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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Phone Calls When You're Full?
KEG123 01:06 PM 01-09-2012
What do your conversations usually go like when you get a phone call from someone looking for daycare, but you are already full?

The reason I ask is because my conversations are somewhat awkward. It normally starts out something like this.

Me: Hello?
Them: Hi, is this a daycare?
Me: Yes, this is.
Them: Just wondering if you have an opening for a __ year/month old.
Me: No, I am actually full at the moment. Sorry.

silence...

Them: OK, thanks. Bye.
Me: Bye.

So... is there something else that should be said? Like, "Would you like to be added to the wait list..." or something? It just feels like there is a lot of awkward silence or something.
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Heidi 01:11 PM 01-09-2012
" I currently have a waiting list, so if you'd like to schedule a visit, I would be happy to show you our program".

It's hard to get across in that phone call that tommorow, 2 famlies could suddenly tell you they are moving accross the country....
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Meeko 01:29 PM 01-09-2012
Most of my phone calls are this! I am in the phone book and my phone rings daily with people wanting care. My calls are similar to this.

Them: Is this *** day care?
Me: yes it is
Them: Do you have any openings?
Me: What age group are you wanting?
Them: ** years old
Me: As of right now, I don't have any openings available in that age group. I'd be happy to place you on our priority list and call you if a place becomes available. Or please free to call us back at any time.

Sometimes they ask to go on the list, sometimes they say thanks and hang up. Sometimes they ask questions about rates etc anyway.

Oh and I also let them know the address to my web site so they can check that out too.

I don't interview/do tours unless I actually have openings coming up. It's a waste of my time otherwise. Like showing someone a car that isn't actually for sale! I would spend my life showing folks around and yet it wouldn't gain me any extra income.
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renodeb 01:51 PM 01-09-2012
When I get a daycare call it usually goes something like this:
Me: Hello?
Them: Yes is this Debbie (if they get my name before hand) or Im calling about dc, do you have any openings.
Me: I'm full but (and this is the part where I say any of the following things depending on the situation: I would like to add you to my waiting list as things do change rapidly in this business, I would like to recommend _____ she is an excelent provider who I have known for years, I would like to give you the number to a R&R agency that can give you a list of providers in this area of town, and sometimes they just say thanks and thats the end of the call. It shouldnt be awkward, just have something ready to say that will ease the awkwardness.
Debbie
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Blackcat31 01:59 PM 01-09-2012
Yep, right after telling them I am full I say, "I can add you to my waiting list if you'd like or I can give you the number to our CCR&R, they can assist you in finding a child care that has openings for your child's age.
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laundrymom 02:50 PM 01-09-2012
It usually say, I dont have any openings in that age group but may in the near future. Would you like me to add your name to my list? If something happens and something opens up I will call and let you know. If you are still looking I will be happy to set up a meeting. But if you find somewhere in the meantime I move on to the next on my list.
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Countrygal 02:57 PM 01-09-2012
Originally Posted by renodeb:
When I get a daycare call it usually goes something like this:
Me: Hello?
Them: Yes is this Debbie (if they get my name before hand) or Im calling about dc, do you have any openings.
Me: I'm full but (and this is the part where I say any of the following things depending on the situation: I would like to add you to my waiting list as things do change rapidly in this business, I would like to recommend _____ she is an excelent provider who I have known for years, I would like to give you the number to a R&R agency that can give you a list of providers in this area of town, and sometimes they just say thanks and thats the end of the call. It shouldnt be awkward, just have something ready to say that will ease the awkwardness.
Debbie
I haven't gotten there yet.... But when I do I would take this approach myself. Usually when people are looking they need someone ASAP and can't wait, so I would be sure to offer a suggestion of someone I knew who was reliable. Hopefully what goes around comes around and some day she(he)'d refer me back!
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grandmom 03:34 PM 01-09-2012
Caller: Do you have an opening for ....?
Me: Oh, I'd be happy to talk to you about your needs. May I call you back as soon as the last child leaves, then we can have time to talk?


Later:

Me: Thank you for letting me call you back. So tell me about your needs?.... And when do you need care? And...and...and.... I ask several questions, mention a few things about my program. The main thing is to keep them answering questions, make them feel cared for. THEN I tell them I don't have an opening currently, but would love to talk more in case an opening comes up.

Good luck.
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Cat Herder 05:27 PM 01-09-2012
I refer them to other LEGAL local providers.
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wdmmom 05:33 PM 01-09-2012
I actually don't provide that type of information over the phone.

I get more emails rather than calls and I always ask the same questions.

How many children?
What ages?
What days per week?
Drop off time?
Pick up time?

I would like to know the schedule they are needing care before I disclose any information.

If their schedule is something that would be great for my program, I then ask if they've seen my website, how they got my name, and how soon they are looking for care to begin.

I will do informational interviews so the parents can see the set up and meet me as well.

The economy is so unstable, I'd rather have a face to go with the name when I call them back and offer them a spot in the daycare.
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littlemissmuffet 12:47 PM 01-10-2012
I don't ever answer my phone unless I know who it. Parents interested in our daycare will always leave a message. I call back with this:

"Hi this is _________, owner of _________ daycare. I just got your message that you are interested in a space at our daycare."

"Yes."

"We are currently at full capacity, but we're always taking names for our waiting list - you never know when a space will become available. Would you like to be entered in to our database?"

If they answer, no, I say "Ok, great, well feel free to check back in a few months!" If the answer is yes, I take their information and let them know I will contact them when applicable.

I couldn't imagine NOT building my waiting list and wasting a potential client like that!!! My waiting list is a life-saver when I either need to term or when a parent unexpectedly ends care.
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mismatchedsocks 12:55 PM 01-10-2012
If I am full and someone contacts me for daycare, I see what days/hours and age of child before i answer them. There are some days here and there I have openings so I always see if they want those days.

If i am full, I let them know that I am full but have an opening ( then give date ) but I say things change all the time and if they want me to email them my policies or meet me we can. That way if something changes ( like a lay off) i have a list of families I can let know I have opening.

I do tend to give them the number of local resource and referral system, and let them know to call to check back if they dont find anyone.
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Tags:phone call, waiting list interviews
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