to see the toddlers and think they're too rough or anything. I always protect my infants from stumbling todds and flying toys, but you know s#%t happens and always at the worst moments!
Even if you think that it will go well, I would still tell the parent that it is not going to be a true reflection of how the day really goes.... Don't set yourself up to fail..

NOt saying make an excuse, because I have done them enough times to know that they will act different.

Also, you need to show that you are in control, if you don't she will get the impression that the kids walk all over you or that they can whatever they want. I am no different in front of my DCP than if they were here or not....
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2012, 02:41 PM
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Oops, yes I call babies 'Babes' Just caught myself there!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella99 View Post
I'm on the fence.

One side, I act totally different if I'm watched. My friend came over when I was nanny'ing a little girl, and I had to tell her to do SOMETHING, being watched made me so anxious. I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong, thats just how I am. With my luck i'd have dropped the babe and looked horrible, all because my nerves.

On the other side, i'd want to see what my childs' daycare providers did, and how they worked. Then again, i'm not a crunchy person who'd turn a provider away 'cause they looked at their phone, or sat down for two minutes to catch their breath.. I just want to see how they handle the kids who decide to act up.

Maybe offer her a coffee at your home while the kids nap, and she can stay for 10 minutes after they wake up. It's also a privacy thing, if she isn't 'enrolled' in your care, it's a privacy thing. I wouldn't want a stranger around my child that I don't know, and the provider doesn't know.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:05 PM
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I think there was recently a thread about this.

Anyway, I suppose you have to feel it out and decide what is best for you. I would not let an interviewee observe ever, only because they really have no vested interest in my home, the other children, etc. What about the safety of the other children? What would the other kids' parents think? Also, I would be afraid of losing the contract because I am sure that one of my kids would act up at the worst possible moment lol!

I would say that you have a policy that only parents are welcome, but that she is welcome to make a decision, and bring the child over for an hour or so to play and get used to everything, if they decide to go with you.
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:17 PM
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No parents in the playroom.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kendallina View Post
While a lot of providers would not allow this, as a parent I would not choose a provider that didn't allow me to come and observe.

I would keep it short --offer maybe a 30 minute time period for them to come (preferably you choose the time, then you can choose a time that suits you and your group).

I would also let the parent know that kids sometimes go crazy when an adult is around, it's just how it is.

Let the parent know that you most likely will not be able to do much talking during this time as your focus will be with the children.

Good luck!
Yes, this.
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:46 PM
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I did this once, will never do this again. I have a good group of kids and of course this 1 yr old ended up pushing another kid and the kid pushed him back. Well the parents didn't like this, because everyone was fine, but they didn't like this. I know that they want to observe but it never works out and they rarely sign up, so i don't do this.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
I have done it before and I hate it....BUT as a parent, I think that I would want to see the same as well.

Some of the ones that did come to observe, didn't sign up. They said either I was too structured or too advance for their child because they only see about 5% or less of our day.

So now I ask the parent, what is it that you would like to see while you are here for an observation? The reason I ask is because you really won't get a true feel of my program. The kids are much more difficult to control with a stranger in the house. So when you come, it's going to be crazy and for this reason, I will only be able to allow you to join us for about 20-30 minutes..

I have gotten parents to accept references in lieu of observation. They call and talk to present or past DC clients.

They also will not see how their child will interact, becuse their child will behave differently when they are around..


I hate doing observations
All of the above....
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2012, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
No parents in the playroom.

My rule too.
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  #16  
Old 03-27-2012, 11:31 AM
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I wouldn't want strangers in my house while my children and other daycare children were present!! NO WAY!!!
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  #17  
Old 03-27-2012, 12:08 PM
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I have never had a parent who DIDN"T want to observe and every parent I have ever enrolled spent time here observing first. I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel that the parents need and have a right to see how we interact with a group of children, not just their own. Group dynamics and how a provider works are VERY different than when with just the child(ren) from that one family. Having one of the children "act up" while they observe is a great opportuntiy for them to see how the provider would handle such a situation....though I've been fortunate as I've never had any of my kiddos act up just because another adult was here.

Good luck on your observation/interview. Keep us posted on how it goes.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:49 PM
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I allow observation. Not only do I want to see how the new child may interact with my DCK's I want the parent to make a confident decision to send their child here. I always inform my current families if observations are taking place and I only allow them between 10am and 1230pm. The child comes for snack, play, cleanup and lunch. The parent comes and is required to fade into the background and not interact with me or the children unless absolutely necessary. There are periods of time I can chat with the parent and answer questions as we go along.

