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  #1  
Old 10-19-2016, 11:34 AM
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LeslieG LeslieG is offline
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Default Red Flags

For all you experienced daycare providers, what do you consider to be red flags when meeting with a family for the first time?

I'm meeting with a family tomorrow, and I feel like there is already a couple red flags just from our conversation, but I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and meet with them anyways.
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:37 AM
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I'm still learning.

But, for me I watch to see if they discipline the child during it or instruct their child to do anything (clean up the toys), the types of questions they ask pertaining to discipline (if they will be DEEPLY OFFENDED if I ever tell their child no, instruct them to do something else, etc.), their reaction to my illness policy, the type of parent they are (helicopter, attachment, etc.).

Certain things just don't work out well in my group so I watch for those things...
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:06 PM
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Red flags for me are parenting philosophies that are the exact opposite of mine. (I interviewed a family once that allowed their 3 yr old to swear. Didn't want to curb his freedom of expression )

Other red flags are parents that allow their child to run the show and parents that TELL me what they feel is MY job.

Honestly, what things that appear as a red flag for one family may not be a red flag for another. For me the difference is knowing (sensing) what I may or may not be able to manage. For example I have a DCK that I've had in care since birth (had older and have the younger sibs too) and the family has NO bed time. Everyone watches TV until they zonk out on the couch every night. I don't think they've ever eaten a meal that requires silverware and live and breathe to post their daily life happenings on FB.....

But here, I have zero issues with any of the kids. They nap wonderfully, eat awesome and are respectful and kind. They are 100% different kids for me than they are for their parents. I've had the exact opposite experience too. Great family, rules and structure, regular bed times, etc... But their child? Whew! That's a whole 'nother story.....

So bottom line for me is simply whether or not things "click" or not. If I really feel like I'm on the fence about saying yes or no, I use my two week trial period and use it well..... If it works; cool! If not, well....I tried.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
I'm still learning.

But, for me I watch to see if they discipline the child during it or instruct their child to do anything (clean up the toys), the types of questions they ask pertaining to discipline (if they will be DEEPLY OFFENDED if I ever tell their child no, instruct them to do something else, etc.), their reaction to my illness policy, the type of parent they are (helicopter, attachment, etc.).

Certain things just don't work out well in my group so I watch for those things...

This for the most part. I do a phone interview first. I can tell if we are going to click on the phone..
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:53 PM
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anyone who expects more than we can provide.

Like oh my kid is 3 and you will have to spoon feed them. Right after we just talked about all of the expectations.

A family that says, oh I may be late picking up on some days. Hey, were you in the same room when I mentioned I don't do late pick ups.

wanting to enroll after being at your home for 5 minutes and have not asked you any questions about your program.

a family that thinks the rules wont apply to them or that they are your BOSS.

when a family thinks their needs are more important than your rules or philosophies.

a parent tell you over the phone their kid is fully potty trained, but the come in a pull up or diaper.

parents who tell you oh my kid is very strong willed, that is code for my kid is an out of control monster...lol

ask the parents about their home scheudle and how the child does with the schedule. I don't take kids who don't have one. I run a program with a full day of scheduled activities and events.

how does your child eat, I only offer home cooked fully organic. how do you think your child will accept this type of food? Fast food kids don't work in my program, they would starve....

Gosh, I sound mean, I am partly being sarcastic and joking, but I do look for all of these things.

I do think like BC said, each provider is going to differ. It all depends on how you want to run your program and your expectations.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:21 PM
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Red flags before meeting:
-Horrible grammar, run on sentences and rude tone in emails
-Not getting back to me or waiting days on end before responding without apology.
-asking me to negotiate price before meeting me

Red flags at meeting:
-late to meeting
-doesnt apologize for being late
-wishy washy when answering questions about sleep or eating
-argues with you about your philosophies and tries to get you to bend to their way by trying to convince you their child is different
-general rude tone and not listening to you when you talk

Red flags for kids:
-child is 18 months and starts throwing toys randomly on the floor trying to break them
-takes markers and crayons and goes for the walls to draw

I don't have a whole lot of red flags for kids at meetings because behavior around the parent, in my personal experience, is completely different than when around me alone. Most kids act better, some kids act worse.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2016, 07:22 AM
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Thank you for your comments! All good things to think about.

