View Full Version : Initial parent visits

06-11-2011, 11:38 AM
I am trying to get myself a bit organised for initial parent visits a I am not very confident with these, so was wondering how you normally do yours? Do you have a list of questions, do you show your portfolio (including what), do you try and be a proffesional or do you just chat, do you have a website and if so does it take the pressure off?

06-11-2011, 12:47 PM
I go with my gut feeling on this one and thought if it was me as parent bringing a mindee, the most important thing is that the childminder really likes my child.
I focus pretty much straight away on the mindee and try to engage and get something for her to play with or talk about her/him if its a babe in arms.

It goes without saying your setting is looking as nice as possible with toys out for that age range and that they have hopefully looked at your profile somewhere (with photo of you)

I do recommend having a website as they will usually have looked at that first...

When they arrive, I let them take the lead usually and it usually ends up with me saying why I am a child minder and how I love working with children and something about my background (I know all this is important as the mum/dad will be assessing me all thru.) but I go with their questions and dont try to steer the convo. If it's a quiet shy mum we just focus on the child for a while and I might ask a leading question or two - usually the shyest of mums will be happy to answer questions about their child. What does she like to play with, is she enjoying her nursery group, is she a good sleeper. The idea of all this is to relax the mum, I wouldn't take notes at this stage. That comes later. The most important thing is for mum to feel relaxed and to like you. This might sound calculated on my part but it's not, its just normal interested questions if she dries up.

Eventually when the time seems right (after half an hour usually of me playing with mindee and mum talking) I'll hand over the intro parent pack which is a sheet about me, a health and safety procedure overview on one page, a few policies, a blank contract, a few permission forms just so they know what to expect. (about 7 pages in all)

Then when they start on about details, hours, payment I give them a loose sheet with a break down of their particular contract if they choose to come with me, incl a 12 month calculation averaged it out - assuming she's already told me her needs on the phone before hand. (This sheet is deliberately loose and I hand it over ONLY when they ask for details...last time she didn't get that far so i didn't offer it. I knew she knew my prices as she'd seen the website or childcare profile and I didnt want to be pushy espec as she chose me as she didn't want an overly business like childminder) This lady is a floating prospective... she says she's going to use me but I am waiting till she wants to talk money. Will most likely be on our 2nd visit when I go to her with the mindee who will be with her son. Handing over this sheet is quite a big step and I don't want to blow it by giving it too early and expecting her to definitely use me. Seeing the monthly amount in black and white can be quite shock so I need to make sure they definitely really like me first. There is no hurry.

I'm interested in what other people say about how they do it as this is just my way and I'm only 7 weeks registered but this has worked for 5 sets of parents so far. So please dont take it as gospel!

let us know how you get on

06-11-2011, 04:04 PM
I welcome them in, let them get comfy whilst generally chatting, offer them a drink and give them my portfolio to browse through.

I'll talk to the child and show them the toys that are out etc. Then just follow the parents lead by answering their questions. If they're a bit quiet or don't have too many questions I'll ask about their lo and/or talk about my own children....they then usually think of other things to ask.

They never seem to stay too long but all but one have wanted me to care for their child.

06-11-2011, 05:16 PM
We do things very similar to the above.
First of all we show lots of interest in the child/children. We have a portfolio which parents usually browse through. We have in our portfolio: copies of registration certificates and all other important documents (CRB checks, Public Liability insurance, qualification certificates, Ofsted reports, etc.), our CVs, references from current and previous families, our Policies and Procedures, sample menu, example of typical day, fees, etc.
We also show parents around the house, show them where their child would play, eat, sleep, and show them the garden. We also talk about what we like to do during the day and where we like to go on outings, and we show parents our setting's photoalbum.
In the first meeting we usually like to have a more friendly chat, rather than being too professional. Most parents come for the first meeting while we have other mindees here, as parents like to have a feel what it's like when we are busy and also to see how other children are happy here. That means that the first meeting is never too long. We tell the parents that if they want to discuss more details, they are welcome to visit when we have no mindees around and we offer our E-mail address so they can write if they've got any more questions. This has worked really well for us.

06-11-2011, 06:37 PM
Thankyou for your replies. I do a lot of the same, I think I just lack confidence, and who wants to leave their child with someone who isn't confident?