Honestly, it works out great for me and my new DCK's transition without a tear in almost all cases.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:14 PM
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I don't allow observation.

What I tell them is this:

"I'm happy that you are interested in enrolling but for the safety of the other children, I don't allow parents to observe. What I can do is schedule you for a second interview about a half hour before closing time when I only have a few children so you can tour and meet my staff assistant."

Usually that clears it up. Either they'll come for a few minutes or they won't.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:26 PM
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I have had a few parents come and observe, yes I am with kids, they are not coming by to socialize with me, they just want to sit and watch, and let their children watch, Whats the difference between that, and going and observing your kindergartners classroom? I just enrolled my son in school, and the packet actually had a page, where they encourage parents to schedule a time to come and observe their child in the classroom, Thats awesome. And I always offer parents to come by with their kids during our day to "see what we do", I usually have them come by after breakfast and teeth brushing, around our exercise and dance time, and they can stay through project, or outdoor play, depending on the season, I don't sit and chat with them, I just go about my day like normal, and if we head outside, I will chat with them more. I personally would never enroll my child in a childcare if they told me I could not come and check it out first.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:33 PM
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Dang! You guys are making me nervous!

She's a first time mother so I know she's just very nervous to leave her baby. Her baby is almost 12 weeks so there won't be much for me to observe for the most part. The two toddlers that will be present and my 8yo dd are very well behaved. With exception to my 1.5yo dcb who acts up as soon as his mom arrives. I don't know how he'll be with another mother.

At least I'll have 8yo dd to help entertain if the dcm wants to talk or ask questions.

I don't know if I'll ever say yes to this again. It will all depend on how tomorrow goes I guess
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:40 PM
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I've likely already posted in the threads that blackcat posted but here is what I do. I allow a parent to come AFTER they enroll in the program. They come as part of the "integration" period and are only allowed to stay for 1/2 an hour on the very first day of care.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soupyszoo View Post
Dang! You guys are making me nervous!

She's a first time mother so I know she's just very nervous to leave her baby. Her baby is almost 12 weeks so there won't be much for me to observe for the most part. The two toddlers that will be present and my 8yo dd are very well behaved. With exception to my 1.5yo dcb who acts up as soon as his mom arrives. I don't know how he'll be with another mother.

At least I'll have 8yo dd to help entertain if the dcm wants to talk or ask questions.

I don't know if I'll ever say yes to this again. It will all depend on how tomorrow goes I guess
Don't be nervous, I have a large group, and I have had observations, and My children have never started acting up, I tell them in the morning that we will be having a baby come by, or a kid, and they are fine, we always have dance/exercise time in the morning, so they can be crazy during that anyways, and then We will have our circle time, and then go outside or do a project, every parent I have had observe, just sits back, or in the circle and watches, watches their kid want to participate, or sings with our songs, no one has ever just interupted to start talking to me, we will chat for a minute before they leave, just saying thanks for coming by, say goodbye to their child, and then they are gone. I think its nice for them to just see the kids with you, you can tell alot by seeing kids with their provider, you can tell if they seem scared, or if they are just happy, you can just get a good feel for if kids are happy.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:49 PM
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Most of you know why I won't allow any adult anywhere near a child that's not their own....so I'll just say...I don't do observation

It's personal choice and both sides have merit.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:50 PM
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I allow parents to come for a visit with their child to get an idea of how things run but if you mean this woman is going to just sit and watch you work for an hour then NO.
I do always make sure to mention that they are welcome to come and hang out with us but that the kids normally act up when there is someone different around so it won't really give them an accurate idea of how their child will be while in care.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:09 PM
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Everything went great yesterday! She dropped by for about 45 mins. All my little toddlers were perfect little angels. I got to see how the baby was and she seems nice

Her first day is Monday

Thanks guys!
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:14 PM
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Great news!!
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:42 PM
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Yay, that's great!
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:44 PM
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Sweeeeeeeeet!!!! Congrats, and enjoy the new baby!
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
Most of you know why I won't allow any adult anywhere near a child that's not their own....so I'll just say...I don't do observation

It's personal choice and both sides have merit.
I totally understand where you are coming from. Fortunately, most of us will never have to cross that bridge.

My new mom spent about 2 hours here today. It's going to be a hard adjustment for both.
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