We'll see how it goes. I'm hesitant because she said his current daycare is not a good fit. She said that the provider has a comment about inappropriate behavior from her son just about every day at pick-up. She claims that the provider yells a lot. And she also claims that her son is a "good kid". So yeah, I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I'm nervous about it all.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2016, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieG View Post
Thank you for your comments! All good things to think about.

We'll see how it goes. I'm hesitant because she said his current daycare is not a good fit. She said that the provider has a comment about inappropriate behavior from her son just about every day at pick-up. She claims that the provider yells a lot. And she also claims that her son is a "good kid". So yeah, I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I'm nervous about it all.
Make sure you ask her for "examples" of what behaviors were defined as "inappropriate" and make sure you ask HOW she knows the provider yells alot.

I "push" them to elaborate what they mean by "good kid"

Once I got this:
Me: "Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?"
Parent: "Well, I usually don't have to put him in time out more than once about a specific behavior."
I pushed for more: "How many times a day would you say he is put in time out?"
Parent: "Well, yesterday was a good day and it was probably only maybe 10 times. After lunch was even better and I think maybe only 5 time."

Even though he didn't have repeat bad behaviors, he managed to have enough of them to warrant a lot of tie in time out.

So yeah, "good kid" means all sorts of things.


Ask for as many details as the parent is willing to give.

I also try to ask if they will provide the former provider's contact info. I do NOT call former providers but the parent's willingness or unwillingness to share the info says alot to me without saying anything...kwim?
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2016, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Make sure you ask her for "examples" of what behaviors were defined as "inappropriate" and make sure you ask HOW she knows the provider yells alot.

I "push" them to elaborate what they mean by "good kid"

Once I got this:
Me: "Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?"
Parent: "Well, I usually don't have to put him in time out more than once about a specific behavior."
I pushed for more: "How many times a day would you say he is put in time out?"
Parent: "Well, yesterday was a good day and it was probably only maybe 10 times. After lunch was even better and I think maybe only 5 time."

Even though he didn't have repeat bad behaviors, he managed to have enough of them to warrant a lot of tie in time out.

So yeah, "good kid" means all sorts of things.


Ask for as many details as the parent is willing to give.

I also try to ask if they will provide the former provider's contact info. I do NOT call former providers but the parent's willingness or unwillingness to share the info says alot to me without saying anything...kwim?
Great points! Thank you!!!
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2016, 10:48 AM
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I would say you gotta go with your gut, but check out this post I did about communication with parents. Let me know if that helps or if you have any other questions.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 10-21-2016 at 05:29 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2016, 01:20 AM
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We'll see how it goes. I'm hesitant because she said his current daycare is not a good fit. She said that the provider has a comment about inappropriate behavior from her son just about every day at pick-up. She claims that the provider yells a lot. And she also claims that her son is a "good kid". So yeah, I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I'm nervous about it all.[/quote]

We get alot of of "good kid" on the behavior/personality section, yet their behaviors is the opposite of the "good kid| status on their file. You should asked her in depth about what behavior problems the provider is having with him. One of my coworkers who have been working here for over 20 years told me that a good amount of parents will either lie about their child disabilities or behavior problems because they are afraid that they might get turn down.

At our site, we have a kid who has the "good kid" status on his file. Yet he gets in trouble almost everyday! I mean like this kid doesn't not know when too shut up and accept his consequences. The interest thing that surface was that we recently found out that he has/still is in special ed. Nothing on his file that his mother filed out mentions this.

We found this out from his teachers/principle that seem to hate him. I am not too sure what happen after my boss confronted his mother, but i think she told us that he was in there for a few months, but we all know thats a lie when his special ed teacher was the one that told us!
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2016, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieG View Post
For all you experienced daycare providers, what do you consider to be red flags when meeting with a family for the first time?

