I don’t know about you but as a new provider, I struggled with communicating with parents. I almost cringed whenever I had to discuss something about tuition payments, policies, or even signing my contract. To tell you the truth, I think it took me several years before I actually got comfortable. Today I want to share with you the methods I developed for better communication with daycare parents in my business.
How To Communicate With Parents Effectively
I know that I’ve said this in the past, but before starting my childcare business I worked in corporate America for many years. Way back then having “interpersonal skills” was a thing and actually a featured skill on my resume. Anyway, I thought that would surely well prepare me to deal with my own clients. Rite?!
There were just some conversations that were so uncomfortable that I felt like a deer caught in headlights. And I either froze in the moment or stumbled my way through making unnecessary justifications at every turn.
Thankfully, as I said eventually I figured out how to overcome my confrontational issues. But I know I’m not the only one who wants to transform their ways. So the following is only for my provider sisters & brothers who are in need of a backbone implant.
I know, I know! Easy for me to say right? But the thing is it’s almost a must! You need to find a way to get comfortable with you being the boss of your business.
And that might mean doing some soul searching. Or it might mean starting your day with an affirmation that explains that to yourself every day so that you can gain the confidence to have effective conversations with clients.
Once you feel comfortable & confident, communication comes much easier.
Role With It!
One of the best things you can do to gain confidence and better communication skills is to role-play.
Maybe you can do this alone by pretending that you are your client. But if you lack the ability to truly put yourself in the other person’s shoes recruit your spouse or a friend to play the part of the parent.
This can actually be fun because most likely you will be less nervous. And if you are, you’ll probably be comfortable enough to have authentic, relaxed conversations.
Creating Simple Scripts For Client Communication
One of the ways I build up my backbone was to create simple scripts to help with better communication with daycare parents. I would make note of something that I needed to address either with a particular parent or to all clients moving forward. Then I would write out what I thought was my best response.
So for instance, if I needed to advise a parent why I had a policy of not switching days due to a holiday, I wrote out my best response and saved it. Then whenever that issue arose again, I knew just what to say.
This was a real game-changer for me because it allowed me to remove myself from being put on the spot (deer in headlights scenario). Instead, I could give a thoughtful complete response. It also was a huge timesaver as well because I stored the scripts either on my phone or in an easily accessible document on my computer.
Cut & paste scripts became my best friend!
- How To Avoid The Childcare Client You Can’t Stand
- The Little Backbone Book – 18 Notes to Communicate with Childcare Clients
- Effective Communication with Childcare Parents
Ways To Communicate With Parents Using Technology
In the early days to avoid what I felt were awkward confrontations, I took full advantage of everything I had at my disposal. And since I had the scripts system for handling the common issues that typically came up all I had to do was deliver them.
Until I felt comfortable and confident to deliver information directly, I found I could use several other ways to communicate. Here are more than a few of my favs:
- Daily Notes
- Policy Memo
In some ways using one of these methods of communication (or a combination) was even more effective than a forgettable conversation.
Use any of these methods until you feel confident in your ability to have conversations with your clients.
Better Communication With Daycare Parents
In this post, I shared three ways very effective ways you can develop better communication with daycare parents.
- Get comfortable so you will be more confident
- Use role-play to develop relaxed communication with parents
- Use technlogy to convey messages to clients