I'm meeting with a family tomorrow, and I feel like there is already a couple red flags just from our conversation, but I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and meet with them anyways.
Red flags prior to interview are asking for discounts, asking what happens if they are late, asking how much time I take off (I only take families who have a back up provider or family), bad mouthing previous providers.

During the interview, I go over my policies in full and am very clear on my expectations. I gauge their reactions to my policies and listen to what questions they are asking. Sometimes they are clarifying, sometimes it feels like they are looking for a loop hole. I make notes right after the interview so I can refer back.

I watch how they are with their child and how they interact together. What are the parental expectations? How does the child react to these expectations? I know that some children will act one way with parents and another with me however it has been my experience that what I see is what I get.

I ask what they are looking for in a group care setting? What are their concerns? Are their expectations realistic?

Are they on time? Late. Forget it. I won't sign them.

Are they polite and let me talk? I have had some parents try to run the interview and for me that is a red flag.

Do they have a back up plan? What is their plan for when their child gets sick? No back up plan means I won't sign them.

I ask a lot of questions about nap time and their home routine. What are they doing to help prepare their child for group care? What is going on that will make for a difficult transition? When I suggest ways to help with the transition, what is their response?

If they are coming from another provider, I ask for specifics on why they are leaving. If it is due to being termed, I want to know why. If it is because they are unhappy, I want to make sure that I can accomodate their expectations. If not, they won't be a good fit here, either.

I make notes at the end of the interview so I can refer back. This is especially useful if I have more than one interview that day. I've also learned to listen to my gut and take 24 hours minimum before making a decision one way or another.
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2016, 10:47 AM
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I try to not judge based on just the interview alone, cause I already expect the kids to misbehave in the presence of their parents, and I "don't" expect the parents to show me their true personality, at first.
... so I usually agree to meet no matter what vibe I may get on the phone, but during the interview,I make it clear that "I" am interviewing them, as much as they are me!

Sorry but I have done the "trying to accommodate dkp's needs" it just doesn't workout!
..so now I tell them exactly what they can expect from my service and I tell them exactly what "I" expect from them once they're enrolled.
I make it clear that "I" run a firmly structured business and I expect discipline from both children and parents and I understand that this it is not for everyone, but it is the "only" way we can work together....works great for me!
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2016, 12:54 PM
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As daycare providers, we learn to translate "code talk"..

All parents code talk to some degree or another. Some are MUCH more advanced. Some don't even really know they are code talking......

The odd few parents just speaks plainly and clearly, but many will talk like this.......

"Sally is very intelligent, independent and asks a lot of questions"
Translation: Sally will question everything you tell her to do, with much pouting and attitude.

"Jimmy loves to be a big boy and go potty!"
Translation: As long as he gets chocolate. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

"We will be there around 7AM every morning"
Translation: We will show up anywhere from 8-10 most days. We will not call. We will get upset and offended if you mention it.

"We love the fact that you use the USDA food program and serve healthy food"
Translation: We will most likely bring Junior to daycare covered from head to toe in the chocolate donut he HAD to have, because we can't use words like "no" in his presence. We do not care if he wipes it all over your new couch.....

"We totally understand about your late fees".
Translation: You don't want to work extra time for free and tend Snowflake? It's not like you have a life or anything....

I've got my interpretation skills down pretty well after 30 years, but I still get stumped at times!!!
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:05 PM
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I have only a few red flags:

The fee range for home daycare around here is $30-$45 per day. I charge $30/day and so if they say during the interview anything that suggests that they might not be able to pay my fee then I don't go ahead (ex. "I think I can swing the $30). I don't need the headache.

Badmouthing previous providers in any way.

Discussion of limiting naptime for a child under 3yo. Nope, not sleep depriving your infant/toddler. And I don't want to hear you whine about your child's crappy nighttime sleep habits and passive-aggressively blaming me for it.
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